8-month On-farm Mentorship
(April – November)
Heroic Food matches Trainees with experienced farmer-mentors who provide paid apprenticeships or farm crew positions in and around Columbia County. Mentor farms vary in size, enterprises, and production philosophies, and our staff works to match each Trainee with a farm that best suits his or her interests and goals.
Trainees work typical farm hours, according to the weekly schedule set by the farmers. In most cases, Trainees will be placed on farms in teams of two, allowing for mutual support through the day’s work and learning.
In order to track the learning process, each Trainee completes an individualized Skills Checklist. Trainees review their checklists periodically with their mentor farmers and the Veteran Coordinator to ensure that their learning goals are being met, and that they master the skills required prior to graduating from the program.
Trainees keep a Notebook during the course of the on-farm training, recording observations of weather and farm conditions as well as daily work completed on the farm. This serves as a valuable record of time spent on the farm to refer to in future years, and helps Trainees build observation skills. In regular meetings with Trainees, mentor farmers and the Veteran Coordinator review the journals and make suggestions for their improvement.
First-hand observation of a variety of farm operations is an invaluable element of the training program. Each trainee will have the opportunity to participate in up to three farm visits.