Farm Apprenticeships: Keeping Farmers From Going Extinct

The world needs more skilled, small-scale farmers — and farm apprenticeships are one pathway into this essential and rewarding career.

Farm Apprentices Tend Caretaker Farms
Farm apprentices enjoy hands-on experience growing food at Caretaker Farms in Williamstown, Mass. While most farm apprenticeships are unpaid, Caretaker Farms provides a monthly living stipend.
Photo By Bridget Spann
Young Farmer Nights
Young Farmer Nights (YFN) are bi-weekly social and educational events where young and beginning farmers gather to share ideas, a meal and stories. Each event includes a farm tour, a potluck dinner and other host-inspired activities. In 2013, YFNs also include informational workshops. Learn more, join the email list or host an event, via email to
Photo By Sanne Kure-Jensen
Farm Apprentice Views Tractor Demo
Chuck Currie (left) of Freedom Food Farm in Johnston, R.I., explains tractor implement use to NOFA/RI Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) Workshop participant, Mark Laroche. Learn more at, email Chuck Currie at, call (978) 884-7102 or visit the farm by appointment at 396 Greenville Avenue, Johnston, RI.
Photo By Sanne Kure-Jensen
WWOOF Volunteers Dry Garlic
Volunteers through Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) learn to dry garlic on their host farm in Princeton, N.J.
Photo By Lydie Costes
Greenhouse Training For Farm Apprentices
Rich Pederson (far right), City Farm Steward, spoke with past farm apprentices at a NOFA/RI Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) Workshop. Each apprentice now runs a farm in Rhode Island. Pictured left to right: Kelli Roberts of Roots Farm, Diane Kushner of Arcadian Fields Farm and Kelli Miller of Scratch Farm.
Photo By Sanne Kure-Jensen
Farm Apprentice Milking A Cow
Farm apprentice Alex Nichols tries her hand at milking a Dutch Belted cow on the author’s farm in Washington Court House, Ohio.
Photo By Mary Lou Shaw
Farm Mentor Teaches His Apprentice
The author’s husband, Tom Shaw, teaches farm fashion sense and farm skills to apprentice Matt Weimerskirch.
Photo By Mary Lou Shaw

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