University of Illinois Small Farm Certificate Program

Contact information
Farm Address:
2711 S. Race St.
Urbana, Illinois , 61802

Primary Contact: Matthew Turino
Primary Phone:
    Number: 2177223316


Internship information
General Farm Description: The Certificate Program is located at the Sustainable Student Farm, a 6 acre vegetable farm at University of Illinois. We use not certified organic but use organic practices and use as low an input and impact system as we can. We produce food for the dining services on campus and for a weekly farmstand, an online store and a CSA on campus.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: May 6
Internship Ends: November 17
Number of Internship Available: 4
Application Deadline: March 31
Minimum Length of Stay: Full program

Internship Details:

About the Program

The U of I Small Farm Certification program is a six-month, hands-on program for young and beginning farmers that provides skills-based education in what is required to successfully run a small farm business. In this non-degree, in-person program, participants will engage with U of I Crop Science professionals, researchers, and farmers to dive deep into specialty crop production in the context of a curriculum focused on the issues that impact food producers and the food system at large. This certification program is housed at the University of Illinois’ Crop Sciences Department, providing participants the opportunity to interact with and learn from experts while also gaining valuable applied knowledge through an entire growing season at the Sustainable Student Farm. This certification program will prepare you to be a successful producer and advocate in the local food industry.

Top Learning Objectives

  • Develop the agricultural, business and marketing knoweldge to run a vegetable farm
  • Understand and apply concepts to make a farm more sustainable
  • Build a plan for your own small farm business

Program Format

  • Participants will be paid 20 hrs/wk for working on the farm in the mornings to learn all the hands on and physical skills necessary to run a vegetable farm.
  • We will do a weekly farm walk that we will use in combination with our planning documents to develop our weekly priorities
  • Participants will rotate through different management roles on the farm, including managing our farm stand, our CSA, our online store, our record keeping, outreach/marketing, food safety and later in the season Farm Lead.
  • We will have a weekly learning Module each week that will cover the different elements in caring for vegetable crops, soil, water and people while building an organizational structures to run a successful farm business. These modules will usually include a reading a lecture and an activity of some kind.
  • We will go on field trips to local farms and food organizations.
  • Participants will develop and implement the fall crop plan for the SSF.
  • Participants will develop a farm and business plan for a future/dream farm.

Educational Opportunities:

Skills Desired:


Stipend: there is a $3500 tuition

Housing: No

Preferred method of Contact: email