Spring & Summer 2016 Catalog Now Available!

Hot off the presses! We’re excited to share with you the Spring & Summer Driftless Folk School Catalog! Download a copy of the Catalog HERE! Watch for the paper version of the catalog in early April at locations around the Driftless region or if you are on our mailing list you should receive it in your mail! You can register for any of the courses now on our Course Calendar HERE.

Volunteer at RampFest!

If you’d like to volunteer at Rampfest, please sign up here. You can attend the festival for free in exchange for 4 hours of volunteering. A great opportunity to be involved in this event! 

Photo by Bjorn Bergman

The Driftless Experience

The Driftless region has a lot to offer. It truly is a gem. A mecca. When you come to the Driftless for a folk school class, why not take advantage of the whole Driftless experience. 


Celebrating 10 Years

On a cold day in January 2006, a group of 18 people met beside a masonry stove in the handsome self-built timber frame home of Dan Pepper and Ruth Kittleson in the small town of Liberty Pole, south of Viroqua. The topic of the meeting was to develop a way to teach and share skills and knowledge within the local community. Many of the people there had never heard the word or concept of “folk school” before, but there was a common recognition that there was a rich concentration of people in the local area with unique and essential knowledge to share with each other and the wider world. (more…)

Why knot?

Because lines are frequently too short, new lines must be added.
Because items must be secured in travel.
Because loads must be lifted into place during construction.Overhand
Because human lives must be rescued.
And because…. the list is endless.
But mostly because the world needs connections.
– Philipe Petit (World Trade Center tightrope walker and knot book author)










JOB DESCRIPTION: Registrar, Driftless Folk School

About the Driftless Folk School

The Driftless Folk School is a regional center for the preservation, promotion and training of  traditional crafts, homesteading, natural building, energy self-sufficiency, sustainable farming, animal husbandry, and wilderness skills.

We offer 50+ classes per year. They take place on farms, in backyards, around kitchen tables, and in community kitchens from Soldiers Grove to Viola, Viroqua to La Farge. And an increasing number of our classes are offered at our 5-acre campus (embedded in a 100+ acre working farm) a few miles east of La Farge. There we have a classroom tent, outdoor kitchen, cabin, bathhouse, walking trails, Dan Pepper’s old Gypsy Wagon, and WiFi. We produce a beautiful full-color, 30-page, annual catalog of our courses as well as other community offerings and we distribute 5,000 copies per year across the Midwest. All of our classes can be booked online and we run very successful social media promotions to recruit students from around the Midwest. We have a website that could use a little TLC and a PO box in Viroqua. And last but definitely not least, we love our community! We have a pool of 120 seasoned instructors, contacts for more than 800 past and present donors, information on more than 1,200 former students, and an active Facebook following of nearly 4,000 people.

We have a very active volunteer board and we are helping our current Registrar – the amazing Allison Mendoza – transition out gracefully so she can focus full time on her new job and her busy farm. Hers are big shoes to fill, but our next registar is out there, and we can’t wait to meet you!

About the registrar role:

The registrar role is the face of the Driftless Folk School. He/she is essential in crafting connections and creating community with students and teachers. The role is flexible, remote (but with easy access to Viroqua and La Farge required) and 15-20 hours per week.  It’s also very seasonal, so here’s our best guess as to what it looks like over the course of the year:

November-February: With the support of a hands-on, volunteer board and many supporters across the community, the registrar project-manages the curation of our season of 50+ classes and – with the support of a professional designer and print shop – the production and distribution of 5,000 copies of our annual catalog.

March: All of our classes are added to our website as well as to the back-end booking system (“BookWhen”) and as stand-alone Facebook events. Over the course of the year, the registrar can expect to spend a few hours a week sending out our quarterly newsletter and managing our social media accounts: re-sharing upcoming Facebook events, boosting low-performing posts as needed, and activating volunteers when printed flyers, custom artwork, or other special promotions are needed. But March is a great month to prep for all this.

April-October: During the class season, roughly from April-October, the registrar processes class or event registrations and communicates with both students and instructors prior to and after classes. He or she is also responsible for keeping records, following up on evaluations, and assisting with other events. During this period Saturdays are our busiest days, with classes happening roughly every other weekend. Being present or cultivating a strong group of ‘class hosts’ will be required if you want your weekends free.

Throughout the year the registrar is expected to prepare for and meet monthly with our board of directors and participate in the programming committee. He or she checks mail, responds to inquiries coming in by phone or online, and helps stay in touch with instructors, volunteers, and our wider community.  There will surely be opportunities to represent the Driftless Folk School around the region and in the media, and other things that we are probably forgetting to mention.

This position is part time: average of 15-20 hours per week with seasonal variability. Hours are flexible, but the registrar must attend to communications at least 4 days a week including some weekends. This position will really only work for someone with strong intrinsic motivation, initiative, people-skills, and attention to detail.

For the right person, this is not just a job, but an “in” in a vibrant community, an outlet for creative work (“what if we offered a class on this?”), and an opportunity to champion personal and cultural resilience across our unique Geo-cultural Driftless region.


  • Excellent communication skills via email, phone, and face to face interactions
  • Highly motivated self-starter who takes initiative with minimal supervision
  • Exemplary planning and organization skills (… all this really is possible with 15-20 well-planned hours per week, we promise!)
  • Eager to meet challenges and independently come to solutions
  • Proficiency in Google Apps (Drive, Docs, Sheets, etc.)
  • Familiarity with social media (Facebook Ads)
  • Familiarity with cloud-based storage (Dropbox, Google Docs, FTP, etc.)
  • Website management (WordPress, etc.)
  • Confidence in promoting our school, values, and offerings


Pay is based on experience, and between $12 – $15 per hour  
Tuition-free Driftless Folk School classes


Interested applicants are requested to send a cover letter and resume to simon@driftlessfolkschool.org as soon as possible. Please think about how this role would fit into your life over the next 3 years and share those reflections in the cover letter, along with particular interests and experiences you would bring to the roll.

Position posted until filled.



Become a Sustaining Member

Dear Friends and Supporters of the Driftless Folk School –

When the Driftless Folk School began almost a decade ago, in the winter of 2006, the founders were inspired by a vision of the Driftless Region as a place of special possibility for the development and spread of a vibrant culture of sustainability and authentic community life.  Nurtured by a diverse natural and cultural landscape, a unique community of people interested in living consciously on the land and with each other has arisen here in the Driftless Region.  The Driftless Folk School was created as a way to facilitate this process by acting as a locus for sharing key skills and ideas and as a catalyst for the development of resilient community life. (more…)