Organic Dairy Farmer Training Program in Maine

organic dairy

Wolfe's Neck Farm Organic Dairy Farmer Training Program

Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport, Maine is accepting applications for its Organic Dairy Farmer Training Program.  This hands-on, residential program allows apprentices to learn all aspects of operation and management, preparing them to run their own organic dairy farm.  Trainees are provided with export support in training, business planning, securing financing, locating land, and continued guidance through first few years of independent production.   The two-year program is a National Apprenticeship under the Department of Labor, in partnership with the Wisconsin-based Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship.

Nationwide, milk production is in decline and the average age of dairy farmers in Maine is approaching 60.  Too few young people are entering organic dairy.  Meanwhile, the demand for organic milk is increasing at a dramatic rate, creating a nationwide shortage of organic milk. To address these challenges, Wolfe’s Neck Farm has launched a two-year residential Organic Dairy Farmer Training Program in partnership with Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship.  This program aims to increase the production of organic milk in the Northeast while fostering the next generation of organic dairy farmers.  It will achieve this goal by partnering with new, transitioning, and existing organic dairy farmers to improve their practices and ensure long-term sustainability and production in this region. This program is the first of its kind in the nation, and is being launched with a major grant from the Danone Ecosystem Fund and Stonyfield. The Wolfe’s Neck Farm dairy will be used as a platform for forage-based research, experimentation, demonstration, and training. We will feature and study innovative approaches for new farmers to reduce the initial capital investment, reduce financial risks and build a viable operation. The dairy is a pasture-based, low-grain operation that utilizes biological farming practices and carries an organic certification. Biological farming focuses on encouraging soil health in order to grow high quality, mineralized feed, which is the key aspect of supporting animal health and farm profitability. We’re accepting trainee applications on a rolling basis. More Information About the Program: Curriculum | Tuition & Wages | Faculty & Advisors | How to Apply

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