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Backyard Farms, Madison

Backyard Farms’ 42-acre greenhouse in Madison, Maine, is the largest greenhouse in New England. It ships its fully vine-ripened Backyard Beauties™ to consumers throughout New England. Inside Backyard Farms’ vast facility, innovation, teamwork and environmental values are part of daily operations. When the company began operations in 2006, the new company needed to grow a workforce with a unique combination of skills and a special commitment to company values.

The company received a grant from the Maine Quality Centers program, and Kennebec Valley Community College designed and delivered a 72-hour training program for 58 new workers in topics ranging from team building and ethics, botany and biology, time management and CPR/First Aid. While the science courses were taught at the college, the rest were delivered at the work site, incorporating the issues and practices the company deals with on a daily basis. KVCC also delivered an additional 119 hour training program for management and supervisory staff, in communications, computer applications, leadership skills, and time management.