Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship gives experienced dairy farmers the opportunity to shape the future of the industry. Approved host farmers—known as mentor graziers—train a beginning dairy grazier who aspires to manage a farm or to eventually start their own operation. By participating in Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship as a mentor grazier, you’ll not only help advance your apprentice’s goals and aspirations, you’ll also gain a reliable employee who is eager to learn.
Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship was founded by dairy farmers in Wisconsin in 2010. It is a national apprenticeship registered with the U.S. Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration. Pasa administers the program in Pennsylvania and surrounding areas.
Share your knowledge and skills within a structured program for mentoring a next-generation grazier.
Mentor graziers and their apprentices receive professional financial analysis & business planning support.
Improve your own operation while supporting an individual or family who is ready to own or manage a dairy farm.
Your apprentice will support your farm’s labor needs over the course of two years as they acquire on-the-job training and grow increasingly skilled with your mentoring. Apprentices also become more proficient as they complete 300 hours of off-farm related technical instruction—a requirement for graduating from Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship. Related instruction includes online coursework and other educational events. If you and your apprentice agree to it, you also have the option to continue your apprentice’s employment at your farm after they graduate.
Hiring qualified employees who are eager to learn and invested in the success of your farming business can be difficult. Through Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, you’ll have access to a pool of pre-qualified apprentice candidates who we’ve vetted through a formal application process.
We’ll provide you with educational support throughout the apprenticeship period, including training resources and access to workshops and events catered to Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship. You’ll also receive discounted registration to qualifying Pasa events, including our year-round workshops and farm tours, and our annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference.
Mentor graziers are grass-based dairy farmers who have demonstrated excellence in managing cows on pasture, and who are committed to mentoring the next generation of dairy.
“Joseph will be taking an online class, or he’ll visit a farm and see something different—or he’ll just be thinking about something—and he’ll ask me why we do something a particular way, and I’ll have to think about why we do it that way. Sometimes, I’m not sure. It’s made me refocus a bit.”
—Brian Moyer, Mentor Grazier