Cornell Small Farms Programme are running a three day Agroforestry in Practice training course that will take place from October 17th – 19th, 2017 at the Schuyler County Cooperative Extension at Montour Falls NY.
Agroforestry is the science and art of combining trees and forests with crop production. It is a topic of great interest to many landowners and farmers and offers many promising enterprises including maple syrup, log mushroom cultivation, silvopasture (combining trees and livestock) and others.
Agroforestry has been established as one of the most reliable and promising uses of land in terms of economic return and environmental sustainability and health. The 3 day course is designed specifically with service providers in mind and offers a combination of both classroom time and field experience in established agroforestry farms.
The list of farms on the agenda right now are fantastic and will be sure to give a diverse overview of the possibilities of agroforestry. They include but are not limited to a 300 acre cattle grazing and silvopasture system, a farm that grows shiitake mushrooms and maple syrup combined with sheep and duck silvopasture and two farms that focus on orchard alley cropping and animal integration.
To register for this fantastic course or for more information click HERE
Katy Giomboini shares her seasoned observations on the internship program offered by the Rogue Farm Corps in Oregon. Whether you are interested in farming for the first time or you are looking to hone skills that you’ve gained from past apprenticeships, the organization offers two training programs suited to fit your educational needs. They are accepting applications for this year on a rolling basis
View from the Sidelines: Cultivating the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers
By: Katy Giomboini, RFC Chapter Coordinator
As I look to the start of the 2017 growing season and review farm internship applications, I can feel my excitement building. I imagine it’s a similar feeling that farmers get at the start of the season. Excited for what the year will bring, trying out new techniques, doing a little bit better than last year. Another season, another group of enthusiastic individuals looking to see if farming is a career path for them. Their backgrounds are as diverse as the tomato section of a seed catalog. Some are fresh out of high school, others looking to change careers. Some have zero farming experience and others have degrees in agriculture. There are big plans on how they are going to run a farm/restaurant/retreat center and others simply looking to get their hands dirty. For most, this season is going to bring a lot of surprises, a lot of reality checks, a lot of stories, and for a few, it will lay the foundation for their farming career.
I am about to start my fourth season as a chapter coordinator with the Rogue Farm Corps, a beginning farmer training program in Oregon, and each year I am inspired by the folks that choose to uproot themselves to live and work on a farm for a growing season. Farming is not easy. As any of the interns will tell you, the first month they’re on farm, they are tired, like bed-time-at-8:00pm tired. Many experiences don’t require the strength and agility to squat, bend, and pull day in and day out. But as the months go by, they get stronger. One of my favorite image is of an intern, probably 5’2”, who at the start of the program could barely carry a 50 pound bag of poultry feed, but by the end she was easily carrying two 50lb bags as she zoomed around doing chores. What once seemed hard becomes routine. Continue reading
Recently, I had the opportunity to be part of a workshop discussion at the NOFA MA conference within which arose the idea that our farms can become centers and examples of social justice and fairness. (Heck yes!) In line with this idea, the New York State Agricultural Mediation Program is currently offering scholarships for mediation training, specifically to people with roots in the agrarian community. The scholarships are provided by the NYS Agricultural Mediation Program (NYSAMP) in order to train mediators who can help out in underserved, less-populated rural areas– and in particular, they need mediators who can serve Columbia, Greene, Ulster, and Sullivan counties.
The NYS Agricultural Mediation Program offers free statewide mediation services to farmers to resolve conflicts including neighbor complains, loans or debts, landlord disputes, and family succession.
These new scholarships are available for a four-day Basic Mediation Training (valued at $1250) and are for applicants who “are curious by nature, and empathic, able to see the good in people, even when people may be in the depths of a highly stressful conflict. Applicants need to be able to see several discrete perspectives or differences of opinions at a time and hold them without judgement.”
Applicants will be interviewed for scholarships. And, if chosen for the program, will be expected to attend the training in March at Common Ground and Dispute Resolution Services. Afterwards they will join an apprenticeship program where they will put their skills into practice and receive coaching. Applicants must be committed to “giving their time and talents” back to the community and be available to serve as a volunteer mediator in Columbia, Greene, Ulster or Sullivan counties. Applicants need to commit to serving as a volunteer mediator for at least 6 mediations per year for two years.
The scholarships are provided by the NYS Agricultural Mediation Program (NYSAMP) in order to train mediators who can help out in underserved, less-populated rural areas.
If you are ready to serve or if you know of someone, who you think would make a
great volunteer mediator to “nominate” please contact:
Dispute Resolution Services for Sullivan and Ulster Counties
Jolynn Dunn 845-551-2668
Applications are due by February 10th.
Want the skills to manage your own farm? The Organic Farm School on Widbey Island in Washington State offers aspiring farmers a practical education in how to start and manage a small scale organic farm.
They still have a few openings left for 2017 and accept Americorps awards and/or offer need-based scholarships towards tuition.
Our full-time, 8-month long experiential farmer training program is for aspiring farmers seeking to learn and practice the technical and business skills needed to run a small-scale, organic, commercial farm. Through cooperatively managing the school’s ten-acre farm and attending weekly lectures, discussions, and demonstrations on topics including organic crop production, soil science, business planning, and direct marketing, students will acquire a thorough education in organic small farm management. Student are mentored through the creation a personal farm business plan and regular field trips to regional farms allow participants to see a variety of farming styles and talk to experienced producers.
Through management of the student farm, participants develop their practical farm skills including planning, tillage, greenhouse propagation, weeding, harvesting, marketing, record-keeping, and more. Students also learn to operate tractors, make compost, and manage the farm’s livestock. With the skills and knowledge gained and a business plan in hand, program graduates are ready to start and/or manage their own small organic farm. Find out more and apply at www.organicfarmschool.org.
We share the following apprenticeship program as much for the potential apprentices as we do for all the farms out there who either run or would someday like to host apprenticeship programs. Common Hands Farm, a 150-acre biodynamic CSA farm in New York’s Hudson Valley, has a unique three-part internship broken up by Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons. The uncompensated spring block leans heavily on classroom and practical instruction in biodynamic farming; the stipended summer block focuses on practical work experience on the farm; and the fall specialization program allows apprentices to take on responsibility and projects of their own direction around the farm with the potential to transition into paid staff.
Full program description is included below the break. Application information is available at the very bottom of the page. Continue reading
Looking for a well-rounded training in organic farming? Have military service? The Rodale Institue and the Delware Valley University partner together to create a 36-credit certificate program in organic agriculture. Formatted specifically for veterans who are interested in agriculture, the program is also open to interested civilians. The program spans one year and offers a balance of classroom work and field training in animal science, marketing, vegetable production, organic crop science, entomology, weed management and sustainable agriculture. To Learn more about the Organic Farming Certificate Program and other opportunities for veterans at Rodale Institute, visit rodaleinstitute.org/veterans.
Growing Food, Building Community
AMI Fellowship Program: 2017 Applications Available
Allegheny Mountain Institute (AMI) is seeking inspiring individuals to participate in the sixth cohort of our AMI Fellowship program. The 18-month Fellowship prepares and empowers individuals to become teachers and ambassadors for a more vibrant and accessible local food system. The Fellowship is a program of AMI, an educational non-profit organization with the mission to cultivate healthy communities through food and education.
Phase I (April 30-November 1, 2017)
In the first phase of the program, Fellows connect with the food system as they live, work and study on the mountain farm campus in rural Highland County, Virginia. Fellows gain a full season of experience in sustainable growing methods, small animal husbandry, and rotational livestock grazing on a diversified farm. In addition, Fellows study topics such as permaculture design, whole foods preparation and preservation, wellness and nutrition, land stewardship, leadership, and community development through hands-on experience on the farm, expert guest instructors, field trips and daily educational sessions. Upon successful completion of their Phase I training, AMI Fellows receive a $1,000 stipend.
Phase II (January 1- December 31, 2018)
AMI Fellows apply their Phase I training as they work on community projects focused on building healthy communities through food and education. Working with AMI and other Partner Organizations, Senior Fellows build organizational capacity and launch new programs such as: building community gardens, developing school gardens and site-based curriculum, advocating for sustainable land use, and teaching nutrition and cooking for a healthy lifestyle. Supported by the AMI network, Senior Fellows continue to meet regularly for leadership and professional development. Fellows receive a monthly stipend of $1,500 (subject to payroll taxes) and a Permaculture Design Certificate upon successful completion of the year.
Applicants must be physically fit, able to lift 50 pounds, walk distances up and down steep hills, work outdoors for extended periods of the day, and be comfortable living and working communally as a team in a remote, mountain setting.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis (Deadline: February 19) and are available at: www.alleghenymountaininstitute.org
Apply for Glynwood Farm’s Business Incubator!
The deadline for initial applications and letters of intent for Glynwood’s Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator (HVFBI) has been extended to January 6, 2017, with the 2017 program beginning in early next May.
HVFBI is taking the “long view” on supporting a new generation of farmers in the region, equipping participants with the tools and guidance to successfully get there. Visit their website for more information.
Apprenticeships in Regenerative Ranching and Farming
Offered through The Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program on partner ranches and farms in New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, and California
The Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program (NAP) partners with skilled ranchers and farmers to offer annual apprenticeships in regenerative agriculture. Together, we create opportunities for comprehensive, full-immersion experiential learning from expert practitioners in professional settings. This program is designed to support the next generation of food producers and specifically targets first-career professionals with a sincere commitment to life at the intersection of conservation and regenerative agriculture. NAP mentors are dedicated stewards of the land; they practice intentional, regenerative methods of food or fiber production, provide excellent animal care, and are skilled and enthusiastic teachers.
In 2017, we are offering seven paid apprenticeship opportunities including:
- San Juan Ranch (Saguache, CO): San Juan Ranch is a certified organic, grass-fed beef ranch operated by George Whitten and Julie Sullivan. The apprenticeship curriculum includes Holistic Management, low-stress animal husbandry, Continue reading
These are pretty cool programs subsidized by the british government. Participation is open to anyone willing to go to the UK.
It leaves us with one pertinent question. What if the USDA provided free jobs training for young farmers?
There are two things that it is important for you to know before I say the following sentence: 1.the subject at hand is one that I have considered at great length and that is enormously near and dear to me hear; 2. bomb-diggity is not a phrase that I use lightly. Keeping that in mind, the Quivira Coalition’s new guidebook on agricultural apprenticeships is unequivocally the bomb-diggity. First of all, the PDF is free (though you can order a hard copy for $30). Secondly, unlike a few other guides and databases out there, the Quiviera Coalition’s publication speaks more to the would-be-farming mentors than to potential apprentices. Complete with a thoughtful foreword and introduction, teary-eye-inducing essays on what it means to be a mentor, a collection of case studies of apprenticeship programs in the US, and thoroughly useful appendices, it gets our “must read” stamp of approval for farmers and apprentices alike.
The agricultural apprenticeship sits simultaneously as one of the most beloved and also one of the most contentious institutions in new American sustainable agriculture. Almost every young farmer I know has done at least one apprenticeship. It acts as entryway, proving ground, and foundational base for careers in agriculture. However, at the same time, the past few years have seen debates over fairness and legality of apprenticeships on farms. Are they exploitative of workers? Do they place an undue and uncompensated burden on the farm?
One has to commit to the idea of practical education both for the apprentice and yourself. Remember, you are learning at least as much as the person you are teaching, just at different levels.
These people will:
- Pester you with endless questions
- Break your shovel handles
- Burn up your clutch
- Spoil your dog
They will also:
- Give you their heart and soul
- Make you a much better manager
- Teach you how to turn anger into teachable moments
- Add to your life in ways that will astonish you.”
– George Whitten, San Juan Ranch and NAP mentor
It is our belief that candid conversations and a defined set of standards within our community are necessary to foster apprenticeship programs that are mutually beneficial to farm, farmer, and apprentice. We need clear expectations, clear goals, and a lot of love for each other in order to ensure that the knowledge this movement has gleaned over the last half century is passed down to, built upon, and carefully stewarded by the next generation. To this end, the Quivira Coalition has taken a large step: their guidebook should become a time-honored resource.
In their own words:
Effecting change at a systemic level requires widespread participation and dedicated effort, and yet none of us need singlehandedly change the world. By growing a strongly collaborative network of small, regional programs at work within their own communities and by learning from one another, we can make a significant difference for ranchers and farmers throughout the country. Our hope is that this guidebook will serve as a catalyst to develop this national network of people committed to agricultural apprenticeships and to growing the next generation of ranchers and farmers.
Located at the very center of North Carolina’s local food and farming scene, the Sustainable Agriculture Program at Central Carolina Community College is a unique opportunity for sustainable agriculture education.
At CCCC’s sustainable agriculture program students have the opportunity for “Real Farming- Right Now”. The Pittsboro, NC based program has an on-campus, year-round certified organic farm that is an integral part of teaching and learning. Field and hoophouse production, pasture-based heritage breed chickens and a commitment to incorporating sustainable technologies (solar, biofuels, reduced tillage) make this established and accessible program the place to get started in organic farming.
Students have the opportunity to meet and network with a wide variety of sustainable farms, businesses and organizations while participating in focused, practical education and training. Whether you are exploring the possibilities of a career in sustainable farming or you are already farming and recognize the need for some targeted learning opportunities (soil science, marketing, business plans!) you are welcome at CCCC Sustainable Agriculture Program.
Interested students may apply online: http://www.cccc.edu/admissions/apply/
Fall 2016 registration for new students is open now; Fall classes will begin August 15th.
www.cccc.edu/agriculture/ Affordable, convenient, established