Connecticut NOFA’s Journeyperson Program
The Journeyperson Program strives to provide serious beginning farmers with the opportunity to learn skills and techniques and gain experience they will need to succeed as farmers and business owners.
The CT NOFA Journeyperson program is based on the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s (MOFGA) program of the same name. A grant from the USDA has enabled NOFA Chapters of New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Jersey join with MOFGA in offering this program.
The Journeyperson program strives to support farmers in the education gap between apprentice and independent farmer and to provide resources and opportunities for prospective new farmers who have completed an apprenticeship to further develop skills they need to farm independently. The program is shaped by the farming interests and goals of individual participants. New farmers are able to gain advanced farming experience, skill and perspective in a supportive environment while also becoming part of a sustainable farming network.
Journeypeople, once selected, are matched with a mentor, who is then paid through the “Cultivating a New Crop of Farmers from Apprenticeship to Independence” grant for their time and work. These arrangements are flexible and are completely determined by the journeyperson and the mentor. Some farmer-mentors also offer access to land, equipment, and support so a journeyperson can farm independently.
Additional resources available to journeypeople include free admission to CT NOFA events, and an educational stipend of $500 a year. All people who go through the Journeyperson program must enter an agreement describing goals and objectives for the program which will include completing full farm plans and business plans. Journeypeople are expected to attend regular mentor meetings, a number of CT NOFA workshops, and check in with CT NOFA employees about their progress.
The 2013 Journeyperson Program is now accepting applications and the application can be found HERE. The application deadline is January 15, 2013.