1. How does the application process work?
Complete your on-line application form by clicking on the APPLY button at the top of this page. Please answer all questions completely. You cannot save your work on the on-line application form. Once you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive a phone call or email from Rogue Farm Corps staff to schedule an intake interview. After completing your intake interview, host farmers will be able to review your application. Host farmers will contact you to set up interviews. Final placement decisions are made by host farmers.
2. Do I get to choose which farm I train at?
You can indicate regional or farm system specific preferences on your application. Host farmers will make final placement offers to applicants they are interested in training with. Once you accept an offer, you should contact Rogue Farm Corps staff to finalize placement in the program.
3. Do I have to pay the tuition up front?
No. Rogue Farm Corps expects a $250 non-refundable deposit upon accepting a position. Subsequent payments are due on April 15 ($250), June 15 ($500), and August 15 ($500). Rogue Farm Corps will set up alternative payment plans if requested in writing.
4. why is there a tuition fee to participate?
Your $1,500 tuition includes $500 for the class and farm tour series, including instructor honoraria, materials and supplies, and program event costs, plus $1,000 for your Chapter Coordinator’s time spent on promotion, developing materials, facilitating orientations and evaluations, coordinating classes, farm tours, and events, and administrative costs. Your Chapter Coordinator is available for on-going check-ins and support throughout the duration of your internship.
5. Are there scholarships available?
Rogue Farm Corps is working to develop our own scholarship fund. In the meantime, interns are encourage to apply to the California Certified Organic Farmers' Future Organic Farmer Fund scholarships. Their scholarship application form opens annually on April 1 and provides up to $2,500 in grants for higher learning. For more information about the CCOF scholarship, please click here.
6. Do I have to live on the farm?
Yes. In some instances, there may be alternative housing arrangements made on a case-by-case basis. Living on-farm is a crucial component of learning to be a farmer.
7. Do I need to have farming experience before I apply? Will that help or hurt my application?
No. FarmsNext is designed for those will little or no farming experience. Some host farmers prefer applicants who have some farming experience while some prefer applicants who have no experience.
8. How is this program different from other farm training programs? or wWOOF'ing?
FarmsNext differs from other farmer training programs in a few ways. First, interns are placed on commercial, for-profit farms. This gives interns a “real-world” opportunity to learn farming and the business of farming that is very different than training programs based on non-profit or school-based farms. Second, interns in FarmsNext live and train full-time on-farm. The number of on-farm training hours is much higher than most other farm training programs. Interns enrolled in FarmsNext will receive up to 1,500 hours of on-farm training, in addition to classroom hours and independent study time. Unlike WWOOF’ing, you are signing up for a 6-8 month intensive structured training program that will include a lot of hard, repetitive farm tasks.
9. What is the difference between Farms.Next and Farms.NOW?
FarmsNext is an introductory internship program for beginning farmers with little or no experience. This program runs for 6-8 months, depending on the host farm site. FarmsNOW is an advanced apprenticeship program for beginning farmers who have completed FarmsNext or who have two-years of on-farm experience. This program runs for up to 2 full seasons and is designed for those who want to gain managerial employment or run their own farm business.
10. How is this different from other internships on farms that do not charge tuition?
Rogue Farm Corps programs are legal, structured, educational internships. Interns will complete an on-farm training curriculum that is unique to the host farm site, participate in a series of classes that will introduce students to basic farming concepts, models and opportunities, and an independent study project over the course of the farming season. In addition, interns will be part of a cohort learning together in a community setting with the support of their host farmers, RFC staff and local agricultural professionals.
11. There are two of us that want to do an internship together. Is this possible?
Yes. Some of our host farmers are willing to place interns who want to work together. You should discuss this with Rogue Farm Corps staff during your initial interview.
12. How flexible are the start and end dates?
Most internships start between March 1 and April 1 and end between October 15 and October 31. There is some flexibility within these dates, depending on the host farm site.
13. How many Rogue Farm Corps positions are typically at each farm?
Some farms host 2-3 interns while other host only 1. Either way, you will be a part of a cohort that develops in each chapter location and gets together on a regular basis.
14. Do I need to have a car?
Many host farms require a car. Some do not. Many of our host sites are located in remote, rural settings far away from amenities and neighbors, so a car is highly recommended.
15. Am I able to receive college credits for this program?
Interns have the option of enrolling in Rogue Community College’s Skills Training Program to receive college credits for the FarmsNext program. Additional tuition fees and paperwork are required for this option. These credits can be applied towards an Associates Degree or a Certificate Program at Rogue Community College. Whether or not these credits transfer to another academic institution depends on that institution. We are also able to explore the option for community-based learning credits or credits via an independent study project through any academic institution you may be enrolled in.
16. Are you able to accept International Applicants for the Farms.Next program?
Yes, we are able to accept International Applicants through our partnership with Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA)'s Affiliate Internship Exchange Program. Please see our International Applicants page and visit MESA's website for more details.
17. I’m interested in the Portland Chapter but I’m curious about other similar opportunities in the Portland area as well.
Rogue Farm Corps is one of a few beginning farmer training programs operating in the Portland area. The others that are most related are Zenger Farm and OSU’s Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship Program (BUFA) Rogue Farm Corps helps create a larger community of beginning farmers in the Portland area by sharing our classes & discussion circles with BUFA participants. Zenger Farm interns have their own classes but typically come to a few of the RFC classes as well. The main differences these programs have from RFC’s FarmsNext are:
- Zenger Farm interns and BUFA participants do not live on-site and are training at a site managed by a non-profit or educational entity, while RFC interns generally do live on-site and are training at for-profit farms.
- BUFA requires fewer field hours than the RFC or Zenger programs. The BUFA program works well for applicants who have other jobs or are in school.
Other beginning farmer development programs in the Portland area include Clackamas Community College’s Organic Farming Certificate (academic program) and Adelante Mujeres Sustainable Farming Class Series (Spanish language program).