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admission open for grange farm school in mendocino county

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Read on 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.

To download the application and learn more about this program, visit
www.GrangeFarmSchool.org, and visit the Practicum Student Program page.  For
more information, please contact us at manager@grangefarmschool.org

We also run workshops on site!

Recent Workshops:

December 6-7 Grange Farm School and the Greenhorns hosted a two day FarmHack
symposium on the topic of Fuel Farming for the 21st Century.  Read about it,
or listen to a radio interview with conference presenter John Wick about his
work and the FarmHack: http://www.grangefarmschool.org/Media

December 13-14 Business Entrepreneurial Workshop for Aspiring Farmers at the
Sebastopol Grange.  Look out for a repeat in Willits this coming April!

Upcoming Workshops:

January-March, 5 day “Get Down to Business with Holistic Management: Whole
Farm Planning” workshop.  Learn from a certified Holistic Management
instructor about the framework for goal setting and decision making that
promotes healthy, sustainable agriculture for the land, the people, and the
community.

January 18, Winter Pruning Techniques and Methodology Workshop: Learn the
basics behind the theory and get practice with maintaining an orchard with
winter pruning. Check our website for more details.

April 1, Design, Build, Operate a Greenhouse: Get hands on experience with the
Gardens Project and Grange Farm School installing a hoophouse for season
extension and propagation.  Check our website for more details.

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