Apprenticeship Program

On-farm agroforestry training

 

The Savanna Institute Apprenticeship Program provides experience and technical education for aspiring agroforestry farmers through on-farm training with a mentor farmer as well as community-building opportunities for farmers, apprentices, and those interested in agroforestry. In addition to on-farm mentoring, participants will have the opportunity to enroll in an online agroforestry course, monthly cohort calls, and workshops. 

In order to change the agricultural system in the Midwest, we need to train a new generation of agroforestry farmers.

Are you ready to be part of this transformation?

“This is the kind of program you can’t find anywhere else! I came all the way from Oregon for this.”

– Avery Pheil, apprentice, 2019 cohort

Call for 2021 Apprentices!

DEADLINE: Application review begins March 1 and will remain open until positions are filled, so apply ASAP if interested. We will be accepting 10 apprentices.

If you have questions about the program, reach out to Michele Manske, Savanna Institute Apprenticeship Program Manager, [email protected] 

apprentice working on a tree

Apprentice Information

Apprenticeship benefits

  • Learn what it takes to become the next generation of agroforestry farmers!
  • Network with agroforestry practitioners, researchers, and enthusiasts: Highlight and share your experience through an Instagram takeover if the SI account
  • Free attendance at the Savanna Institute’s 2021 Perennial Farm Gathering (hopefully in person!!)
  • Free enrollment into SI’s new online course and community of practice
three apprentices and a farmer sit on the porch of a white house

Program details

What you will learn: perennial crop establishment and/or harvest, farm planning and decision-making, equipment and crop maintenance, product marketing, farm finance, value-added processing, and more through on-farm work experience, ~40 hours of mentoring, and online education

Duration: 10 weeks part-time or full-time and flexible start and end date, depending on the farm. Some mentors are interested in hiring apprentices longer than 10 weeks– starting in late spring/ early summer through harvest in October/November. Schedules depend on the needs of the mentor farm and the availability of the apprentice. Flexible schedules can be arranged to a certain extent. If you have questions or needs regarding your schedule, please make sure to include them in your application.

Location: Midwest (Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana); Descriptions of participating mentor farms will be posted in January, and you choose the farms you are interested in apprenticing with on the SI apprentice application.

Pay: We strongly encourage our mentor farmers to pay at least $10/hour; however, wages vary per farm.

Room and Board: Providing room and board is not necessary but may be offered to apprentices by the host/mentor farmer.

Additional activities: Monthly cohort calls; on-farm reflection in the form of a blog post for SI; access to SI’s new online course content and activities.

Mentor Information

Mentoring benefits

  • Inspire the next generation of agroforestry farmers!
  • Small stipend: Up to 10 weeks to help compensate for time mentoring
  • Show off your farm: field day planning and promotion assistance 
  • Boost your farm’s profile: Do a social media (e.g., Instagram) takeover to boost your farm’s profile using SI’s wide network
  • Free attendance at the Savanna Institute’s 2021 Perennial Farm Gathering (hopefully in person!!)

Mentor farmer expectations 

Activities: Teach perennial crop establishment, management, and harvest; farm planning and decision-making; equipment maintenance; product marketing; farm/tree finance, and more.

Duration:10 weeks+, part-time or full-time; flexible start and end date, depending on your needs and the apprentice you hire.

Location: Midwest

Pay: We strongly encourage our mentor farmers to pay at least $10/hour. We aim to provide a small stipend to compensate for the time we expect mentors to train apprentices in-person (~40 hours total). Number of stipends are limited by 2021 grants, and are determined on an financial need basis then according to date of application.

Room and Board for apprentices: Providing room and board is not necessary but may be offered to apprentices by the host/mentor farmer. 

Mentor training includes:

  •  On-farm hiring
  •  Diversity and inclusion training
  •  Mentorship and communication essentials
  •  Participation in Quivira Mentorship training
three apprentices and a farmer sit on the porch of a white house

Instructions, Timeline, and FAQs

Mentor Application: Please fill out the application to be considered. Mentors will be finalized in early January and farm and position descriptions will be added to the apprenticeship website. Apprentices will apply for each farm they are interested in working for through the SI apprentice application. Apprentice applications will be minimally scrubbed and sent to all farms listed as preferences. 

Apprentice Application: Descriptions of participating mentor farms will be posted in January, and you will be able to indicate your farm preferences on your application.  Applications will open in mid-January, and will be posted here, so check back soon or contact Kristy ([email protected]) to be added to the interest list for information. Apprentice applications will be minimally scrubbed and sent to all farms listed as preferences. 

Interviews: Mentor farmers will interview their top choices and offer a position to their final selection; apprentices can decline this offer for any reason. Our goal is for a good mentor-apprentice fit! Interviews may happen as early as February, or may continue into the spring, depending on the farm and timing required.

 

Questions?

If you have questions about the program, reach out to Michele Manske, Savanna Institute Apprenticeship Program Manager, [email protected]