rfc's advanced apprenticeship program
Are you ready to take your education and training to the next level and kick start your farming career? RFC's Apprenticeship Program is the next step towards learning to manage and run a diversified farming operation.
The 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 RFC's 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)
RFC's Apprenticeship Program 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:
- Farm and Production Planning: Crop Plan, Tillage Plan, Seeding Plan, Cover Cropping
- Pest & Disease Management: IPM, Farmscaping, Organic Treatment Methods
- Seed Production, Variety Selection, Stewardship
- Conservation/ Restorative Agriculture: No Till, Hedgerows, Restoration Techniques, Dryland Farming
- Food Safety & Post-harvest Handling
- Irrigation Methods + System Design + Repairs
- Soil Health Management: Fertility + Nutrient Management Plan, Soil Science, Soil Test Interpretation
- Tractors and Equipment: Implements, Maintenance + Repair
- Animal Systems and/ or Perennial Systems, Pastures, Integrating Veg/Animal, Holistic Management
- Farm Carpentry and Building Infrastructure
- Managing People on the Farm, Labor Costs, Communication Systems
- Scaling Up + Exploring Distribution Channels
- Marketing: Market Research/ Assessment & Niche Selection
- Certification Programs + Record keeping
- Insurance Needs and Considerations
- Overview of Farm Business Planning, Visioning, Legal + Business Structure Considerations
- Enterprise Selection & Diversification, Evaluating and Improving Profitability
- Farm Finances- Financial Preparedness, Bookkeeping, Creative Financing & Funding Panel
- Accessing Land- Leasing Land, Purchasing Land, Working with Land Trusts & Conservation Easements, Oregon FarmLink, Networking Opportunities, Accessing Service Providers
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 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 $700-1000 or an hourly wage.
The Apprenticeship Program tuition fee is $350 annually. Tuition covers the costs of your classroom curriculum.
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. Each host farmer will make the final placement decisions for his or her farm.