Farmer Training Program

The Farmer Training Program is a 6-month, hands-on program for aspiring farmers and food systems advocates that provides an experiential, skill-based education in sustainable farming. Students in this program get a unique and comprehensive education by running all aspects of the 10-acre Catamount Educational Farm, learning from expert farmers and educators in the classroom and by working alongside successful, inspiring farmers in the Burlington area.

Program Details

  • Learn to Farm at UVM
  • Program Date: May 11 – October 30, 2015
  • Apply Now!
  • Tuition: $6,300

“Through the Farmer Training Program, I gained the confidence I needed to take initiative and feel prepared taking the plunge to create a farm business.”
– Allison Gulka, 2013

Graduates will gain:

  • A Certificate in Sustainable Farming from UVM
  • Organic crop production methods from seed to market
  • A deeper understanding of small-scale farm management
  • Entrepreneurial skills to start a farm business
  • A network of incredible people to provide support & guidance

Why Choose UVM’s Farmer Training Program?

UVM’s Farmer Training Program offers a formal, intensive education in both the production and business of farming. The six-month program, which offers in-depth learning across all aspects of farm management, is taught by a wide range of experts – farmers, university professors, extension agents, and other professionals working in the local food system. Students also gain valuable experience by managing the 10-acre Catamount Education Farm, work with seasoned farmers with diverse business models, and visit innovative, local farms to learn about different styles of farming.

Why Choose Vermont?

Vermont is a national model in alternative food system development with its network-based approach. Here you’ll find an abundance of farmers, food systems advocates, regional food hubs, policy makers, and community members committed to increasing production and consumption of local foods. It’s worth noting that Vermont has the highest number of farmers’ markets and CSAs per capita than any other state, and it’s also consistently ranked as one of the healthiest and greenest places in the nation. When it comes to local food, Vermont has proven what is indeed possible. Come to the Green Mountains and immerse yourself in a movement.

UVM’s Farmer Training Program in the News

One Season at UVM Turned this Scientist into a Farmer


Julia Cosgrove thought she would become a research scientist after college. But her career plans changed after joining the UVM Farmer Training Program. Continue Reading

How to Become a Farmer and Reinvent a Career


It’s never too late to reinvent yourself or change your career. Just ask Laurie Reese, a 53-year-old grandmother who left her office job in Oregon and drove cross-country to learn how to become a farmer at the University of Vermont. Continue Reading


Finding Job Satisfaction Through a Career in Food Systems

Finding Job Satisfaction Through a Career in Food Systems

Learn how Farmer Training students find satisfaction through cultivating a new career and passion.
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The FarmPlate Young Farmers Series: Chaya Lipkind From Dreamland Harvest

The FarmPlate Young Farmers Series: Chaya Lipkind From Dreamland Harvest

The FarmPlate Young Farmers Series: Chaya Lipkin From Dreamland Harvest
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Interview with a Young Farmer


Interview with a Young Farmer Civil Eats spoke to Robinson Yost, one of the current students in the program. After studying anti-colonial politics as an undergraduate student, he studied ecological building methods in New Mexico and participated in a reforestation project and low-impact living experiment in Southeast India. As a young farmer, Robinson is a telling example of the sort of unconventional backgrounds that many young farmers are bringing into the American food system.
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Training the next generation of Vt. farmers


Training the next generation of Vt. farmers Susie Walsh Daloz is the director of the UVM Farmer Training Program and Will Gowen is a student. They both appeared on The :30 to talk about the program.
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Growing Season


Growing Season SOUTH BURLINGTON — Marie-Eve Mongeau snipped at a bank of zinnias on a recent morning and gazed at adjacent rows of squash, radicchio, potatoes, chamomile and fennel. The sun shone and the air was fragrant as Mongeau helped harvest flowers and fresh produce to be sold at a farmer’s market that afternoon. The work was dirtier than the tasks that Mongeau, who has a degree in chemical engineering, performed
in her former job at a Boston medical device maker.
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UVM Farmer Training Program Teaches Students Sustainability Hinges on Financial Fitness


UVM Farmer Training Program Teaches Students Sustainability Hinges on Financial Fitness “If beer is a reliable indicator, rosy times lie ahead for American agriculture and those who like fresh wholesome food. As the 70′s gave way to the 80′s, doomsayers predicted that if the going trend of consolidation continued only 5 beer-brewing companies would exist by the 1990′s. But something happened and that something was the rise of the craft brewer. Today this phenomenon is happening again, this time with peas and carrots. At agricultural training programs cropping up at such places as the University of California, Santa Cruz, New York’s Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming, Michigan State University, and now at the University of Vermont’s Farmer Training Program, one diverse student group after another is endeavoring to reinvent and reinvigorate farming…”

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University Programs Raise Crop of New Farmers


“University Programs Raise Crop of New Farmers”
On a soggy, raw October morning, in a far corner of the University of Vermont’s Hort Farm, a dozen students gather by a picnic table and survey their three-quarter-acre plot. Since spring, as part of Vermont’s first farmer-training program, they have cultivated crops where weed scientists used to run trials. Today is their last market harvest.
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Farmer Apprenticeship Program Seeds Next Generation Small-Scale Farmers


It’s not the first farmer apprenticeship program of its kind, but the University of Vermont’s upcoming curriculum aims to be just as revolutionary as its university counterparts. Farming apprenticeships at Michigan State and UC Santa Cruz, have already proven that college graduates are not only ready for intensive, professional training in sustainable agriculture, but are capable of turning their experiential education into sustainable jobs.

As the demand for small-scale, locally-grown produce steadily increases, the mission of UVM’s apprenticeship is quite clear: provide graduates with an education and support system that encourage them to create and maintain sustainable farms and food businesses.
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