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

Spring/Summer/Fall 2020:

  • Mentor meetings
  • NOFA check-ins
  • Stipend disbusements

November 1, 2020:

  • Full business plan submitted
  • Exit interview

Previous Journey People from 2012-2016:

2015-2016 Journey people:

Ben Harris
Root Down Farm, Coventry
Josiah Venter (right)
Gentle Giant Farm, Bethany
Roger & Isabelle Phillips
Sub Edge Farm, Farmington

2014-2015 Journey people 2012-2014 Journey people