Collaboration with Claire Strader, FairShare CSA coalition and Dane County Extension, Val Dantoin, Wisconsin Technical College System and WI Department of Workforce Development, Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards.
The Organic Vegetable Farm Manager Apprenticeship provides a structure that meets the needs of both experienced and aspiring farmers. This unique competency-based program provides comprehensive, hands-on training under approved Farmer Educators and paid employment for apprentices interested in taking on farm management positions.
Apprentices work side by side with experienced farmers in the field season and take structured courses through the WI Tech College System in the off-season. A comprehensive job book lays out on-the-job competencies that must be learned in the field. Three apprentice courses cover philosophy and concepts that are better learned in the classroom. It is estimated that the program will take two growing seasons. Apprentices may join a farm at any time, though they typically start in early spring. Farmer educators train apprentices in all aspects of organic vegetable production and provide insight and instruction on operating a farm business.