Growing Growers’ Apprenticeship Applications Due March 1, 2015
The best way to learn farming is from farmers! The apprenticeship program gives you an opportunity to receive hands-on experience combined with reading, classes, and informal training that will help you decide if farming is a good fit for you. In essence, it will help give you the basics you need to get started. Growing Growers apprentices need only a willingness to work hard and learn while they do it.
Apprentices work on local, sustainably-run farms, where they experience the day-to-day operations of a farm. They attend workshops and farm tours, meet new and experienced farmers, receive textbooks and on-the-job and formal training from their host farmers.
Applications are due March 1st with a $25 non-refundable application fee. Apprentices are selected by the end of March, and apprenticeships begin soon after. Apprenticeships typically run from March or April through September or October, depending on the host farm’s needs.
The apprenticeship program fee is $500. This fee includes all workshops, tours, course materials and on-farm training. The tuition is non-refundable. A limited number of partial scholarships (up to $250) are available. Contact Laura at email@example.com (816-805-0362) for more information on applying for a scholarship or for general questions about the apprenticeship program.
What makes up an apprenticeship?
Field work is a large component of the apprenticeship program, because it is a large component of farming. Some farms include apprentices in their marketing and sales department as well (farmers market, CSA packaging or delivery, restaurant sales, etc.).
Workshops & Farm Tours held monthly, February through September, cover topics relevant to sustainable farming. Workshops include presentations by local farmers, extensions agents, and other experts. Over the course of the season, workshops introduce ideas that help apprentices learn about growing food, as well as how to plan a farm business.
Apprentices are required to attend 6 core workshops and at least 2 other Growing Growers elective workshops, agricultural conferences, or professional meetings. These electives allow apprentices to explore specific interests that may not be part of the core workshops.
The workshops cover the metro area and almost always involve a farm tour. Apprentices need to cover the cost of driving to the workshops. Note: that may be as far as two hours away from the host farm.
One-on-One Training. In addition to training during the work day, apprentices receive 8-10 hours of focused, one-on-one training from their host farmer(s). This training is a way for host farmers to share the specifics of their farm. Topics can include anything from budgeting to beekeeping.
Books and Course Materials are handed out during the workshop series. These cover topics such as business planning, equipment, soils, pests and disease management, and other topics relevant to start-up growers. If apprentices fail to attend a workshop, they will not receive the class materials.