Farmer Training Program

Hands-on, Skill-based Education in Sustainable Agriculture

UVM’s Farmer Training Program is a six-month, hands-on program for aspiring farmers and food-systems advocates that provides experiential, skills-based education in sustainable farming. Students will 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 alongside successful, inspiring farmers in the Burlington area. PLANT YOURSELF IN A NEW FIELD!

Graduates will gain:

  • A Certificate in Sustainable Farming from UVM
  • Experience in organic crop production, 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 and guidance

Who is this program for?

The program is designed for people interested in immersing themselves in sustainable, local food systems in a hands-on educational setting. Candidates include, but are not limited to:  new and beginning farmers, urban and community gardeners, farm educators and students interested in deepening their understanding of sustainable farming systems in an intensive and focused learning environment.

UVM-CDE-Farmer-Training-Program-ICONWhy Vermont?

Vermont is a national model in alternative food-systems development with its network-based approach. Here you’ll find farmers, food-systems advocates, regional food hubs, policy makers, and community members committed to increasing production and consumption of local foods. Vermont has the highest number of farmers’ markets and CSAs per capita than any state, and it’s consistently ranked among the healthiest, greenest places in the nation. When it comes to local food, Vermont proves what’s possible.

Why is this program important?

Now more than ever we need to sow seeds of resistance. Climate change, environmental degradation, poverty, and food access – are all issues at the forefront of our society. We must combat these socio-economic and environmental problems however we can. Growing local food is one significant way. Small, diversified farms that employ sustainable practices can improve soil, water and air quality, sequester carbon and increase biodiversity. The Farmer Training Program provides you the skills to manage a diversified farm and be that change our planet so desperately needs. Planting those seeds of resistance is the first step to localizing your community’s food system and healing the earth.

A special thank you to:

Johhny's Selected Seeds

STUDENT PERSPECTIVE

“It’s not a bachelors, masters or doctorate, but this certificate means more to me than any achievement or degree in my life.  I am a man transformed because of the Farmer Training Program.  I have discovered my passion, my purpose and even more who I am.  And I owe it to those six months.”

Taylor Jespersen, 2016

“Every day I am thankful for those 6 months in Vermont at the Farmer Training Program. I was able to not only learn the theory behind growing but the organization necessary to make a farm viable. Being exposed to a number of farms and farm models was invaluable. Almost as much so as the people I got to weed alongside.”

Isabella Strong, 2015

on the Blog

UVM’s Farmer Training Program Promotes Careers in Agriculture

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

Read More.