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