The Journey Farmer program was developed in 2011 to help farmers successfully bridge the gap from education and apprenticeships to viable commercial enterprises. To reach these goals, the program provides 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.
“Being a Journey Farmer has helped us access expertise from mentors and provided a readily available sounding-board for farming questions,” said Ansel Ploog of Fly Wheel Farm in Woodbury, Vermont. “During our ‘journeyship’ our farm has gone from a lean start-up to a business with specific production and financial goals and we have confidence that we can achieve them.”
The program is largely shaped by the farming interests and goals of the Journey Farmers themselves, 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. To date, 30 Journey Farmers have participated in the program. This year, three to five new Journey Farms will be selected to participate.
For more information, and application information, visit www.nofavt.org/beginning-farmer/journey-farmer. Applications and resumes are due by November 19, 2015. Couples and/or business partners should submit one joint application. If you have any questions, contact Rachel Fussell, Education Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.