Train a beginning farmer & gain a committed employee

As a master grower, you’ll train a beginning farmer who aspires to become a farm manager or to eventually start their own operation. By participating in Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship as a master grower, you’ll not only be helping to advance your apprentice’s goals and aspirations, you’ll also be gaining a reliable employee who is eager to learn.

A RELIABLE EMPLOYEE

Your apprentice will support your farm’s labor needs over the course of 18 months as they acquire on-the-job training and grow increasingly skilled with your mentoring. Apprentices also become more proficient as they complete 200+ hours of off-farm related technical instruction (RTI)—a requirement for graduating from Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship. If you and your apprentice agree to it, you also have the option to hire your apprentice after they graduate.

HIRING SUPPORT

Hiring qualified employees who are eager to learn and invested in the success of your farming business can be difficult. Through Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship, you’ll have access to a pool of pre-qualified apprentice candidates who we’ve vetted through a formal application process.

EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT

We’ll provide you with educational support throughout the apprenticeship period, including training resources and access to workshops and events catered to Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship. You’ll also receive discounted registration to qualifying PASA events, including our year-round workshops and farm tours, and our annual conference.

“We highly recommend the Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship program! PASA not only helped us locate an employee; they’ve been gently guiding us through the season, ensuring that our apprentice receives a well-rounded education.”

—Micah Spicher-Schonberg, Plowshare Produce

Qualifications

To become a master grower, you must complete an application and be approved by the DVA steering committee. The “master grower” title applies to an individual grower, and not necessarily to the farm on which they currently operate.

GROWER REQUIREMENTS

  • At least five years of farm management experience
  • Vested interest in training new farmers
  • Capacity to support an apprentice through mentorship
  • Demonstrated commitment to sustainable farming practices
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the duties defined in the DVA job book
  • Prior experience managing employees, apprentices, or interns strongly suggested

FARM REQUIREMENTS

  • In business for at least five years
  • Produces at least ten difference vegetable crops per year
  • Can financially support a full-time employee

Note: Some of the above requirements may be waived in unusual circumstances or with demonstrated skills outweighing a criteria that is unmet. Waiver of master grower qualifications is subject to approval by the DVA steering committee.

 

Apply to become a master grower