Wolfe’s Neck Farm’s Organic Dairy Farmer Training Program is a two-year residential apprenticeship program for new and transitioning commercial organic dairy farmers. This first-of-its kind program allows apprentices to go from experienced-to-expert in all aspects of organic dairy cow operations and management.
The program is a National Apprenticeship under the U.S. Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration. It consists of 4,000 hours of training over a period of two years.
Of these hours, 3,712 hours are employment and mentoring under an approved Master Dairy Grazier. A comprehensive DGA Training Manual (or “Job Book”) lays out the competencies that must be met in order to own and operate a managed-grazing dairy farm, providing a blueprint for the mentoring process. The other 288 hours are related instruction designed to enhance on-farm training.
Our goal is to prepare each trainee to become an independent operator at the conclusion of their two-year apprenticeship. The program will provide a guided pathway to the knowledge, skills, experiences and resources trainees will need to begin their own enterprise.
- Gain the skills, confidence and technical expertise necessary to start a viable and sustainable operation
- Live and work on the farm during the two-year training program
- Have production responsibilities shared with other trainees in the program
- Meet, learn from and be advised by industry leaders during and after formal training
- Ultimately develop a business plan for their future enterprise with support from technical advisors
- Be guided through an innovative transition model that matches each trainee’s skills, goals and plans with the right land and farms for their future enterprise
- Continue to have access to a variety of support systems upon completion of your training program including the potential to access equipment and capital as well as technical advisory services and mentoring.
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