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biodynamic association scholarships

Posted: May 17 2011

May 16, 2011, East Troy, WI – Beginning farmers who want to learn the principles and practices of biodynamic agriculture have a new source of support – the Biodynamic Scholarship Fund. Responding to a growing interest in farming in general, and biodynamics in particular, the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association has launched a new scholarship fund to help the next generation of farmers gain the knowledge and skills they need to manage successful biodynamic farms. 
According to Robert Karp, Executive Director of the Biodynamic Association, biodynamic farming addresses the deep need many young people are feeling to reconnect with nature and to integrate spiritual, social and ecological ideals into their vocation. “The earth is in crisis; our whole culture needs healing and transformation. We need to do everything we can to help the next generation rise to this occasion.”
In its first year, awards from the fund will be offered to apprentices enrolled in the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NABDAP), the Biodynamic Association’s training and mentorship program for beginning farmers. NABDAP combines 24 months of structured on-farm training and mentoring with a course of classroom study and an independent project, providing a comprehensive two-year certification in biodynamic farming. Apprentices choose from over 30 mentor farms and 5 classroom study programs in the United States and Canada to complete the program.
“We hope the introduction of this scholarship fund will encourage more people who are interested in becoming biodynamic farmers to enroll in NABDAP and benefit from the training, education and mentorship our program offers,” says Thea Maria Carlson, coordinator of NABDAP.
Beginning farmers enrolled in NABDAP can use awards from the Biodynamic Scholarship Fund to help pay tuition for any of NABDAP’s participating classroom study programs, held at Rudolf Steiner College in California, Frog Belly Farm in Colorado, Hawthorne Valley Farm Learning Center in New York, The Pfeiffer Center in New York, or Rudolf Steiner Center Toronto in Ontario.
Monique Blais, a NABDAP apprentice, attended the classroom study program at Hawthorne Valley Farm earlier this year. She says the program offered a wealth of useful information, as well as strong connections with the other participants. “I got so much out of the winter intensive that I’m still absorbing it. It was a life-changing experience for many of us who took the course.”
The scholarship fund is supported by several generous donors, as well as funds raised though the “Feeding the Revolution” Biodynamic Food and Wine Tasting, which took place at the Biodynamic Association’s 2010 National Conference.
For more information about the Biodynamic Scholarship Fund and the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program, please visit www.biodynamics.com/nabdap.
About the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association
The Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association (BDA) is an association of individuals, groups and organizations in North America who are committed to the transformation of the whole food system, from farm to table, and who draw inspiration from the spiritual-scientific insights of Rudolf Steiner. Biodynamics is a worldwide movement for the renewal of agriculture based on an understanding of the spiritual forces at work in nature and in human social life. From this understanding, a particular form of organic farming has been developed that continues to grow and evolve around the world.
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