Train to become a farm manager or start your own farm

If you’re interested in farming as a career, a formal apprenticeship program will provide you with a guided path to help you fulfill your vegetable farming aspirations. We’ll help pair you with a qualified master grower who will work to comprehensively train you in the art and science of vegetable production and farm business management, while you work to support the master grower’s labor needs as you train. You’ll graduate from your apprenticeship with the skills necessary to pursue becoming a farm manager or to start your own farm. 

ON-THE-JOB TRAINING

You’ll complete 2,784 hours of on-the-job training alongside a master grower over the course of 18 months on a working farm with a proven track record. PASA staff will regularly meet with you to ensure you’re on track to successfully complete the apprenticeship program, and to provide you with additional support as needed.

Through your training, you’ll gain experience in these 15 core competency areas for vegetable farming:

  • Business administration
  • Personnel management
  • Soil fertility
  • Tillage & field preparation
  • Propagation
  • Planting
  • Field crop production
  • Irrigation
  • Weed control
  • Pest & disease control
  • Harvesting
  • Post-harvest handling
  • Product distribution
  • Marketing
  • Equipment & machinery maintenance

Train on a farm that aligns with your farming aspirations & interests

RELATED TECHNICAL INSTRUCTION

You’ll complete 216 hours of related technical instruction (RTI) on topics best learned off farm or that require more advanced training. Your RTI may include attending workshops, field days, conferences, farm tours, formal classes, and farmer networking opportunities. Areas of RTI include:

PROGRESSIVE WAGE

Your apprenticeship is paid. Plus, you’ll receive a scheduled raise every six months, with demonstrated progress on your training objectives.

BASIC EXPECTATIONS

Farming is hard work. You should expect that your experience will be physically and intellectually challenging. You should anticipate that you will:

Qualifications

To become an apprentice, you must demonstrate a sincere interest in farming as a career. This may include, but is not limited to, having:

  • Farming experience equivalent to at least one season
  • Prior full-time or part-time farm employment
  • Prior farm internship or apprenticeship
  • Experience in another farm training program, or farm incubator program
  • Significant time volunteering with a farm
  • Community or technical college training in a related field
  • Two- or four-year degree in a relevant field of study
  • Significant self-study in sustainable agriculture or farm-scale food production

You also must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a high school graduate, or have a GED or equivalent
  • Have a valid, government issued photo ID
  • Be physically able to perform farm work with reasonable accommodations
Apply to become an apprentice

“I really enjoy that every day is different, and that I’m learning something new every day. I enjoy seeing everything come together for the beautiful CSA shares, and the members’ reactions when they see their shares. I also love seeing the farm transition from empty beds, to small transplants, to larger plants, and then getting to harvest the beautiful crops, and knowing I helped make that happen!”
—Jess Hermanofski, Apprentice