Contact informationFarm Address:
PO Box 533
Ashland, Oregon , 97520
Primary Contact: Matt Gordon
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MARCH 15, 2020! Are you ready to level up your farming skills? RFC's Apprenticeship Program is the perfect next step to kick start start your farming career by learning the skills needed to manage and run a diversified farming operation, and deepen your understanding of ecological and sustainable agricultural practices. The Apprenticeship Program is an advanced on-farm learning experience, combining hands-on training and skills-based education for those ready to dive in to the art and business of sustainable agriculture. This full-immersion program is designed for those who have at least one full season (or equivalent) of farming experience already. It is for people who have a foundation of farm knowledge and skills but are looking to deepen their managerial experience with the goal of managing, owning, or operating a farm enterprise in the future. You will live and train full-time on one of RFC’s partner Host Farms, participate in a series of weekend workshops including in-depth farm tours with real working farmers, and learn in-depth skills from your mentor farmer. Partner host farms at this time include: Rogue Valley - Fry Family Farm (mixed veggies), Chickadee Farm (NEW!, organic seed producer) South Willamette - Deck Family Farm (mixed livestock, pasture-raised), Organic Redneck (mixed veggies, fruits) APPLICATION PROCESS After you’ve read through the Student Apprentice Handbook, click on the apply link at the top of the page to be sent to our application form. The application period is rolling with a March 15, 2020 deadline. Apply early, as positions do fill during the application period. Once we receive your application, Rogue Farm Corps staff will set up a 15-20 minute intake phone call with you. Once the intake is complete, RFC will pass your application along to our network of hosts. Host Farmers will review applicants on a rolling basis and set up interviews with candidates they are interested in. You may contact Rogue Farm Corps’ Education Director or Chapter Coordinators to discuss the status of your application at any time. The interview process occurs between applicants and Host Farmers and is a chance for both parties to get to know each other and see if it might be a good fit. Host Farmers will offer placements on their farms to applicants they are interested in, at which point applicants can choose to accept or decline a placement offer. We recommend giving prompt responses, including a declined offer, to Host Farmers that reach out to you as they are often reviewing several applicants at once. Once a placement has been accepted RFC will confirm the agreement, and facilitate the on-farm arrival and program orientation process.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: typically 3/1 to 4/1
Internship Ends: typically 10/31 to 12/15
Number of Internship Available: 8
Application Deadline: 3/1/20
Minimum Length of Stay: 7-8 months
ON-FARM TRAINING AND HANDS-ON LEARNING (SEASON AVERAGE: 32-40 HOURS/WEEK)
The majority of the program will be focused on learning by doing through hands-on participation in the day to day operations of your host farm through the season.
Over time, you will be expected to take on more responsibility in an area or two at your host farm. Depending on the host site, these areas could include helping to manage people or processes, food processing, tractor operation, conducting field walks and observation, record keeping, product deliveries, marketing, irrigation, and general farm maintenance.
RFC works closely with farm mentors to create a skill-based curriculum for each host farm. Chapter Coordinators will conduct on-site evaluations and skill assessments with apprentices and host farmers twice during the season to ensure that education and training goals are being met.
Educational Opportunities: CLASSES AND FARM TOURS In addition to the hands-on training at their Host Farm, participants will attend a series of 4 weekend intensives facilitated by RFC in partnership with expert farmers and agricultural service providers such as Oregon State University Extension's Small Farms Program. Weekend intensives include farm tours, focused classes, and time for peer-to-peer networking. The curriculum focuses on farm business planning and management. The weekend intensives rotate among chapter locations so that apprentices have an opportunity to host each other and experience other growing regions around the state. Apprentices will also attend 4-6 classes / farm tours / discussions integrated with the RFC Internship series. Opportunities for additional local classes and farm tours may arise depending on participants’ interests and organizational partners. END-OF-SEASON PRESENTATIONS Every participant will give an end-of-season presentation and submit a short report. This can be a summary of their experience, focus on a few aspects of their season, or be about a specific project that they undertook. If the participant desires an independent project, they choose either a research project or from a list of projects prioritized by their host site. ALUMNI SUPPORT Rogue Farm Corps staff will support program graduates with regular check-ins after graduation in order to help connect graduates with resources, create and update goals, and generally further graduates’ objectives as they continue along their farming trajectory. PEER-TO-PEER NETWORKING Through the weekend intensive and other classes and tours, participants will have the opportunity to meet and network with farmers, agricultural professionals, and other beginning/aspiring farmers and ranchers. PROGRAM DETAILS Apprenticeship participants will complete 1,150-1,700 hours of on-farm training at their host site over the course of ~8-10 months. Room, board, and stipend packages vary from farm to farm, and will be discussed with Host Farmers during the placement process. Apprentices can expect safe, clean housing, farm produced food and some staples, and a monthly educational stipend in the range of $700-1000/month. In some cases apprentices are hired as employees and paid an hourly wage. In these cases, food & housing may not be included. TUITION The Apprenticeship Program tuition fee is $400 annually. Tuition helps RFC offset the cost of the class & farm tour series. Upon accepting a placement offer on a Host Farm, apprentices pay a $250 non-refundable deposit to secure their placement. The remaining balance of $150 is due at On Farm Orientation. Information about scholarships is here.
Skills Desired: Prerequisite is at least one full season of farm experience (or equivalent), and desire to continue to pursue farming as a career.
Meals: Host farms typically provide basic staples plus farm-produced food. Details of the room, board, stipend package may be discussed with individual host farms during interviews.
Stipend: Yes. Our host farms typically provide $700-1000/month to their RFC apprentices
Housing: Generally yes - on-site at the host farm.
Preferred method of Contact: email / website