Category Archives: Work and Internships

Practicum Opportunities for Spring Semester

Sustainable Food and Farming students (and others in related fields) are invited to contact John Gerber during the add/drop period to discuss opportunities for internship/practicums or independent study work.  Two of the new opportunities available are:

1. Work with Grow Food Amherst to:

  • organize a gardening workshop in April
  • do an evaluation of the local community gardening program
  • organize a gleaning workshop for fall
  • organize a seed swap for the local community
  • explore and develop a grant to support the project

2. Work with the new All Things Local Cooperative Store project to:

  • develop and design logo, banner and other marketing materials
  • investigate the economics of a local food coop
  • develop a grant to help fund the start up
  • research policy, bylaw and procedural alternatives for management

Other internships for spring, summer and fall may be found at the Stockbridge Job/Internship web page.

 

Millenials Suit Up as Next-generation Farmers

With aging farmers retiring, a bumper crop of new workers is stepping up to tend the land and feed their souls.
December 28, 2012
 Millennials Suit Up as Next-Generation Farmers

America’s farmers are, on average, pushing 60, and after years of backbreaking labor, considering retirement. More often than not, their children aren’t taking over the family business.

That puts the future of countless acres of fertile, family-farmed land into question. Farm bureaus across the country are working to ensure the future of that land by helping a younger generation enter the agriculture profession.

Take, for instance, the Maine Farmland Trust, which works with Maine FarmLink to connect would-be young farmers with untended land. To date, the trust has completed 56 “links,” representing 4,987 acres in 12 of Maine’s 16 counties.

“Because the majority of Maine farmers are now of retirement age, getting new farmers onto the land is imperative,” says Maine FarmLink on their site. “Farmers who wish to retire do not have anyone to take over the farm. Likewise, many people who want to farm do not have the family or resources they need to get started.”

FarmLink is just one of many collaborative endeavors connecting next-generation farmers to the land and resources they need in order to help keep U.S. farms viable now and into the future. From farm apprenticeships to leases and full-out land purchases, younger farmers are working with and for agriculture veterans in their twilight years to continue tradition and preserve farming history.

Sometimes these stories are so good, they draw the attention of filmmakers.

When Christine Anthony and Owen Masterson moved to Atlanta from Los Angeles in 2005, they initially had a hard time finding farmers markets where they could buy farm-fresh food. But as they worked their way into the market community, they got to know a number of farmers, and were inspired to create a film called GROW!

The farmers featured in GROW! range in age from 23 to 38. Twelve are Georgia natives, and while most of the others are from the South, a few have migrated from Northern states. Most of the farmers are college educated and hold degrees in such varied subjects as accounting, chemistry, physics, English literature, photography, theology, horticulture, political science, business, history, education, BioSystems Engineering and computer science.

Not all who wander are lost; this is an interested, passionate, educated and very creative group of individuals.

Of the 12 farms, four are managed, two are on traditional family land, two are renting or leasing, three are borrowing land, and one farm is owned in partnership with one of the couple’s parents. All work on their farms full time and are able to make a living by farming.

“The ability to grow food is an art and a skill,” says GROW! filmmaker Owen Masterson. “Eating well is a choice. When you factor mono crop farm subsidies, antibiotic and pesticide overuse, environmental damage and health concerns into the equation, organic is not more expensive or elitist.”

“Sometimes at screenings there are the ‘doubters’ who ask, ‘But can this kind of agriculture feed the planet?’ What’s more important to think about is that these young farmers are feeding their communities by producing better, healthier food using practices that preserve the land without the use of synthetic, petro-chemical based fertilizers and pesticides,” Masterson adds.

Colin McCrate and Brad Halm of the Seattle Urban Farm Company are part of the urban farm movement. The two went in the opposite direction of their Georgia colleagues, moving to Seattle after working on large farms. In addition to recently releasing the book Food Grown Right, In Your Backyard, the two work designing, installing, and maintaining urban-food production systems in the Puget Sound Area.

Halm tells TakePart that he’s known a handful of people who started their first urban garden, fell in love with it, dropped everything and moved to the country to start a new farming career—all in the course of just a few years,

“This is obviously a big decision and usually means walking away from high-paying corporate jobs and changing school systems—in addition to buying flannel shirts and mud boots,” Halm says. “I remember one client in particular who started with a small raspberry patch and a single raised bed. Three years later she was farming four acres with vegetable crops, 150 fruit trees, a couple of sheep and a huge flock of chickens.”

He adds that urban farming is no different than country farming other than the amount of space one has to work with.

“The good news is that, to create a healthy, functioning food system we need a lot more urban farms and a lot of local, small rural farms. As perspectives about the food system continue to change, I hope that more people will have the motivation and opportunity to find their place in sustainable agriculture—wherever that may be,” Halm says of the growing organic farming movement.

For Masterson, shedding a light on these new, younger farmers has been as fulfilling for him as the audiences he is educating.

“Over and over we hear the refrain: Thank you for making this film. At festival screenings and Q+A’s we are happily surprised by the number of people that, after watching GROW!, want to know where they can find young, beginning farmers like those in the film for their unused land. For many it was as if someone turned on a light in a room they didn’t realize was dark.”

Original Post

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For anyone who wishes to study Sustainable Food and Farming, please consider our UMass Bachelor of Sciences degree or our 15 Credit Certificate Program.

 

Unique farm jobs in Amherst – 6 positions in 2013

Many Hands Farm Corps will be hiring 6 positions for the 2013 farming season.  Candidates should have a minimum of one season of farm experience – leadership experience is preferred but not required.

All leadership positions begin May 1st and end September 1st.  Each leader will partake in a month long training in May in preparation for  the arrival of interns n June.  The training is an Continue reading Unique farm jobs in Amherst – 6 positions in 2013

Forest Gardens for All Intern Opportunity – Northampton, MA

A small team of part time local folks have decided to use their various farm and gardening experiences, agricultural, education and social science degrees, and awareness of the needs of many people in our community to launch Forest Gardens for All.

FGFA is a new not for profit organization in Northampton Massachusetts. We aim to put the structures of Permaculture based food and medicine production in the hands of Continue reading Forest Gardens for All Intern Opportunity – Northampton, MA

Summer Farm Job in NH

Fred’s Farm — a Certified Organic farm in Alexandria, NH…

…. is seeking one more hard-working individual to join our team. Live on-site and help us revitalize 10 acres of hay field into a sustainable and productive organic farm. We have 3 acres of vegetables planned this season, and joint projects with a nearby diversified certified organic farm are already in the works and will be ongoing — including 4-season greenhouses, goat dairy/cheese making and laying hens.

The right applicant has a cheerful, enthusiastic personality and a superb work ethic. Farm experience is preferred but not required — students studying sustainable agriculture and persons with mechanical, outdoor and/or gardening experience are encouraged to apply.

Applicants should expect to lift up to 50 lbs. and be prepared to work in all types of New England weather. Creativity is encouraged, and opportunities to design and execute individual projects on the farm are endless. Housing and meals are included; salary is negotiable depending on abilities and experience. There is potential for long-term participation or partnership with the farm for the right person(s).

Please contact Sadie Jenkins at fredsorganics@gmail.com or (603)998-7656 for more information

Sadie Jenkins Head Vegetable Grower Fred’s Farm 31 Bailey Rd Alexandria, NH 03222 (603) 998-7656

Farm Internship in Amherst, MA

Deepening Roots Farm Internship

Deepening Roots is offering an unique opportunity to intern with a farm in its first year of production. Located in Amherst, Ma Deepening Roots Farm is offering multiple internship positions for the 2012 growing season.  We will be cultivating 3 acres of organic salad mixes, kale, swiss chard, spinach, herbs and other leafy greens for schools, restaurants and local grocery stores from May through Continue reading Farm Internship in Amherst, MA

More Sustaianble Food and Farming Job Opportunities

Assistant Farm manager (pursuing a Farm Career)

Yellow Stonehouse Farm is a 55 acre vegetable and Hay forage operation located on the Manhan River in North Westfield at the Southampton town line 16 miles from Northampton Center. We have a CSA and some retail markets servicing Hampden county.

Assistant Manager position works directly with owners, and some previous farm experience is required. Work week is 5 day schedule (days off are Wednesday and Continue reading More Sustaianble Food and Farming Job Opportunities