Category Archives: Work and Internships

Volunteering for the Amherst Summer Farmers’ Market


The following is a description of UMass Sustainable Food and Farming graduate Sam Bavelock’s experience working at the Amherst Farmers’ Market.  Great story…..

cowOver the summer in 2016, I had the opportunity to volunteer for the Summer Farmers’ Market here in Amherst, MA!  I had been helping out with the Winter Market and wanted to continue to help throughout the summer and fall seasons.  I was eager to be outside, note the differences between the two markets, as well as engage with community members, farmers, homesteaders, artists, bakers, and more, in the discussion about food. Continue reading Volunteering for the Amherst Summer Farmers’ Market

Student Forest Garden Manager Job

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The Stockbridge School of Agriculture is seeking applications for a Student Forest Garden Manager to manage all aspects of the Forest Garden at the UMass Agricultural Learning Center (ALC) this season. The Forest Garden is a 2 year old 1/4 acre garden located at the ALC with the following goals and objectives.

  • A permaculture demonstration garden and an aesthetically-pleasing leisure place for the university and
  • A site for active and hands-on learning by students and community members where workshops and classes are held.
  • The Food Forest produces an abundance of food and medicinals for the community and to be donated to those in need.
  • The Food Forest is a place of opportunity where students, faculty, and other individuals make a connection to where food comes from and begins to understand a new type of agriculture which works with natural systems.

Responsibilities include:

  • Pre-season, 3-5hrs/week (Late April): Assisting with irrigation planning and ram pump irrigation workshop. Working with other land managers either with the UMass Student Farm or Food For All garden to market or donate food from the food
  • Summer Season, 15 hrs/week (May-Sept)- Establish irrigation system, mulching and weeding existing beds, sheet mulching existing plantings, establish understory plantings, labeling,
  • Fall Season, 3-5 hrs/week (Sept-late Oct/early Nov) hosting UMass permaculture classes for workdays, harvest & deliver fall crops, prepare garden for winter

Compensation for is $12/hr.

Required Qualifications:

  • Current UMass Sustainable Food & Farming student with at least 1 of the following completed courses permaculture course (Intro to Permaculture or Permaculture Design and Practice)
  • Experience with establishing and caring for perennial food systems either with UMass Permaculture Initiative or other small farm or landscaping experience
  • Excellent leadership and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently in the field
  • Commit to 15 hours/week

Desired Qualifications

  • PDC Certificate holder
  • Prior coordinating or leadership position with UMass Permaculture Initiative or equivalent.

To Apply: Send Lisa DePiano a copy of your resume with 2 professional or academic references and a paragraph describing your interest & qualifications at: by Friday March 31 st 2017.


Veteran Farm Training

Jake Alexander welcomes Chip Pinder as the new farm manager for Vets and Veggies!

We want to congratulate one of our recent Stockbridge alums, Chip Pinder, who is the new farm manager at Vets and Veggies in Athol, MA.  Chip completed the Bachelor of Sciences degree program in Sustainable Food and Farming in the UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture just last month.

We hope you will help support this new community building and training operation for Veterans at their GoFundMe link.


Vets and Veggies offers housing to veterans that are interested in learning how to become a sustainable farmer. Through a small scale sustainable farming operation veterans will be guided through the process of planning crops, planting, integrated pest management, and proper harvesting techniques. Veterans will work together and create a local food systems for the residents in the community.

Here are a few resources that may be of use to Veterans interested in farming:

The Stockbridge School of Agriculture welcomes Veterans to join our Bachelor of Sciences degree program in Sustainable Food and Farming.  For those Vets who are not able to join us in Amherst, MA, you may be interested in either our 15-credit online Certificate Program or our online 60-credit Associate of Sciences degree.

Jobs Listings Related to Sustainable Food Systems


I have a list of list serves along with a bit of advice on finding good work here:

In addition, here are more resources compiled by the C0rnucopia Institute.

Ag & Food LLM program at the University of Arkansas  To announce an opening, email Sara Hiatt  at

Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems and other programs or email a job description to Shelly Parker at Career Services,


Women, Food, and Agriculture Network (WFAN),


Good Food Jobs


Southern SAWG


The Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network Write Clara Duff, Development Associate, WSFFN,, to subscribe to their listserv.


International Association of Culinary Professionals. Email to share opportunity with membership. Check out our newly launched website here:


Sustainable Agriculture Listings (National)

ATTRA Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships List: This directory of on-the-job learning opportunities in sustainable and organic agriculture has been published since 1989 as a tool to help farmers and apprentices connect with each other. It is available for farms in the U.S and its territories (there are a few in Canada and the Caribbean as well). Anyone can browse the listings for free. As a subscriber, you can maintain a personalized listing to connect with internship seekers. The listed farms are primarily seeking interns/apprentices from North America has a “Sustainable Living and Farm Jobs Page” that lists employment, internship and volunteer opportunities throughout the country.

The Farm-Based Education Network lists food and farm jobs “is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.”

Local Harvest, though not a job search site, lists many small, local farms. If you’re looking for an internship, apprenticeship, or job in a particular area, you might want to look up farms this way and contact a farm of interest directly.

Orion Magazine lists jobs related to the environment, including some farming and agriculture-related jobs.

Sustainable Agriculture Jobs, Internships, and Apprenticeships is a facebook group formed to create an outlet for some of the sustainable agriculture-related opportunities frequently posted on the Tuft’s COMFOOD listserv. Includes

WWOOF-USA lists opportunities for “Visitors, or ‘WWOOFers.’” They “spend about half a day on a host farm, learn about the organic movement and sustainable agriculture, and receive room and board – with no money exchanged between hosts and WWOOFers. WWOOF is an educational and cultural exchange program. WWOOFing is a way to learn practical farming skills, be part of the organic agriculture movement, and experience the heart of American agrarian culture.”

Stewards of Irreplaceable Lands (SOIL) is “Canada’s Sustainable Farm Apprenticeship Program.

Sustainable Agriculture Listings (Regional/Local)

North East Workers On Organic Farms (NEWOOF) is a regional farm apprenticeship placement service sponsored by the New England Small Farm Institute. NEWOOF annually publishes an annotated list of farms, primarily in the northeast, seeking apprentices.

Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) lists jobs on organic farms throughout the Northeastern U.S.; NOFA NY also has an Online Apprenticeship Directory

Cornell Cooperative Extension County Association Positions – lists jobs available through the Cooperative Extension Association by County.

Cornell University Jobs – Lists jobs available through Cornell University.

General Agriculture Listings is a good source for finding employment in a range of agricultural fields. is a new website that posts jobs and internships for aspiring agriculture professionals.

Agriculture Jobs allows you to search job boards, company career pages and associations for USA Agriculture jobs.

Agri-Management Group lists jobs submitted by employers; jobs are searchable

AgriSeek combines a worldwide news service with an interactive business directory and international online job market focusing on agriculture and related fields.

AgriSupport Online helps people looking for careers in agriculture. has an agriculture job listing section. lists free applications and jobs for some of the nation’s largest farm and heavy equipment companies.

Learn4Good lists agriculture jobs in the USA and internationally. lists agriculture jobs. has information on seasonal jobs picking fruit and vegetables in the USA and internationally

The Science Societies Career Center lists jobs, and links to the American Society of AgronomyCrop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America webpages.

United States Department of Agriculture posts government jobs in agriculture.

International Job Listings and Opportunities has a listing of international agriculture jobs

BASF often has many international jobs listed.

CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) “is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future.” Job vacancies are listed on their website. lists jobs in international development related to agriculture. lists agriculture jobs overseas. lists international agriculture jobs.

JuJu’s job search engine can help you find international agriculture jobs. lists international agriculture jobs by location.

Transitions Abroad lists various organizations that provide opportunities or facilitate doing farmwork abroad. Some of the sites listed on Transitions Abroad may already be listed in our international listings.

USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service “links U.S. agriculture to the world to enhance export opportunities and global food security.

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) provides opportunities to work on farms worldwide.

Ecological Farming Association lists posted jobs in agricultural and related fields



Young farmers wanted as generation ages

 By Caitlin Andrews  –  June 05. 2016
Phil and Becky Brand hold their 4-month old son Tom at their farmstand at Brandmoore Farm in Rollinsford. Photo by John Huff/Fosters.comr a caption


When you picture a New England farm, it might look something like McKenzie’s Farm.

Owners Jock and Annie McKenzie purchased the original 5.5 acres of land in Milton in 1987. Half the land was riddled with rocks and brush, and took two years to become plantable and yield a crop.

Now, the main farm is 80 acres, with another 20 acres being leased in Milton Mills. McKenzie’s has survived many calamities, from struggling to get off the ground and turn a profit, to losing an entire crop of strawberries to black vine weevil in 1999, to dealing with the constant threat of marauding deer and porcupines.

Sometime in the future, McKenzie’s will face another farming challenge: changing hands to a new owner. Luckily for Jock, 70, and Annie, 66, their oldest son, Brett McKenzie, 31, is Continue reading Young farmers wanted as generation ages

Lets talk about jobs in sustainability

The University of Massachusetts recently announced a collaboration among three academic departments, establishing the new UMass Amherst School of Earth and Sustainability.  While many students are attracted to the concept of sustainability, some wonder about opportunities for employment after graduation.  Here are a few thoughts on “jobs in sustainability” addressed to those students who have chosen to major in Sustainable Food and Farming, one of the 10 undergraduate majors offered by the new School.

Sustainable Food and Farming Jobs

Sustainable Food and Farming students are offered guidance throughout their time in college to seek and find their calling (career).   When students in this major take Junior Writing for example, they explore the concept of Good Work, which according to economist E.F. Schumacher should...

  1. Provide us with a decent living (food, clothing, housing)
  2. Enable us to perfect their natural gifts & abilities
  3. Allow us to serve other people to free us from our egocentricity
While students are often inspired by these powerful ideas, parents want to know about JOBS! 

So we list resources that provide students with access to internships and jobs on our Stockbridge School of Agriculture web page.  We also provide examples of the diverse nature of employment opportunities after graduation by listing the early career paths chosen by our recent graduates.  And we know that about 30% of the farmers in New England will retire in the next 10 years and 90% of them have no young person farming alongside them to take over the farm.  Trends analyses suggest sustainable food and farming is one of the hottest growing professions in America.

bfnOf course, entry to this profession is a challenge.  Access to land, finance and competition from industrial farming that exploits the land and people make more sustainable ways of growing and marketing food difficult.  But there is help.  The Massachusetts Beginning Farmer Network for example, is one of the local organizations that have emerged over the past few years to help young people navigate this rapidly changing situation.

Looking Ahead with Alan AtKisson

Our students know that we are living in a time of rapid transformation, not only for the New England food system, but for every biological and technological system on the planet.

According to futurist and sustainability pioneer, Alan AtKisson, who wrote in Sustainability is Dead – Long Live Sustainability

“people dedicated to promoting sustainability ideas and innovations—are needed in every field, in ever increasing numbers. 

“We need, especially:


“The artists, to help us feel the gravity of our predicament, to facilitate our envisioning a more beautiful way of life, and to inspire us to strive for better things;

“The scientists and engineers, to find solutions, inventions, new ideas that can rapidly transform our way of life;sustainable-business

“The designers, to redesign virtually everything, and to fuse beauty and functionality in a transformed world;

“The business people, to reimagine and redirect the flows of money and investment and talent in ways that can recreate the world while enhanc- ing global prosperity;

503_400_occupy_painting“The activists, to call attention to those issues about which societies at large are in denial or unable to act because of systemic or hegemonic forces;

“The average citizens, so-called, to reimagine themselves as global citi- zens, to enthusiastically support change efforts, and to dare to reach for their own aspirations for a better world;

“The professionals, so-called, such as those in health care or the law or international development, to change the standards of practice in their profession and to lend their considerable weight to a general movement for change;

“The politicians, to motivate us with inspiring rhetoric, to frame new policies that encourage transformation, and to tear down obstacles to innovation and transformation;

“The educators, to prepare current and future generations for a great responsibility: directing human development toward sustainability, and beyond.susteduc

“If a critical mass of people in all walks of life seriously take the charge to make transformation happen and if they are supported with widespread communication networks, resources, and incentives, then transformation will happen, and sustainability will become an attainable dream.

“And transformation will enrich us, not impoverish us. It will enrich us spiritually, socially, and economically. We will know our purpose more profoundly, live together more compassionately, and develop wealth more equitably. There is so much work to be done that there will be jobs for all the generations of life to come after us.”               Note: the long quote above is from “Sustainability is Dead.

Sustainability Education in Food and Farming

Those of us who teach in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture are inspired by the words of Alan AtKisson and are working to help students learn how to navigate in this rapidly changing world.  We have created new classes such as Agricultural Leadership and Community Education and Tools for Life, and we encourage students to gain real-world experience through internships and apprenticeships.

The Sustainable Food and Farming major at UMass helps prepare a student for both life and livelihood. 

Many of us believe that the work of our new School of Earth and Sustainability is to create an educational environment in which students may acquire information, knowledge, and wisdom.  In addition to gaining basic skills and subject matter knowledge, students must be guided to clarify their core values, and to examine their behavior in the context of these values.  In this process students  are challenged to discover their place as citizens of the world, by constructing a sense of self beyond the individual-self to include the family-self, community-self, and global-self.

sfebannerThis approach seems to have made the Sustainable Food and Farming major attractive to many students who search to find meaning in their lives, their studies, and their intended careers.  In fact, this major has grown from just 5 students to over 150 in the past 10 years.

The Sustainable Food and Farming major provides students with the opportunity to build their own major, guided by experienced faculty who help them make choices among a diverse array of course offerings.  In addition to the traditional career path of food production and marketing, students may explore the rapidly growing interest areas of food and land policy, as well as community-based agricultural education, permaculture, urban agriculture, and much more. CurriculumColor

The Stockbridge School of Agriculture is pleased to be one of the three founding departments in the new College of Earth and Sustainability, as well as an integral part of the history of UMass dating back 150 years to Mass Aggie.  The story of the remarkable growth of the Sustainable Food and Farming major and the opportunities available to students today may be found on our blog page.

Its surely a good time to be a Stockie!



If you want to learn more about the major, check us out here: SFF Major at UMass.  Or check out our ONLINE classes in Sustainable Food and Farming which will allow you to earn a Certificate or Associate of Sciences degree fully online.


Agriculture is fertile ground for high-skilled positions

Adapted from Special to  on March 06, 2016 at 5:00 AM
farm jobs.jpg
Young people interested in agriculture are likely to find a surplus of job opportunities in the coming years.

High school students interested in pursuing a career in agriculture will likely find job opportunities are ripe for the picking in the coming years.

According to a report from Purdue University, the U.S. will have nearly 58,000 high-skilled job openings per year in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environmental fields between now and 2020. That compares to only about 35,000 U.S. students graduating with degrees in those fields per year for the same time.

One factor driving the demand for skilled workers is the diverse mix of challenges facing farmers. By 2050, U.S. farmers are expected to help increase global food production by 70 percent to feed a world population of 9 billion people. In the near term, farmers must also contend with lower commodity prices, cope with severe weather and labor shortages, and combat greater weed resistance and crop diseas

Click to learn how many career changing adults are getting their start online!

A new generation of skilled professionals is needed to help take farmers to 2050 and beyond. This includes not only the farm operators who will be expected to apply more sophisticated farming technologies and practices in the field, but the researchers, scientists and engineers who will shape the future of agriculture through research and innovations.

Another factor contributing to the robust job market is an aging workforce. According to a report from the STEM Food & Ag Council, nearly a quarter of industry professionals in advanced agriculture fields such as plant and soil science, food science and technology, and agricultural economics are age 55 or older. Meanwhile, more than 60 percent of principal farm operators are now age 55 or older, reports the USDA Census of Agriculture.

An influx of young talent will be needed in the next several years to replace these workers both in the field and in the lab.  For help finding good work or internships, see:

So what can young people who are interested in agriculture do to prepare for an eventual career in the industry?

Find the Right Program: Students should be diligent in evaluating agriculture programs against their personal and career interests. This means seeking out schools that not only offer the right degrees, but also provide internship, student-involvement and research opportunities in areas relevant to them.

The Sustainable Food and Farming major at UMass Amherst offers flexibility, hands-on courses, and opportunities for internships and to study abroad.

Get Support: The number of scholarships available to students from different organizations can be overwhelming. Agriculture-focused scholarships can be a good place to start, especially as companies seek to support more young people joining the industry.

“The agricultural industry can sustain success by investing in the future,” said Paul Rea, senior vice president, Agriculture Solutions, North America, BASF. “We are pleased to provide scholarships to bright, agriculture-passionate individuals to support their education and assure the sustainability of the industry in the years to come.”

For more, go to: Food and Farming Scholarships

These scholarships are available to college-bound children of the association farmer members. For more information, interested students should visit and

The future of food security hinges on tomorrow’s agriculture workforce. Helping today’s students find their calling in the industry can improve the likelihood that key positions are filled — and ensure that a growing world is fed.

Original Post

Editors Note – the demand for high quality and progressive education in sustainable food and farming is evidenced by enrollment trends in the UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture enrollment trends. See below.


Career Support Services at UMass


Here are some resources that might be useful….. and more are here:

Resume Reviews by Real Recruiters – Feb 17th from 1-4pm

Recruiters from various companies will conduct reviews and provide advice on your resume while you wait. Companies such as State Street, Liberty Mutual, Target, IBM, US Fish & Wildlife. You don’t need to be interested in employment at these companies, but gain from their valuable expertise.

Start-Up Nation Innovation Technology Fair for all Majors
Feb 17, 4:00pm – 7:00pm, Campus Center Auditorium
The Innovation Fair is to introduce UMass students to the current entrepreneurial climate and to be competitive. The fair will include an Exposition floor with early stage tech Continue reading Career Support Services at UMass

Young, idealistic farmers help keep agricultural land in production

Young farmers like Mulvihill are bright green shoots in a field full of old growth. Farmers, on average, are getting older, and millennials eager to get their fingernails dirty on sustainable farms are welcome.

“You’re not going into farming when you’re a young person now if you’re not idealistic,” Mulvihill said from the bed of a pickup she had loaded with hay. “It’s definitely an uphill battle.”

The average age of U.S. farmers has been climbing for decades and is now 58. A large concern is that the number of farmers past typical retirement age is growing faster than those under age 35, meaning the pipeline could be emptying faster than it’s filling up.

Organic farmers tend to be younger— 53 years old in the latest agricultural census. There is no hard count on the number of young farmers coming into the field who are either certified organic by the government or simply follow sustainable practices, like Mulvihill.

But there is broad anecdotal evidence that young farmers with an interest in growing healthy, local food are helping keep farmland in production.

“They tend to be very interested in local, they tend to be very interested in organic as the future path they want to travel on,” said Kathleen Merrigan, who traveled extensively when she was deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “They tend to be college graduates, and from a whole lot of different disciplines.”

Mulvihill, for instance, was studying environmental engineering in college when she decided farming was a better fit. In her new venture, Four Legs Farm, she raises pigs and lambs for meat shares.

Merrigan, who now runs the sustainability program at George Washington University, said while there are many young people who want to get into farming, the hard part for many of them is being able to stay in business, given steep costs of land and equipment.

Organic farms can actually provide a quicker route to profits because farmers can fetch higher prices. Premiums paid to organic farmers can range 29 to 32 percent above conventional prices, according to a study published this summer by Washington State University researchers. That means an organic farmer can make a living on fewer acres.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, 31-year-old Seth Matlick said he has been able to turn a profit on his 5-acre Vida Verde Farm, mostly by selling vegetables to local restaurants. He uses organic methods but is not certified organic.

“This year we bought a new tractor, some tools,” he said. “We pretty much doubled in size, acreage-wise. It’s slow and modest growth. But it’s manageable.”

The back-to-the-land philosophy of organic agriculture also fits in with millennials’ well-documented interest in healthy food.

“I think there’s an element of it being hip and cool … and it’s an alternative. So it’s not run of the mill. It’s about the earth,” said Nate Lewis, a 32-year-old farmer in Olympia, Washington, who is senior crops and livestock specialist for the Organic Trade Association.

In places like New York’s Hudson Valley — a region rife with development pressure — the move to keep farmland is closely linked to helping fledgling farmers. Groups have built a support system to help those new farmers succeed in a notoriously tough business.

Mulvihill grazes her animals on about 50 acres at the Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator, a development program operated by a farming advocacy group, Glynwood. The incubator helps young farmers with guidance and training while providing farm equipment and below-market rents for three years to help them get on their feet.

Mulvihill is already looking to rent farmland elsewhere in the valley with help from a program that helps link landowners with farmers.

She also served one of her apprenticeships at the Westchester County farm of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, which promotes sustainable food systems. Stone Barns is putting on a young farmers conference next month that will feature presentations from young farmers like Matlick.

Matlick, who grew up in Manhattan, studied sociology at the University of Vermont and got the farming bug while working the fields in Albuquerque. Eight years into his business, he still prepares the beds, plants the seeds, weeds, harvests and delivers his goods.

“It’s kind of what we’re selling almost as much as the food itself,” he said. “It’s the intimacy and the guarantee that you’re getting hands-on really good food.”

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