rfc's advanced apprenticeship program
Are you ready to take your education and training to the next level and kick start your farming career? FarmsNOW is the next step towards learning to manage and run a diversified farming operation.
The FarmsNOW apprenticeship program is an advanced on-farm program combining hands-on training and skills-based education for those seeking mastery in the art and business of sustainable agriculture.
This full-immersion program is designed for those who have completed the FarmsNext internship program, or have two years of on-farm experience. You will live and train full-time on a host farm, receive up to two seasons of on-farm training, and learn in-depth skills from your mentor farmer.
On-farm training and hands-on learning (~40+ hours/week)
FarmsNOW is designed for the individual who already has a solid foundation of farm knowledge and skills but is looking to deepen their experience managing a successful farm business with the goal of running their own farm enterprise. The majority of the program will be focused on learning by doing.
Over time, you will be expected to share responsibilities with the farmers. These tasks will generally include overseeing farm crews and harvest crews, processing, tractor cultivation, field walks and observation, record keeping, product deliveries, marketing, irrigation, and general farm maintenance.
Classes and seminars
In addition to the hands-on training provided by the host farm, apprentices will attend a series of classes facilitated by RFC, Oregon State University Extension's Small Farms Program, and other agricultural service agencies.
Topics may include:
- Selection and maintenance of farm equipment
- Designing irrigation systems
- Enterprise selection & diversification
- Integrating perennial & annual cropping systems
- Post-harvest handling
- Food safety
- Long-term soil fertility & advanced soil science
- Financial management
- Farm financing options
- Agricultural land use regulations
- Basic business law
- Certification programs
- Conservation agriculture
- The state of organic farming
- Finding, leasing, and purchasing land
One-on-One Farm Development Counseling
Rogue Farm Corps staff will work closely with you to identify additional course work and resources to support your entrepreneurial development.
You will have the opportunity to meet and network with local farmers and agricultural professionals in the community you are working in. Rogue Farm Corps will organize farm tours and will host potluck discussion circles to bring together folks from across the farming community.
The FarmsNOW apprenticeship program will run for up to two full farming seasons. You will complete up to 3,000 hours of on-farm time over the course of two seasons. Room, board, and stipend packages vary from farm to farm. In any case, you can expect safe, secure housing, farm produced food and some staples, and a monthly stipend in the range of $600-1000 or an hourly wage.
Student apprentice Handbook
Before you start your application, please read the Student Apprentice Handbook. Here you will find a complete program description, including all requirements, policies, and expectations.
After you’ve read through the Student Apprentice Handbook, click on the apply link at the top of the page to be sent to our application form.
Once we receive your application, Rogue Farm Corps staff will either call or email you to complete your intake interview. If your application is approved, our network of host farmers will review all program applications and set up interviews with candidates they are interested in. You may contact Rogue Farm Corps’ Education Director or Chapter Coordinators to discuss the status of your application. Please do not contact the host farmers directly. Each host farmer will make the final placement decisions for his or her farm.