Produce Farm Manager Apprenticeship

apprentices learn from farmer

The Produce Farm Manager (PFM) Apprenticeship is a professional, hands-on training program that provides a thorough, well-rounded education resulting in mastery of organic produce farm management skills. Apprenticeship graduates will be fully prepared for employment as a farm manager or to begin their own produce farm. 

The apprenticeship includes 2,500 hours of on-the-job paid training working closely with a host farmer, combined with 144 hours of related instruction and 20 hours of group education. The PFM Apprenticeship requires a minimum 16 month commitment, which includes an initial 2 month probationary period. The PFM Apprenticeship aligns with federal apprenticeship standards.  

Related instruction is provided by the Hocking College Agroecology program, requiring the apprentice to register and pay course fees of approximately $1,200. The OEFFA Begin Farming Program will facilitate group experiences like group farm tours, networking opportunities, and farmer to farmer education at no cost to the apprentice.

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 and Hocking College in Nelsonville, OH 

Must be willing to commit to 16 month apprenticeship 

Apprenticeship Process 

  1. Candidates apply for PFM Apprenticeship on a rolling basis
  • Provide contact information
  • 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 may be a good fit
  • Host farmers will interview candidates and communicate with OEFFA when a selection is made

3. Apprenticeship begins

  • Apprentice, host farm, and OEFFA staff will sign the PFM agreement to formalize the process
  • OEFFA staff will conduct monthly check ins with the apprentice and host farm for the first six months, then every other month after that, to help solve challenges and coordinate related and group instruction

4. Related instruction and documentation

  • Apprentice will enroll and complete Hocking College courses and attend group education
  • Apprentice and host farmer will review and fill out training guidelines regularly
  • Host farmers will register apprentice hours monthly
  • Upon completion of the 2,500 on-the-job hours, 144 hours of related instruction, and 20 hours of group education, apprentices will graduate

Questions? Contact Rachel Tayse, Begin Farming Program Coordinator, at (614) 947-1633 orĀ 

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
41 Croswell Rd.
Columbus OH 43214


OEFFA:(614) 421-2022 (614) 421-2022
OEFFA Certification:(614) 262-2022 (614) 262-2022