Get started in small-scale organic farming through MOFGA’s
Journeyperson Farm Training Program
HELP GETTING ESTABLISHED
Meet MOFGA's Current Journeypersons
MOFGA's Journeyperson Program provides hands-on support, training, and mentorship for people who are serious about pursuing careers in organic farming in Maine.
The program is designed to fill the continuing education gap between apprentice and independent farmer, and to provide the resources and opportunities for prospective new farmers who have completed an apprenticeship to further develop the skills they need to farm independently and successfully. The program is largely shaped by the farming interests and goals of individual participants, and is intended to enable aspiring new farmers to gain advanced farming experience, skill, and perspective in a relatively safe and supportive environment, buffered somewhat from the high risk of establishing a farm enterprise. Journeypeople also benefit from participating in a supportive network of like-minded, motivated people.
Components of the Program
MOFGA offers participants in the JP Program a 2-year package of support, including:
- Mentorship. As a MOFGA Journeyperson you will choose a mentor, who will be paid by MOFGA for their role as your mentor.
- Free access to MOFGA resources. This includes technical advice from our Agricultural Services staff, business planning help, free admission to MOFGA-sponsored events, workshops, and conferences, access to MOFGA's farmer network, and farm visits from MOFGA staff and advisors.
- An educational stipend of $500 per year, which can be spent on classes, workshops, or conferences related to farming, or books, videos, computer programs, etc that are educational in nature.
- Access to the Farm Beginnings whole-farm and business-planning curriculum
- Group discount with FEDCO and Organic Growers Supply
- Assistance and support for land access and tenure issues through partnerships with Maine Farmland Trust and Land For Good
- Access to the MOFGA Organic Farmers' Loan Fund
Expectations: MOFGA expects all people who go through the Journeyperson program to enter into an agreement with us describing their goals and objectives for the program; to complete full farm plans, including business plans; and to participate in a loose curriculum that includes regular mentor meetings and workshop attendance.
Qualifications: Prospective journeypersons should be able to demonstrate at least 1 year of farming experience; basic competence in a range of skills; a solid commitment; and reasonably clear and realistic plans for their future farming activities. Anyone considering applying for the program should feel free to get in touch with any of MOFGA's current JPs.
MOFGA reviews off-site Journeyperson applications twice a year, in Mid-November and late January/Early February. We notify successful applicants by early December or early March. Every 2 years we recruit for our Farmer-in-Residence position, with an application deadline in the fall. The next FIR cycle will begin with a fall 2013 application deadline, to start spring 2014.
Download a Journeyperson Program Application
Off-Site JPs: November 1, 2012 (for "early admission" candidates) and January 15, 2013
Farmer-in-Residence Program: October 15, 2013.
For more information, contact Andrew Marshall, MOFGA Educational Programs Director or call 207-568-4142
05-06 Journeyperson Brendan McQuillen planting squash with little visitors