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Farmer Training Curriculum

20110717_Farmer_Apprentice-7Our curriculum starts in the field and continues in the classroom – from learning how to harvest arugula efficiently to listening to a presentation on soil fertility management – every part of the program emphasizes an applied, skill-based education. Over the course of six months, the UVM Farmer Training Program couples the invaluable approach of hands on learning with a classroom component and immersive rotations with incredible, successful local farmers. Working closely with experts in the field, the curriculum is designed to cover essential topics, using multiple formats throughout the growing season to build students’ experience, confidence, and skills. It is a learning experience unlike any other. Topics covered in the field and in the classroom program include:

Organic Crop Production

  • Vegetable, flower and herb production
  • Integrated, small scale poultry systems
  • Integrated grazing systems
  • Organic soil fertility management
  • Compost production and use
  • Cover cropping and crop rotation systems
  • Propagation and greenhouse management
  • Direct sowing and transplanting
  • Crop families
  • Individual crop classes
  • Harvest and post-harvest handling techniques
  • Strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and apple production
  • Season extension
  • Organic pest, disease and weed management
  • Irrigation systems
  • Tractor and small equipment operation
  • Hand tools and field systems
  • Product safety
  • Winter greens production
  • Perennial systems and permaculture methods
  • Understanding of food production as part of an ecological system

20110717_Farmer_Apprentice-119Marketing

  • CSA management
  • Farm stand management
  • Wholesale marketing
  • Marketing to a retail coop

Farm Business Management

  • Farm financials
  • Agricultural business planning
  • Collective farm model
  • Crop planning and field mapping
  • Organic certification process
  • Land Access
  • Systems and record keeping

Beyond the Farm

  • Preservation and storage
  • Seed saving
  • Farm field trips
  • Independent projects
  • Social justice issues in the food system
  • Participation in UVM Food Systems Summit
     
Farmer Training Program