YA Apprenticeship: Duban Farms – POSITION FILLED!

Posted by Dana Penrice on December 21, 2016 2 Comments

duban-apprenticeship

Are you looking for a hands-on, practical learning experience in environmentally and economically sustainable farming? Are you wanting to work alongside a farmer that is innovative, forward thinking and working to mitigate climate change?  Duban Farms is excited to offer a unique apprenticeship in regenerative farming.

About the Farm

Duban Farms is a third generation, irrigated grain and oilseed farm located 15 minutes NW of Lethbridge.  The farm is currently transitioning into Certified Organic production and strives to grow food in an environmentally and economically sustainable fashion.  Utilizing biological principles, Duban Farms is working to improve plant and soil health while maximizing yields of food grade crops.  Some of the cash crops they grow include hemp, oats, flax, wheat, beans, peas and mustard.  Cover crops are grown to feed the soil biology and sequester carbon as soil organic matter, to help combat climate change.  The use of tillage is minimized and direct seeding is utilized to maintain soil armour thereby reducing soil erosion and nutrient leaching to help keep water supplies pure.  By using polyculture crop rotations , the farm is promoting mutualistic plant relationships that build system resilience.

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About the Apprenticeship

This apprenticeship will provide experience and skills in managing cash crops and cover crops from planting through to harvest. You will learn about managing weeds through innovative practices like roller crimping, and about developing buffer strips that harbour beneficial pollinators and insects. You will also work with programmable, remote controlled irrigation systems.

Duban Farms will also expose you leading edge soil health management principles and you will be part of monitoring through soil sampling and assessing structure, infiltration, respiration and soil ecology. Apprentices will learn about making and applying biochar, preparing and applying compost as well as the benefits of integrating vermicompost. You will also learn about organic certification, book keeping and business planning.

As part of the apprenticeship, you will meet with other apprentices across Alberta who are part of the Young Agrarians Apprenticeship program. Field days, learning opportunities and potlucks will be planned with this group at each hosts farm. You will be provided with a learning fund to support travel or other learning opportunities you wish to pursue.  You will also be invited to attend the 2018 Organic Alberta Conference.
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Skills this farm has to teach: 

The following skills are being offered by this farm. While you’ll get exposure to many of these areas, it is likely that not all will be covered. Apprentices will work to identify the skills they want to develop to a learning plan with the host farm.

seeding cash crops microscopy for soil microbiology
cover cropping running field trials
inoculating seed managing for beneficial insects
irrigation harvest Cash crops
scouting crop post harvest handling of cash crops
managing for soil fertility making and applying biochar
using vermicompost soil sampling
organic record keeping book keeping
managing cash flow equipment maintenance

Housing, Stipend and Duration

The apprentice will not be provided with on farm housing. A competitive stipend will be paid . This apprenticeship is 7 months to 1 year long.

More Details about this Apprenticeship and How to Apply 

Deadline January 31st, 2017.

Interested in an apprenticeship but this isn’t quite the right one? Check out other Young Agrarians Alberta Apprenticeships being offered in 2017 here. 

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