Farm Institute Training Program in California

farm institute training program

Sierra Harvest Farm Institute Training Program – Employment and Education in Nevada City, CA – 2018

Farm Institute Training Program Summary

Learn to farm! Hone your skills with Sierra Harvest Farm Institute by becoming a Farm Crew member! Apply now to join a cohort of early-career farmers working and learning on sustainable farms throughout Nevada County, California. Host-farm job opportunities vary from part-time to full-time. In addition to on-the-job training, Farm Crew members will meet every other week for advanced production skills classes taught in the field by local experts. Tuition fee for the Farm Institute training program and job placement is $1035 (payment plan).

After an initial screening, qualified applicants are passed on to host-farms for hiring for the 2018 season with start times determined by host-farms, January through May 2018. The screening of applicants closes on 3/30/17.

To learn more and apply, visit our website:

Responsibilities and Duties

Job responsibilities, hours and wages will be determined by individual host farms. Our host farms produce a diversity of crops including vegetables, fruit, flowers, eggs, milk and meat. Examples of the type of work you may be doing: growing starts in the greenhouse, prepping soil for planting, planting, weeding, irrigation, trellising, harvesting, post-harvest washing and packing, selling at market, making deliveries, animal care and all the other aspects of running a commercial farm. Early mornings and inclement weather to be expected. To learn more about our host farms, visit

Farm Institute Training Program Education

Farm Crew members are required to attend advanced production skills classes every other week from May to November. The proposed classes for the 2018 season are:

Transplants and Direct Seeding for Production Success

Plant Propagation and Green House Management

Natural and Organic Fertilization and Composting

Row Crop Irrigation, How to Take a Soil Test and Interpret the Results

Identifying Pests, Beneficial Insects and Management Options

Soil Tillage, Cultivation and Ecological Weed Management

Crop Planning, Successions, Seed Ordering

Wholesale Basics

Build Soils with Cover Crops

Permaculture for a Rich and Abundant Future

An Introduction to Biodynamics

Small Farm Mechanics and Maintenance

Crop Season Extension Ideas

Qualifications and Skills – Experience & Education:

Ideal candidates for Farm Crew are:

1) Serious about a career in sustainable farming and ranching

2) Prepared to commit to and work hard for a commercial farming operation for an entire season

3) Have spent at least one season farming

4) Ready and willing to build community with other Farm Crew members

5) Committed to independent learning.

Farm Institute Training Program Benefits

You will receive support from Sierra Harvest Farm Institute throughout the season in the form of assistance obtaining employment at a Nevada County host farm, creating a beginning of the season contract and two mid-season check ins with your host farmer with you, bi-weekly check ins with the Farm Crew Education Coordinator and available additional support whenever you need it.

You will become part of the Farm Crew team traveling to a different local farm every other week, experiencing the various types of farms and farmers in Nevada County and learning from the farmers themselves. You will be invited to attend many ag related social events, allowing you to meet many of the folks in the ag community. Nevada County is a growing, thriving, conscious place to work and live.

Benefits on the farm will be determined by your host farmer.


To learn more about other beginning farmer training programs, please visit

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