Rogue Farm Corps Farmer Training Programs in Oregon – 2020
Internship Program graduates are ready for farm employment, Apprenticeship Program graduates are ready for farm management positions or starting a farm. Full-time participants live & train at a partner host farm which provides mentorship, room, board, and a monthly stipend. Hands-on field training at your host farm is augmented by a series of classes, farm tours, discussions, and networking organized by Rogue Farm Corps and partners. For detailed information on our host farms, programs, and applications visit https://roguefarmcorps.org/programs.
Rogue Farm Corps Internship & Apprenticeship Applications have been open since November and are due by March 1st but interviews and placements are rolling, so earlier applications have better chances to secure positions. Some positions are now filled, but many are still available.
TYPES OF AGRICULTURE
Rogue Farm Corps has internship and apprenticeship positions at various partner host farms in Oregon which employ sustainable agriculture methods. We work with some farms that focus mostly on animals (meat, dairy, eggs, etc), some farms that focus mostly on plants (vegetables, herbs, fruit, seeds, etc), and some that focus on both plants and animals. All of our participants will be exposed to various farm production systems and enterprises via RFC’s farm tour events.
COMMITMENT TO EQUITY AND INCLUSION
Rogue Farm Corps seeks to train an inclusive next generation of farmers and encourages applicants of all backgrounds and identities to apply. Rogue Farm Corps is committed to an ongoing learning process around privilege, power, inequality and systems of oppression. RFC has a goal of making our programs welcoming to, inclusive of, and accessible to communities who are under-represented as farm operators in Oregon, including women, Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+ individuals, low-income individuals and immigrants. Our desire to create a more equitable food system is reflected in RFC’s programs and collaborations.
More Program Details:
RFC’S ENTRY-LEVEL INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
Are you looking to start a career in sustainable agriculture? RFC’s Internship Program is a great launching point for beginning farmers and ranchers with little or no previous experience.
The Internship Program is an entry-level, immersive program that combine hands-on training and skills-based education in sustainable agriculture for a full season.
As an intern, you will live and train full-time on a host farm or ranch, participating in 840-1,400 hours (or 350-840 hours for Part-Time Internship positions) of on-farm training and learning in-depth skills from your mentor. Your on-farm training experience is combined with farm tours, classes, and discussion circles throughout the region, as well as opportunities for independent study. Interns are exposed to a vast array of knowledge and expertise by engaging in the daily life of vibrant, agricultural communities.
(SEASON AVERAGE: FULL-TIME INTERNSHIP=32-40 HOURS/WEEK, PART-TIME INTERNSHIP=14-24 hours/week)
The Internship is a hands-on learning experience. The vast majority of your time will be spent learning by doing. You will train alongside your mentor as well as independently to develop skills while accomplishing day to day tasks that support your host farm through the season.
Rogue Farm Corps works closely with farm mentors to create a skill-based curriculum that is unique to each host farm. RFC Chapter Coordinators will conduct on-site evaluations and skill assessments with interns and host farmers to ensure that education and training goals are being met.
EDUCATIONAL EVENTS: CLASSES, FARM TOURS, AND DISCUSSIONS (~3-5 TIMES PER MONTH)
To augment your training and learning at your host farm, you will join other beginning farmers in your local region for 15-20 classes and farm tours that teach foundational concepts and practical skills as well as provide insight into different production systems on other farms. You will also join 4-5 discussion circles throughout the season to connect with your local RFC participant peers. Classes, tours, and discussions are led by Rogue Farm Corps staff, agricultural professionals, and expert farmers in a variety of settings (mostly various local farm locations, but some are in classrooms). An example class schedule can be found here.
At the end of the program, each intern will make a short presentation to the rest of the local RFC cohort. The presentation can be about their experience over the course of the farming season, a particular focus from their experience, or an independent project they worked on.
PROGRAM DETAILS AND REQUIREMENTS
The Internship Program begins between March 15 and April 15 and concludes typically between October 15 and October 31 with exact start and end dates to be determined with the host farm. Typically the program lasts 6-8 months.
Room, board, and stipend packages vary from farm to farm. Full-time participants can expect safe, secure housing, farm-produced food plus some staples, and a monthly stipend (typically between $500-700). Part-time position room/board/stipend packages vary by position and host farm. Each host farm determines the details.
To successfully complete the program, you will complete 840 to 1,400 (part-time: 350-840) hours of on-farm training time, submit reflective journal entries, do an end-of-season presentation, and attend all classes, farm tours, and discussions, with no more than 3 absences (5 absences for part-time positions).
The Internship Program has a tuition fee of $1,750 for full-time positions and $1,150 for part-time positions. Upon accepting a placement offer at a Host Farm, interns pay a $250 non-refundable deposit to secure their placement. Remaining tuition is spread into three equal payments due on April 15, June 15, and August 15. RFC will work with individual participants to set up a payment plan if requested in writing.
Tuition helps to pay for the educational event series, program outreach, developing materials, facilitating orientations and evaluations, administrative costs, and general support from your Chapter Coordinator who is available for check-ins and support throughout the internship and beyond.
Please visit our website for the full program descriptions, student handbooks, and application.
RFC’S ADVANCED APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM
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 completed RFC’s Internship Program, a similar farm training program, or 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 classes, workshops, and in-depth farm tours with real working farmers, and learn in-depth skills from your mentor farmer.
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.
CLASSES AND SEMINARS
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.
At the end of the program, every apprentice will make a short presentation to the rest of the local RFC cohort. The presentation can focus on their season in general, a particular focus from their season, or an independent project they worked on.
Rogue Farm Corps staff will work with you to identify additional trainings and resources to support your development. As an alumni RFC staff will check in to see how they can support you in your future endeavors.
You will have the opportunity to meet and network with local farmers and agricultural professionals in the community you are working in. Rogue Farm Corps will organize farm tours and will host potluck discussion circles to bring together folks from across the farming community.
The Apprenticeship Program typically begins between February 15 and April 1 and concludes typically between November 1 and December 15, with exact start and end dates to be determined with the host farm.
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.
To successfully complete the program, apprentices complete 1,150 to 1,700 hours of on-farm training time, do an end-of-season presentation, and attend all classes, farm tours, and discussions, with no more than three absences.
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 tuition deposit to secure their placement. The remaining balance of $150 is due at On Farm Orientation. Information about scholarships is here.
Please visit our website for the full program & host site descriptions, student handbooks, and application.
Participating Host Farms
(‘I’ = internship host, ‘A’ = apprentice host)
View details on each host on our website (internship hosts, apprentice hosts)
1. Gales Meadow Farm – (I)
Veggies, herbs, starts, value-added products
Farmers’ Market, Restaurants, Wholesale
2. Diggin’ Roots Farm – (I)
Veggies, hay, lambs, pigs
CSA, Farmers’ Market, Restaurants
3. Quackenbush – (I)
Mixed veggies, lamb
CSA, farmers markets, on-farm stand
Rogue Valley Chapter:
1. By George Farm & Creamery (I)
Cow Dairy, Cheese, Beef, Chickens, Ducks, Sheep
Farmers’ Market, Farm Stand, Wholesale
2. Sun Spirit Farm (I)
Veggies, Eggs, Fruit, Herbs (for Pacific Botanicals)
Farmer’s Markets, Siskiyou CSA, Grocery Stores and Restaurants
3. Sweet Water Farm (I)
Veggies, flowers, hemp
Farmers market, on farm CSA
4. Runnymede Farm (I)
Goat dairy, cow dairy, chicken egg production, veggies, flowers, nursery (very diverse small farm)
5. Still Moon Farm (I)
Medicinal herbs, Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, tea, homestead veggie garden and orchard
Wholesale, cooperative growers group
6. Fry Family Farm (A)
Large scale mixed vegetable, value added, flowers, fruits, hemp
Wholesale, farm store, farmers markets
South Willamette Chapter
1. Organic Redneck (A)
Farmers’ Market, Wholesale, Restaurants, Farm Store, CSA
2. Deck Family Farm (A)
Pigs, broilers, beef, lamb, dairy cows, turkeys, laying hens, horses-
Farmers’ Market, Buying Club, Grocery Stores
Central Oregon Chapter
1. Rainshadow Organics (I,A)
Pigs, layers, broilers, turkeys, beef, grains, milking cow, veggies, herbs, berries, flowers, food preservation/cooking, agritourism events, hemp
Farmers’ Market, wholesale, CSA, farm store/restaurant
2. Seed to Table Farm (I)
Non-profit seed to school farm, classes led by intern
CSA, food banks, school wholesale accts, farmers markets
3. Mahonia Gardens (I)
Farmers markets, CSA, farm stand
4. DD Ranch (I)
Grass-fed meats, honey, eggs, hay
agritourism events (pumpkin patch, weddings, etc)
Farmer’s markets, CSA, wholesale, farm stand
To apply for this job please visit roguefarmcorps.org.