Apprenticeships available for aspiring organic farmers

Tyler Shelton of host farm Sand Springs Ranch near Lac la Biche, Alta. Photo:

Young Agrarians, a program of Organic Alberta, is growing the next generation of farmers through a new apprenticeship program in 2017.

The program is intended to help aspiring farmers gain skills and insight from experienced producers willing to share their knowledge and expertise.

Four host farms have been selected in central and northern Alberta. Core activities include caring for livestock, pasture management, farm direct marketing, and sustainable cereal and grain production.

“It is important that apprentices learn about the strong networks that exist in rural communities because this is really where the farming knowledge resides,” said program co-ordinator Melisa Zapisocky.

Apprenticeships typically last eight to 12 months and participants receive room and board along with a monthly stipend and a $750 honorarium for attending workshops or conferences or participating in other learning opportunities.

The application deadline for the program, which is modelled after one created in B.C., is Jan. 31 and apprenticeships start in April or May.

For more info, visit the Young Agrarians website. Organic Alberta was a founding partner in the Young Agrarians program last year. — Organic Alberta