Did you know there’s severe shortage of farming professionals to fill management positions and replace retiring farmers?  Careers that not only help to feed the nation but also support our local agriculture economy.

That’s why the Center for Land-Based Learning has created programs to inspire, educate, and cultivate future generations of farmers, agricultural leaders and natural resource stewards.

“Programs like the California Farm Academy Apprenticeship Program equip beginning farmers with training, work experience and skills to secure a management position with established farms or successfully start their own farm business.I have seen the shortage of farm managers first hand and we need the next generation of farmers to start taking over. As I look towards retirement, I have had the opportunity to bring in an apprentice and train her to be a successful farmer. There are many rewards to being in such a critical business and the California Farm Academy program is the perfect place to start a farming career!” – Bruce Rominger, owner of Rominger Brothers Farms

About the Program

The California Farm Academy Apprenticeship Program is for highly motivated, committed individuals who know they want a career in agriculture. We expect our graduates to fill critical management positions on farms across the country, take the reins from farmers looking at retirement, or launch their own farming operations. The program lasts approximately two years, and is a formal, registered apprenticeship with both paid on-the-job training and supplemental coursework. We have recognition from the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards as a professional training program, making us the first registered apprenticeship program for Beginning Farm and Ranch Managers in California. Upon completion, the apprentice will graduate to a Journeyman level in the occupation of a Beginning Farm and Ranch Manager.

On-the-Job Training

Apprentices are required to complete 3,000 hours of paid, on-the-job training within 2 years by working with a farmer mentor. Unless otherwise discussed, compensation starts at minimum wage and increases by $0.50 approximately each 6 months. Apprentices will receive a minimum number of hours of hands-on training in certain work processes. Apprentices will work anywhere from 35 to 60+ hours per week in the high season depending on the needs of the farm. Most host farms will hire sometime in March.

Coursework & Related and Supplemental Instruction (RSI)

Apprentices are required to complete a total of 250 hours of coursework over the 2 years of the program. Apprentices will be enrolled in the California Farm Academy’s 7-month Beginning Farmer Training Program from mid-February to mid-September in their first year. There are approximately 78 classes and 200 hours of coursework, which includes lectures, labs and directed farm visits. The remaining 50 hours of curriculum will be based on the apprentice’s own Farm Career Plan, articulating skills and knowledge that the apprentice wishes to prioritize to achieve their career goals.

To learn more about Center for Land-Based Learning and the California Farm Academy, CLICK HERE

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