The Produce Farm Manager (PFM) Apprenticeship is a professional, hands-on training program that provides apprentices with a well-rounded education in small farm management.
The apprenticeship includes 2,500 hours of on-the-job paid training working closely with a host farmer on a certified organic operation, combined with 144 hours of related instruction and 20 hours of group education. Overall, the program requires a 16-month commitment, including an initial two-month probationary period.
Apprentices will complete their related instruction requirements by enrolling in remote classes offered by the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). The OEFFA Begin Farming Program will facilitate additional group experiences including farm tours and networking opportunities.
Apprentice Minimum Qualifications
Must have high school diploma/GED or higher, or a composite ACT score of at least 18, or comparable Accuplacer test scores in math and reading.
Must be at least 18 years of age.
Must be physically able to perform the work of the trade with reasonable accommodations and without hazard to yourself or others.
Must have reliable transportation to and from the Ohio host farm.
Must be willing to commit to 16 month apprenticeship.
- Candidates apply for PFM apprenticeship
- Confirm qualifications.
- Describe experience and goals.
- Receive confirmation of application from OEFFA.
2. Host farmers search and hire apprentices
- Registered host farmers will contact apprentice applicants who might be a good fit.
- Host farmers will interview candidates and communicate with OEFFA when a selection is made.
3. Apprenticeship begins
- The apprentice, host farm and OEFFA staff will sign agreements.
- OEFFA staff will conduct check ins with the apprentice and host farm to help solve challenges and coordinate related and group instruction.
4. Related instruction and documentation
- Apprentices will enroll in Wisconsin Technical College System courses and attend group education.
- Apprentices and host farmers will review and fill out training guidelines regularly.
- Host farmers will register apprentice hours monthly.
- Upon completion of approximately 2,500 on-the-job hours, 144 hours of related instruction, and 20 hours of group education, apprentices will graduate from the program.
Applications are currently closed for the 2023 season.
Questions? Contact Robin Hackett, Begin Farming Program Coordinator, at (614) 947-1633 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This program is supported by NIFA USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (2019-49400-30033).