Applications are currently being accepted for the third year of the NOFA-NH Journeyperson Program. Each winter, beginning farmers of all stripes, who are in their first few years of running their own farm enterprises, are encouraged to apply in order to be connected with a mentor farmer who has experience and expertise in their area of interest.
The gap between working on a farm and running a farm is expansive, and the Journeyperson Program aims to provide a bridge between these two roles. The program is shaped by the interests and goals of the participants, and provides the Journeyperson with a support structure during the high-stress, high-risk period of farm establishment.
NOFA-NH’s Journeyperson Program provides production farmers in their first few years with the kind of hands-on support, training, and community connection that only comes with experience. Journeyperson applicants are beginning farmers who have on-farm experience, apprenticeship and training, and are seriously pursuing a farming career in NH.
When asked to reflect on his experience, Glenn Preston, a 2012 Journeyperson said, “The Journeyperson program has helped me through this year by providing me with a community of fellow farmers that have offered me advice on farming and helped me transition to a new area. My mentor (Kate Donald) has been the part of the program that has been the most helpful. Having someone with a lot of experience that I can talk to on a weekly basis is great. She was able to help me with a lot of the issues that came up during the season.”
In 2014, NOFA-NH is offering two Journeyperson positions. The first is a standard, off-site Journeyperson Program wherein the Journeyperson has access to his/her own land, and is establishing a farm business. The second is the Resident Journeyperson Program at Two Mountain Farm in Andover, NH. This position is for a Journeyperson who does not have access to land.
This program is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2011-49400-30510.
NOFA-NH is a statewide, non-profit organization that actively promotes regenerative, ecologically-sound gardening, farming and land care practices, helping people build local, sustainable, healthy food systems in our communities. To become a member, make a donation, or sign up as a volunteer, please visit http://www.nofanh.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.