Apply now for 2018.
Heroic Food is currently accepting applications for the 2018 Full-Year Immersion (FYI) cohort and for all 2018 Farm Entry Short Courses. If you missed the chance to join the FYI program, sign up for one of the short courses and come out to get a taste of your future in farming!
To sign up for Farm Entry Events & Workshops,
The Heroic Food year long, 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 Poughkeepsie, 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 m
entor 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 FYI 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
Admissions and Duration:
We accept four veterans from long distances who will live in the Mid-hudsonvalley region, and their spouses or partners are welcome as well. We believe that farming is a family venture, and shared interest and support is key to success. We also welcome applications from veterans who live locally who have the ability to commute.
Our admission is on a rolling basis. Acceptance into the program is contingent on apprenticeship placement, and internships are subject to availability within the local farming community. We will do all we can to place applicants in internships, especially those they are most interested in.
The FYI program begins for new cohorts every Spring. The period to apply for each new Full-Year Immersion experience closes by the end of April. Internship start dates may vary, and the move in date for the farmhouse is one week before the internship starts. On a very limited case by case basis, we will admit applicants for a start in the fall, but these positions are ONLY possible if there are immediate apprenticeships available for the winter season.
The program runs from the start of your internship until February 15th of the following year (Or September 15th as a fall entrant). This gives us enough time to clean the house up for the next cohort.
Those who are not accepted due to lack of space or internship availability are encouraged to apply for the following year, and in the mean time sign up for the short term courses of Heroic Food so you can become part of our community, and get a taste of what is to come. We will be hosting a major hoop house building workshop each year for the next few years, as well as having fun daylong events throughout the growing season.