The Journey Farmer Program is a two-year program for beginning farmers who are in the first few years of running their own farm business in Vermont. The program is largely shaped by the farming interests and goals of the Journey Farmers, and enables new farmers to advance their farming skills and experiences while being a part of a learning community of other beginning farmers and farmer mentors.
Applications for the 2020 Journey Farmer cohort are now open and are due November 15th! (Note: Couples and/or business partners should submit one joint application). Once we receive and review applications, we will be scheduling interviews for December 2nd - December 5th.
- Farmer-to-farmer mentoring
- A $500 educational stipend
- Free access to NOFA-VT's Farm Beginnings Program
- Free admission to NOFA-VT Summer & Fall Workshop Series
- Free admission to NOFA-VT Winter Conference
- Business planning support
- Access to technical assistance by NOFA-VT staff
- Journey Farmer Network
Each Journey Farmer participant will be matched with a farmer mentor. Farmer mentors are paid to provide up to $500 of their time each year. Farmer mentors provide both overall farm business support in addition to practical detailed knowledge that can help with a range of farming related topics.
Business Planning Support & Technical Assistance
NOFA-VT staff are available to provide additional business planning services and production technical assistance as needed.
Journey Farmers receive free admission to a number of educational events including NOFA-VT's Farm Beginnings, workshops and field days that are part of NOFA-VT’s Summer & Fall Workshop Series, and free admission to the NOFA-VT Winter Conference.
Journey Farmer participants will receive an educational stipend of $500 for pre-approved farm related courses, books, videos, computer software or travel.
Journey Farmer Network
In addition to all these program offerings, Journey Farmers also become part of a supportive network made up of other beginning farmers and farmer mentors by participating in special gatherings, educational offerings, and other community events.
Expectations: NOFA-VT expects all Journey Farmers to enter into an agreement outlining their goals and objectives for the program, which includes participation in educational events and trainings, regular mentor meetings and check-ins with NOFA-VT staff.
Qualifications: Prospective Journey Farmers should be competent in a range of agricultural skills, have a solid commitment to farming in Vermont, and have reasonably clear and realistic plans for their future farming activities. The Journey Farmer Program is targeted towards farmers in the first few years of running their own business.
Applying: NOFA-VT reviews Journey Farmer applications once a year in December, and applicants are notified of a decision by mid-January. Couples and/or business partners should submit a joint application.
If you have any questions, please contact Jaime Silverstein, Farm Business Advisor, [email protected], 802-434-4122 x14