The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut (CT NOFA) will be accepting applications from qualified new farmers to participate in its two-year support program, known as the CT NOFA Journeyperson Program, until February 17, 2012. The program is modeled off a highly successful program piloted by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA). CT NOFA, along with state NOFA chapters in five other states running similar programs, is able to provide two years of educational and business planning stipends, support of a paid farmer mentor, educational and networking opportunities and a specific commitment to ensuring that this small group of farmers is able to find sure footing in their first few years of farming independently.
Farmers can begin the application process by filling out an application available at www.ctnofa.org/Beginning_Farmer/Journeypersons.html or by contacting CT NOFA’s Outreach Coordinator, Kristiane Huber at Kristiane@ctnofa.org. The application deadline for CT NOFA’s Journey Person Application is February 17, with notification regarding the next step of the process occurring in the first week of March. Those accepted to the program will be invited to an orientation later in the spring to officially welcome the first northeast-wide cohort of Journeyperson farmers. The CT NOFA Journeyperson farmers will be invited to meet their counterparts from other northeast states at the annual NOFA Summer Conference in Amherst, MA in August 2012.
The CT NOFA Journeyperson Farmer Program is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2011-49400-30510. This grant has also enabled all of the NOFA Chapters to offer scholarships to beginning farmers for their respective Winter Conferences. CT NOFA’s Winter Conference is March 3 and will be accepting applications until February 24. Experienced farmers that are interested in becoming mentors should contact Kristiane Huber at Kristiane@ctnofa.org.
The Journeyperson Application: https://nofa.wufoo.com/forms/m7p8m7/
The Winter Conference Application: https://nofa.wufoo.com/forms/x7x1x7/
Please encourage anyone who is eligible for either program to apply. Higher rates of participation make our program stronger, and allow us to service more beginning farmers and be more effective!