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Advanced Farmer Gathering: Collaborating to Improve Your Workforce & Your Soil

December 6, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - December 7, 2019 @ 6:00 pm


During this two-day annual gathering designed for experienced growers and graziers, you’ll learn how you can improve your workforce and fine-tune your soil health management strategies by participating in PASA’s formal apprenticeships and community science projects.

Day 1: Mentoring employees & managing a productive team with apprenticeship

Friday, December 6th, 2–6 p.m.

  • What’s it like mentoring aspiring and beginning farmers as part of a formal apprenticeship program? Farmers who are hosting apprentices through PASA’s Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship and Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship programs will share their experiences mentoring aspiring and beginning farmers.
  • Examine adult learning styles and best practices for teaching and training new skills to your employees and apprentices with Laura Paine, national program director for Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship.
  • Participate in a roundtable discussion on common employee- and apprentice-management challenges, including the difficult task of “letting go” and effectively transferring more responsibilities to a promising employee or apprentice. 

This portion of the event is intended for certified master growers and master graziers, or for experienced farmers who might be interested in enrolling in our apprenticeship programs.

Day 2: Improving soil health management with community science

Saturday, December 7th, 9–4 p.m. (lunch included)

  • Participate in an informal debriefing on the 2019 season, where you can share the challenges and successes you experienced this past season with other farmers from across the state. 
  • Learn the latest insights from our Soil Health Benchmark Study, a community science project that draws from the collective knowledge and experience of the 90+ farms currently participating.
  • Vegetable, row crop, and livestock grazing farmers participating in our Soil Health Benchmark Study will share case studies focused on common soil health challenges they’re working to address to improve their productivity and cut inputs. 
  • Dr. Terry Bell from Penn State University will explore how you can manage your soil to boost beneficial microbial communities. 
  • Address your soil and crop management questions during a farmer panel discussion and open forum.

This portion of the event is intended for farmers currently enrolled in our Soil Health Benchmark Study, or for experienced farmers who might be interested in enrolling in this community science project.

Additional information

  • Staying overnight? A limited number of discounted rooms (two double beds) are available at the Quality Inn Riverfront hotel in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, located at 525 Front Street, until November 18th. You can call 717-233-1611 to book a room. Specify that you are with PASA when booking. Cancellations must be made by November 18th as well.
  • This event qualifies for three SmartStart credits through AgChoice Farm Credit. SmartStart allows young and beginning farmers to earn credits toward a reduced interest rate on a new AgChoice loan by attending educational events.


Take a look at our frequently asked questions about our workshops and events.


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Date & Time: December 6 : 2 – 6 p.m. December 7 : 9 – 4 p.m.

Location: HACC
Midtown 2 Building, 1500 North 3rd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102

Cost: Free

Event Category: PASA Events