A new train-the-trainer course, offered through the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension New Farmer Project, will help prepare agricultural educators, farmers and farm service providers with the knowledge and skills needed to teach farm mechanization strategies and tractor education to adults.
Ground Work includes five online sessions plus one full day of hands-on training at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction on May 21 or 22 (individual's choice). Online sessions will run from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on January 23, February 13, March 13, April 10 and May 29. Participants will also take part in three online sharing sessions in the 18 months after course completion.
The course will teach participants how to deliver information to beginning farmers, farm employees and apprentices on basic tractor use, operation and maintenance, and effective farm mechanization strategies. Instructors include John Hendrickson, University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems; Kristen Mullins, UVM Extension New Farmer Project; Sam Steel, Pennsylvania State University Department of Agriculture and Biological Engineering; Seth Wilner, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension; and Richard Wiswall, a Plainfield certified organic vegetable, herb and flower grower and author of The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook
December 20 is the deadline to apply or to request a disability-related accommodation. For the latter, or if needing more information, contact Kristen Mullins at 802-656-2034 or 800-571-0668 (toll-free in Vermont).
The online application can be found at http://tinyurl.com/tractor-ed
. Tuition is free, thanks to a Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development Program grant. Overnight accommodations, if needed to attend the in-person training, will also be provided at no cost.