With the Project:
Beginning Farmer Training Program
Unadilla Community Farm is an off-grid solar-powered organic farm and non-profit education center in West Edmeston (NY), founded in 2014 by a group of volunteers. The main aim of the mission is to provide a space to teach and practice sustainable farming skills. The program hosts an annual cohort of 25-30 interns from across 6 continents and 2021 is the 8th season of the training program for youth aged 18-35 years.
There is need for a new generation of farmers yet, according to the 2017 National Young Farmer Survey, America's young farmers face major barriers, including climate change, land access, affordable health care and student debt. About 75% of respondents did not grow up on a farm, underscoring the need for new agricultural training tailored to young farmers.
Recognizing the systemic barriers the next generation faces, the methodologies taught are centered on climate resiliency, decarbonization, affordability and accessibility. Founded and run by millennial first-generation farmers, Unadilla internship uniquely teaches skills that are relevant to young people’s approach to agriculture: such as direct marketing, ecosystem stewardship, and permaculture design.
Interns receive about 113 hours of combined classroom time and hands-on training to complete the program. It includes a minimum 1-month-stay on a farm up to a maximum of five months. Participants achieve familiarity with seeding, transplanting, weeding, irrigation, pruning, trellising, pest management, plant propagation, composting, seed saving, mulching, food preservation, use of hand and power tools, timber framing, stone masonry, raising layer hens, harvesting, and packing produce boxes.
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Thank you to our partners!