We are accepting applications for the 2019 season.
Interested in becoming an Organic Farmer? Apply now!
We are so happy you are interested in applying! To apply, please do the following:
- Answer the application questions listed below.
- Submit your answers, along with a resume and three professional references as documents via email to our executive director HERE.
Our review process includes a review of your submitted documents, a one-hour phone conversation and reference checks. We are accepting applications now, and decisions will be made on a rolling basis until the program is full. Apply early for your best chance! If accepted, students must submit a $1000, non-refundable deposit to reserve their spot in the program.
1. What are your personal and business goals? (This is the time to create your vision. How much income do you need from your farm business? How much acreage do you hope to farm? Is there a particular niche you are interested in filling, i.e. vegetables, medicinal herbs, agritourism, grains, etc? Do you want to own a farm? Manage a farm? Collaboratively operate a farm system?)
2. What do you hope to gain from this training program? (Are you looking for business planning skills? Plant science? Time management? Insight into scaling up? Mechanical skills? Marketing and Community Engagement acumen? Reduced tillage techniques? Other elements?)
3. Describe any experience you have had in farming, agriculture, and/or food systems. (Experience is not required to apply but if you have some, it's helpful to know what it is and how you want to build on it).
4. Describe your experience, if any, in team work situations. How do you integrate yourself in a work team? (Are you a leader or a follower? An introvert or extrovert? Do you need a fast pace, or do you prefer a methodical approach? What frustrates you in a team experience? Others who have worked with you on a team...how would they describe you?)
5. Are you interested in living cooperatively with other program participants? If so, please describe your previous experience, if any, in cooperative living situations. (What were the benefits and challenges of such arrangements? How would you facilitate living cooperatively? Working AND living with your peers is intense...how will you care for your personal needs for space and independence?)
6. This is a physical program requiring you work outside daily and be able to lift 40 lbs. Do you have any physical challenges for which you will need assistance? (Farming requires lifting. It also requires working outside no matter what the weather. 5-7 days a week, 8-10 hours a day. Are you up for this?)
7. This program includes a focus on sustainable and humane livestock production which includes the harvesting (slaughtering) of animals for human consumption. For those who are vegetarian/vegan, alternative tasks can be assigned on the day of harvest, but your participation in the care and management of animals is an important part of the program. Are you comfortable with this?
8. Will you be able to commit to 40+ hours/week from March 19th – November 16th? (Do you have a source of savings or income to pay the tuition and support yourself during the program? Please describe. Students will have limited time/energy to work outside of the OFS program, so having the financial resources you need is important. Also, while each student is allotted a week's time off the farm during the course of the program, this must be carefully scheduled out of fairness to the entire group, the staff, and the well-being of the farm operation.)
9. How did you hear about this program?
10. The OFS is a powerful, intense, integrated program designed to prepare new farmers for a solid career. We rely on students who are capable of:
- listening deeply and participating in a sense of community among peers,
- following instructions while simultaneously asking generative questions,
- showing up every day ready to engage as part of a vibrant and hardworking team,
- being accountable to their peers when it comes to pace, accuracy, and outcomes,
- driving on the farm as well as for produce delivery.
Are you ready for the challenge? Can you perform as described above as an accountable team member? If so, we really hope to hear from you!