The upcoming 2019 growing season sees us continuing to provide opportunities for budding farmers. The turn-key garden lease opportunity to a qualified leaseholder (see a recent Post for more details) has been filled for 2019! Anne is returning for her third season with her two boys to offer the finest, nutrient-dense, locally grown organic vegetables.

But, we have two Pastured Poultry apprenticeship positions available. The two apprentices will work primarily with the pastured poultry (layer hens, broiler chickens and turkeys) alongside Barclay and Tony, guided by a new partnership we’ve now secured with the Quivira Coalition. As New Agrarian Program Mentors, we are following the principles outlined in the Quivira mentorship program, building on our apprenticeship program of the past 16 years. Together, we’re committed to regenerative agriculture and building resilience.

The 2019 apprentices will have the opportunity, if the interest, commitment and performance is there, to possibly develop a long-term relationship with Indian Ridge Farm’s pastured poultry operation. You can find out more about that in the apprenticeship selection process.

For more information about the Quivira Coalition and to apply for an apprenticeship, click here.

All in all, we’re excited about the possibilities for the upcoming growing season!┬áPlease see the “overview of apprenticeship” button for more details.

For the backstory, keep reading!

Over the years, we’ve noticed a dearth in real farm job opportunities for the very same young farmers that we’re training. We teach, “At the end of the summer, you’ll be able to grow food and raise animals either on your own farm, someone else’s farm, apply for another apprenticeship program, or take over the family farm business.” But the reality is that it’s a huge step from apprenticing for a season at a farm and then feeling the confidence, and having the skills and resources to actually start one’s own enterprise.

Of course, many of our apprentices have been able to do just that. They’ve gone on to eventually start their own farms or have taken over for their families. For that we’re so grateful and proud. That’s just what this country needs right now: more food grown on small family farms that sustain and nurture communities throughout the land. But we’re also aware that real job opportunities for budding farmers are not that plentiful.

It’s that apparent gap that got us to thinking a couple summers ago: “let’s create a job opportunity model right here at the farm that can complement everything else we’re doing, including maintaining a our apprenticeship program”. Why heck, we’ve had several full-time, seasonal farm employees in the past, and it worked out great. So, we know the model works. And we know there’s a demand out there for farm jobs. Sustaining economic vitality in our community through the production of local food has been our mission since day one.