Our Farmer Training program fosters the next generation of agricultural entrepreneurs who will create viable farm businesses and bring more land into production in the Hudson Valley.
The average age of a farmer in the United States is roughly 57 years old and increasing. At the same time, a surge of young people have become interested in starting careers in farming but they face tremendous obstacles on their paths to operating viable farm businesses. Access to affordable land, working capital, agriculture training and business mentoring are a struggle for them. Our Farmer Training program addresses these challenges.
Each year, we welcome six apprentices to our farm in Cold Spring, New York – three vegetable (8 months) and three livestock (10 months). In addition to hands-on experience, they complete a comprehensive classroom curriculum and receive formal training in safe tractor operation with a variety of farm implements. A private room onsite at Glynwood, a weekly stipend and workers compensation insurance are provided.
We are now accepting applications for a Summer Vegetable Apprentice (2017).
Our Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator has become one of the region’s premier training programs for aspiring farmers. Located on 300 acres of land owned by Mohonk Preserve in New Paltz, NY, the Incubator provides agricultural entrepreneurs with necessary tools and resources to create viable new enterprises in the Hudson Valley. The Incubator reduces barriers to success for new farm businesses by providing access to land, housing, shared equipment, infrastructure, business and financial training, technical assistance and mentoring, advanced practical skills workshops, and strategic community relationships.
The Incubator has an emphasis on livestock production but we accept applicants for mixed/diverse enterprises. Most of the property is best suited for grazing livestock, specifically small ruminants, poultry and pork. We will also accept applicants for new vegetable or livestock operations that do not need access to land, and those who own or operate existing farms who will not be on-site at the New Paltz property.
Farmer Training Network
As part of our leadership in regional farmer training, we founded the Hudson Valley Farmer Training Network in 2013 to improve communication, collaboration and synergy among an increasing number of providers of farmer training services across the region. As a supplement to our curricula, we participate in the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT), a cooperative model for sharing complementary farm training with a number of participating farms and organizations:
- American Farmland Trust
- The Carrot Project
- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County
- Copake Agricultural Center
- Dirt Capital Partners
- Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
- Hawthorne Valley Farm
- Heroic Food
- Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation
- Local Economies Project
- McEnroe Organic Farm
- National Young Farmers Coalition
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets
- Northeast Farm Access
- Rondout Valley Growers Association
- Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture