Farm Apprenticeships – Plowshares for Patriots, Kentucky

Plowshares for Patriots and Mount Folly Farm in Winchester Kentucky are offering residential apprenticeships for the 2014 growing season. The new program includes reading and group discussion; tours; rotations as a shadow and intern on working farms; and an opportunity to design-pitch-and-execute your own production projects on land made available through low-cost lease arrangements, with capital from a small micro-credit fund within Plowshares. The central site for the program is a commercial beef cattle and grain farm, but there are opportunities to learn from others including a mushroom cultivator with an extensive CSA, a vegetable producer, and a whole community of multi-generational Kentucky farmers who are facing a tricky transition out of tobacco farming-- an enterprise which paid well on small acreage for those with knowledge of the particular techniques for success. We are also putting together an agricultural producers group with other growers in the area to explore aggregating and cooperative marketing to secure and fill wholesale contracts. We believe that this work to improve the prospects for farmers in the middle-- too small for competitive commodity production but not necessarily interested in intensive direct marketing routes like farmers' markets and CSAs-- will be essential to creating a more sustainable food supply, particularly as impacts of climate change are felt more keenly. Please explore to get a better sense of our overall mission and our vision for the apprenticeship. For additional information about and to find out how to apply click "read more".

Expect to work outside and respond to the needs of the growing plants (water, soil amendment, timely cycles of planting, harvest, compost) and livestock (feed, water, movement, veterinary care, birth, death) with direction and cooperation from staff. Contribute your expertise to the development of our operation even as you learn from the experience we create. Expect to use intelligent observation to get along with new people. Expect to contribute to the process of designing an apprenticeship which works for you through ongoing dialog with staff and board members. Plowshares Programs Manager, Ben Pasley will be your direct supervisor and make sure that you are productively engaged and learning. Director Alice Melendez will work with you on your overall learning plan including planning for rotations on farms other than Mount Folly.

Room is free, but residents must contribute to the house food supply. Interns who stay beyond an initial 6-week discovery phase are eligible for revenue-sharing arrangements from Plowshares production projects and other sources. Don’t expect to make much money, but you will get valuable experience and should do better than break even. If you don’t have your own transportation, you will have the ability to hitch a ride to town to go to the library or the store, but obviously your mobility will be limited and you are out in the country.

Please contact to discuss in detail how this internship might fit with your educational and career development plans. Interested parties should send a description of their farming background, goals, and why they think this apprenticeship could help them reach their goals.

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