i just launched learning circles for beekeepers and thought i’d take a minute to explain why these are not couched as courses or workshops or classes but LEARNING CIRCLES.
iowa has very few classes for non-beginners. the majority of iowa beekeepers are small hobbyists and they make up the group most in need of technical assistance and education.
the SARE website is clear that “The Partnership Grant program is intended to foster cooperation between agriculture professionals and small groups of farmers and ranchers to catalyze on-farm research, demonstration, and education activities related to sustainable agriculture.” when i add the term “learning circle,” i’m really emphasizing peer to peer connections inside small groups by keeping ag pros to a minimum. pro beekeepers might be present, but following their footsteps is not the (aspirational) goal of this project. being the best hobbyist with a strong and collaborative network is the goal.
ag pros will definitely be present – randall and kitt and amos will be examples of that. they have important jobs and we’ll want to call on them at different times during our beekeeping journey. but overall, i have purposely chosen to shine a light on local talent that can relate to beekeeping as a hobby or a small sideline operation because that’s the segment needing the most help. my hope is that getting this group of beekeepers moved into confidence will cultivate a world where people are positive and satisfied with their choice of hobby.
i’d love for you to join me in creating this world. (click here to help me do this.)