Important Update!!!

We have decided to postpone the Food Leader Certificate Program for a few months, as we gear up for a very busy spring in our new Farmhouse.  We are in the process of revamping the program, and taking some time to do a deep dive into some other very successful food, health, environment and agriculture related leadership programs around the country, to inform the our next iteration.  Please stay tuned for details.

This is also a time to consider your own contribution to this program.  Do you believe you have ideas, skills, or passion to contribute to a food leadership program? Are you good at mentoring or teaching? Do you believe that all people can make a change in the world, and you’d like to make sure that they know this?  We are open to the best new ideas, leadership, and passion.  We want to hear from you.  Please use the form to the right to contact us if this is your jam! OR come to our upcoming Food Leader Alumni (information below) weekend events and get to know the past Food Leaders, talk with VGI staff and certificate facilitators, and network with this amazing group of people!

If you have created, launched, and/or supported a program related to food that you are proud of, please send us a little blurb and photograph, so we can get the word out!

As always, Food Leaders Unite!



Food Leader Alumni Weekend

(These event are open to everyone!)

Saturday, February 9th

Past FLP attendees will be gathering to explore the new Syrian Restaurant in Milwaukee.  We can’t wait to taste authentic Syrian Cuisine and support the new members of our diverse community at the same time.  Please email for details.

Sunday, February 10th at 11 am

We will gather at VGI’s BEAUTIFUL farmhouse for a brunch potluck and tour of the building (and farm, if you want to brave the snow!).  Please bring a dish to pass and we will have hot coffee and tea ready for you! The Farmhouse address is 249 E. Concordia.


The Food Leader Certification Program provides professional and personal leadership development by equipping emerging food leaders to grow their own food, learn about the food system, and lead food projects in their communities. Upon completion of the program, Food Leaders will be presented with a formal Food Leader certificate.

This powerful train the trainers program brings people together during three weekend-long retreats, to build community and learn what it takes to organize a community food project. Participants implement and lead a personally developed Food Leader Project that impacts individuals and communities, develop as a leader by practicing leadership, project planning and management, and team skills throughout their project. Past Food Leader projects range from starting a workplace compost system, to organizing a neighborhood orchard, to starting a non-profit organization in Manitowoc that aims to improve the local food system through education and empowerment.

Food Leaders participate in future programs as Mentors to continue their professional development, furthering the program’s culture, offer on-going support to new leaders, and developing facilitation and coaching skills, all while enhancing their leadership skills to bring more value to their community.

The FLCP focuses on creating connections and building community by engaging in small group discussions and activities throughout the three program weekends. Each weekend has a set theme to ensure that Food Leaders build upon their knowledge and skill sets in order to become an impactful Food Leader of Tomorrow. The themes for the weekends are as follows:


  • Embracing Your Identity as a Leader and an Agent for Change in Your Community
  • Story of Self, Us & Now
  • Developing Your Personal Mission
  • Project Planning – Project Cycle, Vision and Mission Creation


  • Equity & the Food System
  • Project Design – Setting Goals & Objectives
  • Project Management – Identifying Resources and Budgeting


  • Food Timeline
  • Rethinking the Food System / Visioning the Future
  • Talk the Walk – Practice Talking About the Food System
  • Presentation Development

Full Program Cost is $950 – Lodging & Food is included for all three weekend retreats. To make the Food Leader Certification Program affordable and accessible for all, we offer scholarships and payment plans. Please fill out the Scholarship Application by January 15, 2019. For payment plans or any additional questions, please contact Victory Garden Initiative at – please include FLCP in the subject line.

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