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…)
Do you dream of being a farmer? Or maybe you’re looking to build your farming skills and take the next step? Enter Rogue Farm Corps! This Oregon-based program provides hands-on internships and apprenticeships for both would-be farmers and experienced farmers alike.
FarmsNext is an entry-level internship for those with little to no experience, while FarmsNOW is an apprenticeship for those who have completed an internship or have at least two years of farming experience. Both programs are live/work situations and pair budding farmers with a network of trusted farms throughout the state of Oregon. You can be immersed in veggie production, animal husbandry, dairy, and more!
Rogue Farm Corps is now accepting applications for the upcoming growing season, so click on HERE for more details and information!
Dairy Creek Community Food Web presents:
Fields for Food
a workshop on leasing farmland
Tuesday March 17, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
St. Bede’s Episcopal Church
1609 Elm St.
Forest Grove, OR
To RSVP, call: 503-992-0078 ext. 302
Free with snacks provided!
Nellie McAdams, Director of Farm Preservation Program at Rogue Farm Corps. Nellie will explain how to find farmers and craft a lease.
Greg Malinowski, farmer at Malinowski Farms and Washington County Commissioner. Greg will share his experience in leasing portions of his land to farmers for over 20 years.
Charlene Murdock, Nana Cardoon Urban Farm and local Forest Grove resident who has leased land to Adelante Mujeres Sustainable Agriculture program participants.
After months of negotiations, OFFC and the Center for Food Safety have reached a proposed settlement with the two GE alfalfa growers that had sued to overturn Jackson County’s ban on genetically engineered crops. The settlement still needs to be approved by the County and federal court, but we expect it will be.
Under the settlement, the Jackson County ban passed by voters will stand and the federal court’s opinion upholding the measure will not be appealed! This will leave the will of Jackson County voters in place and protect family farmers growing traditional crops from contamination by genetically engineered crops.
Oregon-based young farmer and photographer Nolan Caldish takes beautiful photographs, often pertaining to agricultural subjects. Several of the projects up on his website, both independent and commissioned feature vegetables, fruits, and land use issues. The three images above come the from “A Land Built By Gravity,” which explores America with stark realism, the intersection of the land and its people. Give it a peek!
FarmsNext is a full season entry-level residential internship program that combines hands-on training and skills-based education in sustainable agriculture. As a student intern, you will live and work full-time on a host farm, receiving up to 1,500 hours of on-farm training and learning in-depth skills from your mentor. Your residential farm training experience is combined with farm tours, classes, and discussion circles throughout the region, as well as opportunities for independent study. Student interns are exposed to a vast array of knowledge and expertise by engaging in the daily life of vibrant, agricultural communities.
The FarmsNOW apprenticeship program is for those with some farm experience who are seeking mastery in the art and business of sustainable agriculture. Hands-on training, classes, seminars, and guidance on farm business development will help you gain the skills to plan, design, and run integrated farming systems on your own. This full-immersion program is designed those who have completed the FarmsNext internship program, or have two years of on-farm experience. You will live and work full-time on a host farm, receive up to two seasons of on-farm training, and learn in-depth skills from their mentor farmer.
For more information and applications click HERE!
Message from the Our Family Farms Coalition:
May 29, 2015 – CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR SUPPORTERS! We have DEFEATED the first major stage of the Monsanto-backed legal challenge that attempted to overturn our Jackson County ban on genetically engineered crops!!!! This is a huge win for family farmers threatened by GMO contamination and a win for everyone who cares about the future of our food supply!
Here’s a link to the well-written decision by Federal Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke that at just 11 pages is a very readable decision even for us non-lawyers! The court upheld the Ordinance on the grounds that it was intended to protect against damage to commercial agricultural products, which is allowed under the Right to Farm Act, and because it was expressly allowed by the Oregon Legislature.
Thank you all so much for everything you have done to make our collective victory today possible. We simply couldn’t have done it without your help and support. There’s a lot happening right now with media releases and related work, but I’ll send another update soon on when the victory party will be which we hope you all can make.
Also, while this is an incredible victory for family farmers standing up to GMOs, we do know there is a real chance Monsanto and their ilk could appeal this decision, so the battle is not really over yet. Also, the Plaintiffs’ claims that the GMO ban constitutes a constitutional “taking” will now have to be litigated in the second phase of the case, so we hope you will join us in celebrating, but with the understanding that there is more left to do on the incredible team effort we’ve all been a part of.
Finally, we are still working to raise funds to pay off our legal expenses to date, so yes… you can still donate to the cause through our website.
Thanks again for your support!
Congratulations again for your work,
Elise Higley, Director Our Family Farms Coalition