Thursday, December 27, 2012

CT NOFA Invites Serious Beginning Farmers to Apply for the Journeyperson Program

Journeyperson Joe Listro and his mentor, Dina Brewster from The Hickories,
at Sullivan Farm in New Milford
The Journeyperson Program aims to provide serious beginning farmers with the opportunity to learn skills and techniques and gain experience they will need to succeed as farmers and business owners.

Deadline: January 15, 2013
The Journeyperson program strives to support farmers in the education gap between apprentice and independent farmer and to provide resources and opportunities for prospective new farmers who have completed an apprenticeship to further develop skills they need to farm independently. The program is shaped by the farming interests and goals of individual participants. New farmers are able to gain advanced farming experience, skill and perspective in a supportive environment while also becoming part of a sustainable farming network.

Each Journeyperson, once selected, is matched with a mentor, who is then paid through the “Cultivating a New Crop of Farmers from Apprenticeship to Independence” grant (funded by NIFA through the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program) for their time and work. These arrangements are flexible and are shaped by the journeyperson and the mentor. Some farmer-mentors also offer access to land, equipment, and support so a journeyperson can farm independently.

Journeyperson Max Taylor (who is a JP along with Kerry Taylor)
samples Provider Farm's melons with his mentor Rob Schacht from
Hunts Brook Farm.
Additional resources available to journeypeople include free admission to CT NOFA events, and education and business stipends. All people who go through the Journeyperson program must enter an agreement describing goals and objectives for the program which will include completing full farm plans and business plans. Journeypeople are expected to attend regular mentor meetings, a number of CT NOFA workshops, and check in with CT NOFA employees about their progress. A grant from the USDA has enabled NOFA Chapters of New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Jersey join with the Main Organic Farming and Gardening Association in offering this program.

Apply online at https://nofa.wufoo.com/forms/m7p8m7/. For more information or a print application, please contact the Beginning Farmer Coordinator: Kristiane Huber at kristiane@ctnofa.org or 203-888-5146

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