Our Farmer Apprentice Program
This time of year is full of excitement paired with a bit of unknown as we plan out our next season. You all know that feeling: what do we want to do and how are we going to get there? Right now though, we are feeling rather pleased with ourselves. The the crop plan is made, seeds are ordered, baby chick arrivals and the pig breeding season are penciled in. Now it is time to hire and cultivate the team that will make that plan a reality.
Rainshadow Organics is, at its core, a learning farm. (We talked about last month with the grant for nutrient development.) This core tenant of learning is especially true when we talk about our employees. Each summer we welcome a new crop of Farm Apprentices to Rainshadow Organics. Our goal with our Apprentice Program is to hire 6 folks each year who aspire to be farmers. This is a task of intention as we imagine living with and learning with and from our Apprentices for six months.
The Apprentice Program is so much more than just farm labor. Everything they do while employed here is a learning moment. We spend our first month in an intensive curriculum as each farmer is introduced to Rainshadow and its practices as well as the how and why we do everything. Instead of a “just go out and do this specific task” approach, we spend the month of May going in-depth into soil building and fertility and organic, regenerative practices. We learn the proper way to tend to plants and beds and harvest at the same time. We start learning how to preserve the fruits of our labor in the kitchen. Each task is a lesson and an accomplishment in one. Our goal, at the end of an Apprentice Farmer’s time here (be that one year or more, we love retention!), is for them to be that much closer to becoming a farmer on their own land giving back to their community.
Why? Why spend this time training new people every year? Because Rainshadow firmly believes that the future of eating is in farming. The strength of community is in the conscious decisions behind how it feeds itself. And a strong economy is in keeping money local and a hefty part of that is keeping your food system local. Our goal with our Apprentice Farmer Program is to help train new farmers so they too can build and support community.
The hiring period is open and we are hoping to have all the positions filled by February 1. Send this along to someone if you think they might be interested! You can find the job description and information on the hiring process HERE.