Based on The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s successful journey person program, this program offers accepted, newly independent farmers mentor-matching, technical assistance, educational stipends and small capital improvement grants. Designed to fill the education gap between being an apprentice and an independent farmer, this program provides the resources and opportunities for new farmers to develop their skills already established in farm-training programs and/or apprenticeships. This program is individualized and meant to be shaped by the interests and goals of each participant.
We are now accepting application for the 2020 Growing Season! All applications and materials are due by October 15, 2019. APPLY HERE
About the 2020 Journey Person Program
The Journey person program strives to support land stewards in the education gap between apprentice and independent business owner and to provide resources and opportunities for prospective new farmers/land care professionals who have completed an apprenticeship to further develop skills they need to operate independently. The program is shaped by the interests and goals of individual participants. New land stewards are able to gain advanced experience, skills and perspective in a supportive environment while also becoming part of a sustainable professional network.
Each Journey person, once selected, is matched with a mentor. These arrangements are flexible and are shaped collaboratively by the journey person and the mentor. Some mentors also offer access to land, equipment, and support so a journey person can operate independently.
Additional resources/requirements for journey people include:
attendance at an Organic Land Care accreditation course (full scholarship included)
educational/capital stipends up to $2,000
attendance at 2 NOFA Winter Conferences – CT and one other (full scholarship included)
if applicable, organic certification assistance (4 hours of consulting with a USDA inspector)
completing a full business plan
attending regular mentor meetings
check-ins with CT NOFA staff about progress
Timeline for the 2020 Journey Person Program:
Sept 13, 2019: Application open
October 15, 2019: Application closed
October 25, 2019: Decisions published
November 11-15, 2019: OLC Course Attendance
March 7, 2020: CT Winter Conference Attendance
Spring 2020: Entrance interview and mentorship pairing