Vermont’s new Journey Farmer Program is a two-year program designed to support beginning farmers who are in the first few years of running their own enterprise. Offered by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), the program provides resources and opportunities for aspiring new farmers to increase their knowledge base and continue developing the skills they need to farm successfully.
The Journey Farmer Program offers a range of services and benefits including connecting participants with a farmer mentor, a $500 educational stipend, free admission to NOFA-VT workshops and conferences, business planning support and technical assistance from NOFA-VT staff, and access to NOFA-VT Revolving Loan Fund. In addition, Journey Farmers become part of a learning community of other aspiring farmers and farmer mentors. For more information, download this overview of the program.
Applying: NOFA-VT reviews Journey Farmer applications once a year with a February 29th deadline, and will notify applicants at the beginning of March. Applications are available at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NOFA-VTJourneyFarmer2012 or in hard copy by request.
The Journey Farmer Program was started in 2011 with funding from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Agricultural Innovation Center, and is currently supported by the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.