Heroic Food is currently accepting applications for the 2018 Immersion Program. If you missed the chance to join the Immersion Program, sign up for one of the short courses and come out to get a taste of your future in farming!
The Heroic Food Immersion Training Program is designed for veterans with a strong, committed interest in sustainable farming for small scale, commercial, direct marketing, and homestead operations. Currently, the year long Immersion Program is based in the town of Milan, NY, but training takes place on multiple sites in Columbia, Dutchess, and surrounding counties. Trainees will gain hands-on experience through apprenticeships with local mentor farmers, craftspeople, and food entrepreneurs. In addition, the program offers workshops, short-courses and individualized support for life and career transitions.
The training program curriculum was developed in consultation with the Hawthorne Valley Learning Center, the Cornell Small Farms Program, and the Farmer Veteran Coalition. The principles and practices of sustainable farming are at the core of this program, but workshops and courses ranging from farm business management to tractor maintenance to value-added food preparation to green building make it flexible and robust. This program will enable Heroic Food graduates to build a broad skill base that will serve them to lower their business and living costs, earn extra income, and explore new markets as they grow their farm-based careers. We have designed the Training Program to embody a working model of sustainability, community, conservation, and regeneration of people, animals, and farmland.
The program consists of three basic “pillars”:
- Paid training positions (apprenticeships) on local mentor farms in the mid-Hudson Valley during the growing season, mid- March through November. Provides hands-on farm training and experience in basic vegetable and/or livestock production.
- Supplemental workshops, sit down instruction, and professional conferences take place primarily during the winter season (roughly Nov-Feb). Provides a broader and deeper understanding of farm and farm ecology topics, and holistic farm planning & business management; plus farm skills such as basic welding and tractor maintenance & repair.
- Supports include veteran peer mentorship and counseling, facilitation, access to veterans services; education goal-setting and assessment; housing support; and ongoing professional support.
The Immersion Program features:
- Paid positions on local mentor farms
- Instruction in sustainable farming methods and practices, agricultural trades (construction, welding), and food craft (cheese-making, fermenting, etc), Farm business planning and management
- One-on-one staff and peer support
- Community and volunteer opportunities
- Post-graduation job referrals and assistance with access to farmland for veterans