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At the intersection of food, soil, climate, farming and water.

Volunteers are Awesome

National Volunteer Week this year is April 23rd to 29th but, sometimes you just can’t wait a month to say THANK YOU to our many AWESOME volunteers!

Our volunteers come in many forms – some donate their time and energy to teaching our Whole Farm Workshops. Thank you to Steve Diebele of Golden Bear Farm, Paul Dietmann currently of Badgerland Financial, Tom Oasen of the Farm Service Agency, Dan O’Leary of Honey Valley Beekeeping and to future and past Whole Farm Workshop volunteers! Thank you for freely sharing your knowledge and teaching so many of us.

Being a non-profit, we are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors https://michaelfields.org/board-members/. These volunteers help us build organizational capacity. They approve budgets, establish long-term strategy, oversee various organizational policies, and help raise money. They are in it for the long-haul, serving a board term is a multiple year commitment (3 years) and some even serve multiple terms. Sometimes board members have even put their lives on hold, for months at a time, to work on a particular project (I’m thinking of you Bill Liebhart). Thank you to our past, present and future Board members, as you all know – we couldn’t run this organization without you!


Some volunteers help us out by informing us of a community need and volunteer by organizing an event like our Seed Swap – thank you Michelle Washebek Hackett! And sometimes an event happens, like 53 mph gusts of wind, that take down our solar panels, trees, and damage buildings and our volunteers help us get things fixed, cleaned up, and trouble shoot issues (sometimes remotely) – thanks to Charlie Kirchen for jumping in to fix and clean-up post wind storm and to Angie Curtes & Arley Uhrig – both long-time solar panel maintenance volunteers.


And some volunteers help us on a near daily or weekly basis! The Research Department is particularly thankful for the help of super volunteers: Esther Durairaj who has been working on writing grants with us, Taylor McDowell who recently joined our team, Lindsay Jacob who volunteers on a weekly basis, and Teresa Middleton, who has logged in nearly 130 volunteer hours! Taylor, Lindsay, and Teresa have been working in our Organic Corn Breeding program where they have been busy processing selections and are now labeling, organizing, & analyzing samples. Wow! I can’t say enough about this extraordinary group of volunteers!


“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
― Barack Obama

Thank you to ALL our volunteers for contributing your unique skills, experiences, and perspectives. You have filled Michael Fields Agricultural Institute with hope and happiness.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities