NOFA-NY Launches Online Apprenticeship Directory for Beginning Farmers

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Inc. (NOFA-NY) has launched an online directory to accompany its Farm Apprenticeship Program.  The Apprenticeship Program centers on the farmer-to-farmer education that happens between experienced farmer-teachers and novice farmers who are learning how to start and run a farm.  Thus, providing an accessible way to post and browse apprenticeship opportunities is an important milestone for the program.

Aspiring or novice farmers seeking to work while learning farm skills (including marketing and management techniques) apply to post a profile on the database.  These would-be apprentices describe work experience, training, education, goals and long-term plans, as they pertain to learning to farm. NOFA-NY member farmers who want to teach others to farm apply and post a profile that acts as a classified advertisement for a farm apprentice position. To ensure that this experience will be distinct from a traditional farm work position, applicant host farms provide an overview of the ways in which they will provide apprentices with a deeper knowledge of their farm’s practices and guiding principles through structured on-farm education. The directory allows the would-be apprentices and host farmers to match themselves with their best working situation.  When an apprentice applicant is accepted into the system, they are able to narrow down or filter choices based on a farm type, location or specific experience.  An established farmer, upon acceptance into the database, may seek out apprentices by filtering the database for apprentices with certain interests.

Participants in the Farm Apprenticeship Program benefit from being connected to the NOFA-NY support network.  Host farms receive resources and guidance about their training programs. Apprentices are notified of and encouraged to attend workshops and off-farm educational events, including NOFA-NY Beginning Farmer Workshops, a series of hands-on on-farm workshops that focus on skills necessary to starting a farm.  For more information, visit  The NOFA-NY Farm Apprenticeship Program is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant # 2010-49400-21847.

NOFA NY, Inc is an organization of farmers, gardeners, and consumers working together to create a sustainable regional food system which is ecologically sound and economically viable. Through demonstration and educational opportunities, we promote land stewardship, organic food production, and local marketing. NOFA NY brings consumers and farmers closer together to make high
quality food available to all people.

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