Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship (DVA) is a new formal apprenticeship that pairs beginning farmers with master growers to provide a guided pathway toward managing or starting a vegetable farm. The program operates in Pennsylvania and surrounding areas.
DVA benefits both beginning and experienced growers: Apprentices acquire the skills they need to manage or start their own vegetable farm, while master growers gain a committed employee invested in farming as a career.
Apprentices receive 2,700+ hours of on-the-job training and 200+ hours of related technical coursework over 18 months
Master growers gain access to a pool of pre-qualified employees who want to farm as a career
Master growers compensate apprentices with scheduled wage increases as they advance their skills
Why apply to Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship?
Training on a working farm with a demonstrated track record of success
Assistance with finding a farm to apprentice on that aligns with your farming goals and interests
A progressive wage
Educational guidance throughout your apprenticeship, including regular on-site meetings to assess and support your learning progress
Access to DVA-specific workshops and events
Discounted registration to qualifying PASA events
Master growers receive:
A committed employee with a vested interest in understanding and supporting your farm operation
Labor support for at least eighteen months, with the possibility of hiring your apprentice after they graduate
Assistance with recruiting and vetting apprentice candidates
Educational support throughout the apprenticeship period, including training resources and access to DVA-specific workshops and events
To ensure Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship both comprehensively trains apprentices and satisfies host farmers' employment needs, we worked with beginning and seasoned farmers representing 19 of our member farms to build the 18-month curriculum from the ground up through an expert-facilitated instructional design process.
Master growers train apprentices in 15 core competencies that vegetable farmers need to operate a successful farm business:
Tillage & field preparation
Field crop production
Pest & disease control
Equipment & machinery maintenance
The green star icons indicate the location of a farm with an approved master grower who is currently seeking an apprentice.
The red checkmark icons indicate active master grower-apprentice pairs.
Don’t see a farm near where you’d like to apprentice? We encourage you to ask a farmer you’d like to apprentice with to consider applying to become a master grower, and explain why you’d like to apprentice with them and on their farm, specifically. If you and the master grower you’ve recruited both apply to the program and are approved, you will be matched directly with one another.