Greenbank Farm seeking farmers
Greenbank, WA—November 25, 2011. Maryon Attwood, Program Director of the Greenbank Farm Agriculture Training Center, announced that the Training Center for new farmers is accepting students for the 2012-growing season. The mission of the Greenbank Farm Agriculture Training Center programs is to cultivate farmers, food & community and provide the skills and confidence required for graduates to run a successful farming business. Beginning its fourth year, the program for new farmers has provided intensive small-farm organic training for 19 students.
Two graduates in 2011, Nathaniel Talbot and Annie Jesperson, will begin a second year of training in a shared Field Assistant position being offered for the first time in 2012. The Training Center also coordinates workshops, tours and events throughout the year. Local food on Whidbey Island has a new face --- and it’s the face of the new farmer. The farm school at Greenbank Farm offers a fulltime 7-month experiential organic program for aspiring farmers, one of the few in the country. This is a residential program with housing offered in two locations at Greenbank Farm. Participants learn and practice the technical and business skills needed to run a sustainable small-scale organic commercial farm in today’s marketplace. This is accomplished by cooperatively managing the Center’s seven-acre farm and attending weekly lectures, discussions and demonstrations on topics including organic crop production, soil science, business planning, direct marketing and CSA management.
Participants also research, write and present a business plan, research a project and share monthly book reports as well as take field trips to regional farms. Skills are developed in all aspects of running the farm including planning, marketing, tillage, greenhouse propagation, weeding, harvesting, recordkeeping and more. Students build a greenhouse, operate tractors, make compost and manage the farm’s poultry and bees. With the skills and knowledge gained and a business plan in hand, program graduates are ready to start or manage their own small farm.
Sebastian Aguilar, Farm Manager and primary instructor added, “we have begun accepting students on a monthly basis for next year’s program, so I would encourage interested participants to submit their application as soon as possible.” Aguilar added, “we also encourage potential students who live close by to visit us, so they make sure we are a good match for their interests. Maryon Attwood, the Program Director and I, and I are available by phone and email to answer questions.”
Applications for the 2012 residential and academic programs, beginning in March 2012, are available on line at greenbankfarm.com, by calling our office at 360-222-3171 or emailing [email protected] or by emailing Sebastian Aguilar at [email protected]. Space is limited to 9 students for 2012 so apply early.
Scholarships to assist with tuition are available to accepted students for 2012.
The setting of our Training Program is Greenbank Farm, a 151-acre vibrant, community-focused place-owned by the Port of Coupeville and managed by the Greenbank Farm Board of Directors and a fulltime Executive Director. It provides scenic beauty, recreation, small-scale farming education, preservation of natural resources and wildlife habitats, and new learning opportunities about the intersections between human and natural communities.
Greenbank Farm Training Center
765 Wonn Road
Greenbank Farm, Greenbank, WA 98253
Home Office 360-678-1414
Cultivating Farmers, Food & Community