The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) is currently accepting applications for their 2015 Journey Farmer Program. The Journey Farmer Program is a two-year program for beginning farmers who are in the first few years of running their own farming enterprise in Vermont. The program is largely shaped by the farming interests and goals of the Journey Farmers, and enables aspiring new farmers to advance their farming skills and experiences, along with being a part of a learning community of other aspiring farmers and farmer mentors.

NOFA-VT’s Journey Farmer program began in 2011, and to date 23 Journey Farmers have participated. Three to five new Journey Farmers will be added to the program for 2015.

The Journey Farmer program was developed to help farmers successfully bridge the gap from education and apprenticeships to viable commercial enterprises. The program provides several offerings to help reach these goals, including farmer-to-farmer mentoring, free admission into NOFA-VT’s Summer Workshop Series and Winter Conference, business planning support, access to technical assistance, and an educational stipend.

Journey Farmers also become part of a supportive network made up of other beginning farmers and farmer mentors by participating in special gatherings, educational offerings and events. “My mentorship with another farmer has helped my farm become more sustainable financially, and has helped guide me through my farming years,” said past participant Nate Lewis of Moonlight Farm.

Applications and resumes are due by December 15, 2014. Couples and/or business partners should submit one joint application. If you have any questions regarding the program, criteria for selection, or the application please contact Rachel Fussell, Education Coordinator, at rachel@nofavt.org.