The Produce Farm Manager (PFM) Apprenticeship is a professional, hands-on training program that provides apprentices with a well-rounded education in organic produce farm management. Graduates will be fully prepared to work 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. Overall, the program aligns with federal apprenticeship standards and requires a 16-month commitment, including an initial two-month probationary period.
Apprentices can complete their related instruction requirements by taking in-person courses through the Hocking College Agroecology program in Nelsonville, OH, or by enrolling in remote classes offered by the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). The OEFFA Begin Farming Program will facilitate group experiences including 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
Must be willing to commit to 16 month apprenticeship
- Candidates apply for PFM Apprenticeship on a rolling basis
- 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 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
- Apprentices will enroll in either Hocking College or Wisconsin Technical College System courses and attend group education. The required courses offered by Hocking College cost an estimated amount of $3,250, while the estimated cost for courses offered by WTCS is $750
- Apprentices are eligible to receive up to $750 in tuition assistance after completing ½ of their on-farm training
- Apprentices and host farmers 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 from the program
Questions? Contact Robin Hackett, Begin Farming Program Coordinator, at (614) 947-1633 or email@example.com.