The Grange Programs for new and beginning farmer education as well as opportunities for experienced farmers looking to learn more. Apply now to be one of the first students of an emerging hub for sustainable agricultural education, or register for one of the exciting workshops being offered!
The Grange Farm School is dedicated to teaching the next generation of responsible, innovative, and successful farmers. We are strong believers in experiential education, and our Practicum Student Program is built upon that philosophy. A combination of hands-on field work instruction with rigorous academic curriculum provide an environment for students to learn the foundations of integrated crops and livestock operations, business management, industrial arts, sustainable technologies and ecological restoration.
The school is located on 12 acres of the 5,000 acre Ridgewood Ranch in Mendocino County, and students in the first few years have the exciting opportunity to collaborate with staff on infrastructure development of a working farm. Students will be developing 6 acres for cultivation and pasture, working with a 2 acre orchard, building facilities for the farm, marketing produce, meat and eggs, and creating sample business plans, research proposals, or grant applications. Experts and mentors in various fields are available for students to focus on an individual area of interest and field trips will expand the perspectives we all have on the many methods of achieving sustainable food production. This program is designed to allow for independent, project oriented individuals an opportunity to test out theories and methods while envisioning their future in farming.
Three terms, each lasting three months, will be offered in 2015, and students are encouraged to apply for multiple terms. The first term a student completes will provide foundational curriculum needed to demonstrate the full spectrum of skills and focuses necessary to achieving success.
Upon completion of the first term, students will have developed a proposal for a design-build project, research, or business opportunity. This will turn into the student’s Capstone Project in their second or third term, allowing students to take charge and develop a project of their own. Creativity and hard work are essential for this emerging generation of farmers, and the Capstone Project is an excellent way to begin experimenting with leadership and accountability.
Apply January 1st for the March-May term, April 1st for the June-August term, or July 1st for the September-November term. Each term will feature the same basic foundational curriculum, with an emphasis on the seasonality of the farm. Tuition is $2,000 for one 3-month term, and $1,000 for room and board if the student chooses to live on-site. Scholarships are available, and we encourage students to apply regardless of financial constraints.