Student Profile: Lynne and Justin of Finger Lakes CRAFT

Lynne and Justin plowing with horses at Northland.

Interview by Audrey Gyr, Groundswell volunteer

Lynne Haynor and Justin Schaude were both members of the Finger Lakes CRAFT program this year while they interned on Northland Sheep Dairy. While they were there, they started a vegetable market garden and sold at the Homer Farmers Market.

They first met while studying at UW Madison. Lynne was studying agroecology and Justin was working at the student garden while studying Rural Sociology. Lynne grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and first discovered agriculture at the age of 24 when she worked at a periurban gardening program for youth. The program focused on education and work readiness in marginalized communities and Lynne spent 3 growing seasons there producing organic vegetables.

Justin grew up in the suburbs of Minnesota and California. He dropped out of college and traveled extensively while working odd jobs, including in an orphanage in India. He first became attracted to agriculture while working at a men’s shelter in Minneapolis. During that time he read a book that posited farming as a strategy to get people off the street. Justin decided to go back to school for social work but he became more and more interested in farming.  He has been farming for the past 5 years. Lynne and Justin both did another apprenticeship on a CSA farm in Wisconsin after graduating from college. They have also worked on farms in Mexico. They strongly suggest any beginning farmers to have an apprenticeship because it can really help you plan what you want to do. They also stress the importance of having a mentor and that a beginner can accomplish a lot by just working on a project.

This summer Lynne and Justin were apprentices at Northland Sheep Dairy. They chose the farm because it was a place where Lynne could learn about sheep while Justin learned about horses.  Maryrose suggested that they begin a market garden on 1 acre of available land. They began selling their vegetables at the Homer Farmers Market which enabled them to gain practical business experience.  During this time they also were members of CRAFT. They enjoyed that the program enabled them to tour many different farms and see how other people did things.

Justin and Lynne have recently moved to Viroqua, Wisconsin and are excited to begin their life there. Lynne will be working at an organic certification agency and Justin will be working in carpentry and construction.