Great news! We found a couple exceptional ranching apprenticeship opportunities with The Quivira Coalition New Agrarian Program. The organization is seeking some eager greenhorns for several 2017 positions on ranches out west.
The New Agrarian Program offers apprenticeships in regenerative agriculture through partnership with mentor ranchers and farmers who are part of the Quivira community. In particular, this program aims to build resilience on Western lands by training the next generation of stewards in agricultural best practices, and by training ranchers and farmers to be mentors.
Our apprenticeship program works closely with carefully selected rancher and farmer mentors who are dedicated stewards of the land; practice beyond organic, regenerative methods of food production; provide excellent animal care; and who are natural teachers for young agrarians.
There are still 4 positions open!
Brett Gray Ranch
Eight-Month Ranching Apprenticeship in Rush, CORound River Resource Management, LLC is a land resource and livestock management company dedicated to restoring and improving agricultural operations through the principles of Holistic ManagementTM in a sustainable manner and consistent with the goals of the resource owner.The name Round River is derived from the metaphorical river described by Aldo Leopold that flows endlessly into itself, circling around and around in a never ending circuit that symbolizes the current of life. Leopold’s illustration describes the manner in which energy streams from the soil into plants, then into animals and finally back into the soil in a continuous circuit of life. Round River Resource Management was founded in 2008 to manage the Brett Gray Ranch and other agricultural enterprises following the principles of Holistic ManagementTM and to provide educational and business opportunities that help young, innovative people enter the ranching business.Start Date: Flexible start date.
Eight-Month Ranching Apprenticeship in Chico, CAThe Cobblestone Ranch is a sheep operation based on private property and on federal wildlife refuge lands managed specifically for wildlife habitat. Breanna Owens runs approximately two hundred ewes (with expansion plans over the next few years to increase to five hundred ewes). She uses a rotational grazing strategy on the refuge with the overall goal of maintaining and enhancing wildlife habitat and specific goals of reducing thatch, shrub and weed control, and stimulating new herbaceous growth. She moves the sheep one to two times a week, in paddocks ranging from one to five acres depending on seasonality and management objectives. Owens sells lambs as grass-fed and -finished either as feeder lambs to a direct marketer or as finished lambs to a regional processor. She plans on transitioning a portion of the flock to organic and selling through a regional CSA.Start Date: Flexible start date.
Eight-Month Dairy and Cheesemaking Apprenticeship in Durango, COJames Ranch Artisan Cheese manages a small herd of Jersey cows for the production of raw milk and small-batch cheeses in the beautiful Animas Valley near Durango, Colorado. Operated by Dan and Becca James, James Ranch Artisan Cheese is one of several family-run enterprises on the larger James Ranch. This dairy and cheesemaking apprenticeship offers professional training for aspiring agrarians committed to a life and career at the intersection of conservation, sustainable agriculture, and artisan foods. The apprenticeship includes hands-on experience with all aspects of dairy operation and cheese production, including low-stress animal handling, milking, cheese making, affinage, biological monitoring, marketing, financial planning, Holistic Management, and land stewardship.Start Date: Before April 1.
Eight-Month Grain Farming Apprenticeship in Havre, MTVilicus Farms is a first generation, nationally recognized organic, dryland crop farm located in northern Hill County, Montana. Established in 2009, Vilicus Farms grows a diverse array of heirloom and specialty grains, pulse, oilseed and broadleaf crops within a 5+year rotation on approximately 5,000 acres. Vilicus Farms practices advanced land stewardship at a scale that matters. The Vilicus Farms Apprenticeship is intended to be a multi-season training and mentoring program that immerses highly motivated young professionals in organic farm operation and management – a journey that ultimately ends in farm ownership. Doug and Anna understand the challenges of taking a farm from vision to reality. Through the Vilicus Farms apprenticeship program they hope to give beginning farmers a real opportunity to start a successful organic dryland crop farm in the Northern Great Plains.Start Date: Before April 1.
Here in the North East the weather seems hellbent on reminding us that its still winter… so when a job posting like this comes across our desks we feel obligated to share the warmth far and wide.
Most rural communities can trace their origin to some sort of food production. As industries come and go and we find ourselves headed back to the soil – to towns and villages that have been watching the population migrate in the opposite direction – we are reminded that food production can/is/will always be a vital part resilient communities.
And now a wonderful opportunity in Huntly, Scotland.
From the posting:
Town is the Garden: Gardener in Residence
Deveron Projects is an arts organisation based in the rural market town of Huntly, Scotland. Through creative critical work we aim to contribute to the social wellbeing of the town, connecting artists, communities and places. Deveron Projects has no building, instead the town is the venue; acting as studio, gallery and stage for artists of all disciplines invited from around the world to live and work here.
Through artist driven projects we explore, map, inhabit and activate new spaces and places around Huntly. We believe artists are cultural activists that can energise people and communities, adding vitality to our society. By utilising creative and playful processes art can be employed to untangle and overcome real-life challenges, invent and enact alternative possibilities, and help solve problems.
The Town is the Garden is a one-year creative horticultural programme aimed at improving Huntly’s potential to grow more of its own food and create a more sustainable local food economy. Through employing a Gardener in Residence we hope to develop Huntly into a garden town that celebrates locally grown produce.
It’s an ambitious project, but we’re certain there are some well callused greenhorns out there looking to dig into something like this.
An exciting opportunity for beginner farmers to take their farming game to the next level! The Quivira Coalition is still accepting applications for its hands-on and highly immersive apprenticeship at Vilicus Farms (focusing on organic dryland grain production) in Montana:
Applicants must have a keen interest in farming and becoming a farmer. They must be self-starters, have the ability to work independently, appreciate the challenges and joys of working outside in all conditions, be a solid problem solver, with an open creative mind, and embrace diversity. The chosen applicants must be mature individuals and excited to engage in their own learning process.
This first year position is designed to provide an immersion experience in all facets of the dryland organic crop farm enterprise. Apprentices will work under the direct supervision of the farm managers. Specific training will be tailored to the skill sets and needs of the apprentice. Apprentices will be an integral part of the Vilicus Farms team and are expected to participate fully in the daily work planning sessions, weekly/monthly team meetings and visioning discussions. Apprentices will participate in the physical labor of the operation as well as the mental challenge of all aspects of the management of the farm business.
To apply and to learn more about the position and Vilicus Farms, click HERE. You can also check out the Quivira Coalition HERE – they do awesome work and offer other apprenticeship opportunities throughout the American West.
We’ve come across a cool program for aspiring dairy farmers! If you’ve been mulling over the various routes get into dairy perhaps this is worth looking into.
From the press release:
Cornell Small Dairy Support Specialist Fay Benson is recruiting participants for the New York edition of the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program, the groundbreaking, nationally-recognized apprenticeship program for the agricultu
Modeled after apprenticeship programs such as those for developing a highly skilled level of experience for new plumbers and electricians, the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, or DGA, is recognized by the federal Department of Labor.
The two-year DGA requires 4,000 hours of instruction, including 277 hours of online classes, and on-the-job training on farms approved for good agricultural practices and safety measures. The federally-registered apprentices are paid on an established wage scale to work on an existing grazing dairy farm while they gain knowledge, skills, and early experience. The wage increases over time as skill level grows.
Those interested in becoming an apprentice or serving as a Dairy Master Grazier may apply online at www.dga-national.org; for assistance, contact Abbie Teeter at email@example.com, 607-391-2660 ext 412. Once registered, the apprentices and Dairy Master Graziers can search the entries across the 9-state region to initiate discussion of a possible apprenticeship opportunity.
To learn more about the New York Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, contact Fay Benson at 607-391-2660, firstname.lastname@example.org. Benson is project manager for the NY Organic Dairy Program, an educator with the Cornell University South Central NY Regional Team, coordinator of the NY Soil Health Trailer, and a member of the New York Crop Insurance Education Team.
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. (more…)
If you’re between the ages of 21 and 31 and looking for an incredible opportunity to learn about urban farming, listen up! Urban Adamah in Berkeley, CA is now accepting applications for its three-month fellowship program. Not only do you learn the ins and outs of growing delicious organic food in the city, but the program also incorporates social justice training, mindfulness, and progressive Jewish learning and living. No prior experience is needed.
Entering its 5th year of educating young farmers, the fellowship has a fee on a sliding scale between $600 and $3000, which includes housing, food, and all program-related expenses. There are opportunities in the spring, summer, and fall, but apply soon as spots fill up quickly.
Learn more by watching the video above and clicking HERE.
Applications being accepted now for Parish Farming School in Norwood, OH.
All who are interested in the intersection of urban farming, food and faith are invited to submit an application to the Parish Farming School of Eucharistic Discipleship in Norwood, Ohio (a city smack dab in the middle of Cincinnati). It is a chance to explore — from within the framework of the Christian tradition — some of the biological, ecological, economic, cultural, and theological realities that shape our understanding of what it means to bear the image of the triune God in post-industrial America. This residential internship offers an integrated learning experience, as interns will study, work, make meals, pray, feast, fast, laugh, and learn together.
Applications are due March 20, 2017. More information can be found here.
Now in its 28th year, the Farm School in Athol, MA provides comprehensive educational programming in agriculture for youth, visiting schools, and adults. (Read more on their programming here!) Watch for more original posts on this blog from Sophie Mendelson, a student in their Learn to Farm Program, talented writer, and past and future farmer.
Know Your Abattoir: How to Keep Sustainable Meat Sustainable
by Sophie Mendelson
If consumers want local meat, they need to go to bat for local slaughterhouses.
At Adams Farm Slaughterhouse in Athol, MA, they play classical music on the kill floor. Cattle carcasses—seemingly as big as dinosaurs—hang by the hock from metal hooks fitted to a track in the ceiling that winds around the perimeter of the cathedral-like room. As the carcasses move along the track, they are divested of their blood, their skins, their internal organs, their heads, their hooves, and ultimately their integrity as a saw divides the animals neatly down their line of symmetry. This is how a “side” of beef is made.
The door to the holding pen opens and there is a great rattling as a cow enters the first segment of the indoor chute. A worker steps forward to urge the animal into the final compartment of the stunning pen, but this is a smaller cow, and instead of proceeding smoothly through the Temple Grandin-designed system, it begins to turn in the chute—an option not available to a larger animal. The worker attempts to redirect by prodding the cow from behind; metal clangs as the animal presses against the bars in resistance. The worker prods again, with little luck.
Noticing the commotion, another worker makes his way over to the chute. Instead of pushing from the rear, this man approaches the cow’s head. He reaches through the bars and strokes the cow’s chin. The animal stills. The man leans forward and appears to whisper something to the cow. Then, gently, he takes the cow by the ear and guides it into the stunning pen.
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.
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.