Land and resource access
Participants have access outdoor growing space up to a .25 acres and use of onsite hoop-house space to explore production techniques and products that they are interested in pursuing.   Apprentices will have access to project tools, equipment, and other resources through the Resource Sharing Program. Access to equipment is included with the Apprenticeship Program and training will be provided.

Farm business course
The  farm business course will meet twice a week from May 15, 2017 – October 2017.   The course includes two evening class periods and a half-day hands-on lesson.  Specific course schedule and topics are developed to meet learning objectives of each cohort of apprentices entering the project. 

Paid apprenticeship & farm mentors
Apprentice wages are $9/hour for 400 hours (approx. 20 hrs./wk. for 5 months) up to $3,600 over the course of the season.

Participants will submit learning goals and a skill map that will be used to help pair apprentices with appropriate mentor farms.   Participants will have the opportunity to complete their 400 hour apprenticeship on both mentor farms and on the Sprouting Farms production farm depending on mentor fit and availability.

Incubator Farm
Once apprentices are through the first season and have a completed business plan, apprentices are eligible for the Sprouting Farms Incubator Farm.  The program will provide access to larger plot sizes and continued opportunities for mentorship, guidance, and support as they launch their farm businesses


Adaptive Management
Given that this is the first year of a new program and that the Sprouting Farms is still being developed, there are undoubtedly going to be some minor unforeseen hitches along the way. Sprouting Farms team will work to minimize these complications and ensure that they are resolved in a fashion that meets all party’s needs. While this may require some patience and understanding on the part of program participants, it is important to remember that there are some significant opportunities presented in this inaugural Sprouting Farms season. Most notably, farm apprentices  will have the chance to:

  • Participate in the development of farm infrastructure;
  • Shape the incubator program for upcoming seasons and future Sprouting Farms farmers;
  • Have access to some of the best farmland at Sprouting Farms; and,
  • Use the novelty and visibility of this program as a marketing tool.


Application Process
Accepting applications for 2017 apprenticeship course 

Application Criteria

  • Demonstrated farming experience
  • Interest in sustainable production techniques
  • Farm/agricultural business idea or concept
  • Commitment to developing and operating  a farming enterprise in West Virginia
  • Project “fit”
    • Ability/willingness to work cooperatively
    • Ability/willingness to respect other farm participants


Step 1: Read over Application packet and familiarize yourself with the Sprouting Farms Apprenticeship program, policies and procedures.

Step 2: Complete the application 

Step 3: Staff Review

  • Applicant will meet with program staff in person or on the phone and get an introduction to the Sprouting Farms apprenticeship program,  applicants will receive info packet with all polices, costs, and course topics.
  • Applicant will submit form by deadline listed above.
  • Sprouting Farms Staff will review applications and evaluate if the project is a good match.


Step 4: Acceptance & Intake
If the applicant is a good match for the apprenticeship program at Sprouting Farms, they will be contacted to submit learning goals, and skill map.

  • Farm visit and initial pre-participation evaluation with project staff to develop farm participation plan.
  • Participation agreement contract will be signed by applicant and Sprouting Farms Staff/Director
  • Pay tuition and begin program (payment plans may be available).
  • Paired with farm mentor.


2017 Apprenticeship Costs & Payment Schedule
Sprouting Farms will make available land, equipment, infrastructure, and services to apprentices.  The cost of the apprenticeship program $2,000/season however, for the 2017 inaugural season the course cost will be $1,000 which includes access to a .25 acre and use of onsite hoop-house space farm business course, mentorship and hands-on paid 20hr a week apprenticeship along with the resources available through the program.

Payment plans
Payment plans, scholarship funds, or other financial aid may be available if needed for participants who are unable to pay for the course up front. Contact program staff for more information.

Laying the groundwork for sustainable farm business

Apprenticeship Program Details:

Apply

Welcome to the first season of Sprouting Farms.  We believe that long-lasting impact is created by training new farms in quality and sustainable production techniques, and providing shared resources and educational opportunities to the whole farm community.

Our programs focuses on providing farmers solid business management and production skills along with hands-on apprenticeship, mentorship, and land and resources necessary to launch, experiment, and refine their farm businesses.

CALL US  +1.304.445.7200
​ +1.304.322.4596

Apprenticeship Enrollment open for 2017! 

Are you interested in being part of the inaugural Apprenticeship cohort at Sprouting Farms?  Learn more about the application process here! 


Currently accepting applications for 2017 apprenticeship & farm academy  
Contact our Education Coordinator Alivia Sturgill for any questions: Alivia@sproutingfarms.org/304-928-9519

Click here to download the 2017 Application Packet

Click here to download the 2017 Apprenticeship Application Form