MEET YOUR FUTURE FARMERS – 2024 YA APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

Posted by Lourdes Still on May 30, 2024

Meet your future farmers! The latest cohort of the Young Agrarians Apprenticeship Program has landed on their host farms in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The apprentices in each province recently got together for orientation weekend to get acquainted and connect over their shared passion for nature and regenerative agriculture. Their time together involved sharing farm-sourced meals, farm chores (like milking a goat!), hikes, bonfires, and guided city tours with local businesses that are food grower advocates. It was time well spent building new friendships as they prepared for the season ahead on their host farms.

Join us in welcoming this inspiring crew of eager learners dive into regenerative and ecological farming! And keep your eyes on our socials and newsletters as we share more of their adventures from the field.

We are pleased to introduce the 2024 apprentices!

Manitoba:

Aubrey Khan – Bar VI Ranch – Langruth, MB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dierdre Madill – Dunrea Farming Company – Dunrea, MB

My name is Deirdre Madill. I was born in Brandon, Manitoba and have always had a passion for nature and animals despite living in the city. I will be an apprentice at Dunrea Farming Company this summer and am excited to learn more about re-wilding land and homesteading.

 

 

 


Eric Moser – Almost Urban Vegetables – Winnipeg, MB

I’m Eric Moser and I’ll be apprenticing at Almost Urban Farms in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I’m excited to have a chance to dive deeper into a life-long passion and learn more about regenerative and community-supported agriculture. I have always been attracted to the idea of homesteading, communal living and hope that my experience with this program will bring me closer to that dream. I would like to see a societal shift in our approach toward food sourcing and sovereignty, and to bridge the distance between the food and the people.


Jennifer Sparling – Skinner Native Seeds – Roblin, MB

  Hi my name is Jenn and I am apprenticing at Skinner’s Native Seeds this year! I have a background in horticulture & environmental science and love to be out on the land observing   Having done small-scale prairie restoration and conservation in the past I am excited to learn how to produce seed, plan and execute restorations and more about land management on a large scale.

 


Richelle Bamber – Circle H Farm – Brandon, MB

Hey there, I’m Richelle Bamber and I’m apprenticing at Circle H Farms near Brandon, MB. I joined the apprenticeship program as an aspiring livestock farmer, as I hope to learn more about regenerative grazing, animal welfare, and genetics. I hope to one day have my own homestead and grazing outfit in the pasture of my dreams – the aspen parkland. My hope for the future of ecological agriculture is that more producers value the natural landscape and its processes by keeping it as intact as possible to nourish a healthy, diverse, and resilient ecosystem.


Saskatchewan:

Adama Chinyeluba – Springer Farm – Foam Lake, SK

My name is Adama and this summer I’m embarking on an apprenticeship in Saskatchewan to fulfill my childhood dream of owning a regenerative farm. I’m driven by a deep-seated desire to steward the land responsibly while providing for my family and community. My long-term vision revolves around cultivating real, nutritious food in harmony with nature, ensuring the land thrives for generations to come. Through sustainable farming practices, I aim to not only nourish bodies but also foster a profound connection between people and the land. My ultimate goal is to create a farm that sustains both my loved ones and the wider community, embodying the principles of regenerative agriculture.


Danilo Bravo – Wakamow Free Food Farm – Moose Jaw, SK

I am Danilo Bravo and I am originally from Bogota, Colombia. I studied food engineering and have worked with poor communities in Colombia as a social worker. During the summer of 2024, I will be doing my cooperative work period at a farm located in Wakamow Park in Moose Jaw. I am currently studying Agriculture and Food Production at Saskpolytech. My expectations in the medium and short term in agriculture are to enter the industry under the banner of sustainability, working with nature outdoors while earning money to raise my family.


Kira McCully – Grovenland Farm – Lanigan, SK

Hello! I’m Kira. I couldn’t be more excited to be apprenticing at Grovenland Farm this spring/summer. I’m currently studying biology at university and have a deep love for science, animals, and the outdoors. I’m eager to immerse myself in regenerative agriculture. Sustainable ecological practices are so important as they contribute to a better future for everyone! Absolutely thrilled for the experience I will gain this summer learning from people so knowledgeable.

 


Alberta:

Braden Stolte – Steel Pony Farm – Red Deer, AB

My name is Braden, I’m 24 years old, and was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. This summer I’ll be apprenticing at Steel Pony Farm, where I’ll be learning about organic vegetable farming and regenerative agriculture. Although I graduated with a degree in the tech field in 2022, over the past couple of years I’ve come to feel that there is more for me out there than the typical office workday indoors. I have always felt a need to be around nature, plants, and animals, but my previous exposure to large-scale agriculture left me unsure if that was right for me. During this apprenticeship I’m hoping to learn about new innovative ways we can grow food while remaining lucid about the needs of our planet.


Eamonn Conboy – Chickadee Farm – Flatbush, AB

Eamonn is a multifaceted and outgoing Ottawa native who originally attended the University of Waterloo for Urban Planning (2017 – 2020), but during the pandemic, decided to transfer into Carleton’s Humanities program to understand the intricacies of history, religion, and culture through the lens of primary historical literature. Having also taken an interest in the environment at a young age, he studied the techniques of various geography-related fields such as urban planning and permaculture through both academic study and personal research. Having recently completed his degree, Eamonn will be spending the next 5 months practicing regenerative farming at Chickadee Farm Herbs in northern Alberta. He hopes that by learning about the realities of farming in Canada and increasing his proficiency within the field, he can direct his new-found knowledge and abilities toward building an innovative farm business of his own.


Elizabeth Johansson – Rosy Farms – Alcomdale, AB

My name is Elizabeth. I’m from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation but live in Edmonton. I heard of Young Agrarians on Facebook of all things!  For most of my life I’ve had a passion and connection with nature, always wanting to be around it and learning how the earth works cohesively as one.  I love being outdoors, being active and working in an ever-changing environment. I felt that Young Agrarians would not only be a good place to start in my journey to a career in ecology but it would help me build connection, learn more about community, and be a sponge to my host farm’s knowledge.  I love being able to learn hands-on and thrive in outdoor environments so I knew I had to apply to YA.  I was matched with Rosy Farms – I personally reached out to Andrew and made it known that this opportunity was very important to me. While working with Rosy Farms I would love to learn about the production of Haskap berries after harvest. I myself have never grown Haskap berries and am not familiar with growing crops on a larger scale as I’ve only had smaller gardens. I feel as though working with Rosy Farms will give me the opportunity to learn farming on a larger scale, the production of fruit after harvest, and the retail that happens after! Not only does this allow me to learn more about the community it also creates strong relationships with people around me and I’m really looking forward to getting started.  

I am looking forward to the opportunity that YA and Rosy Farms has offered me.  I can’t wait to see the knowledge I will leave with after my apprenticeship and how I have not only grown as a person but in my confidence and abilities to farm certain crops. 


Elizebeth Wade – Rosy Farms – Alcomdale, AB

Hi, my name is Elizabeth and I am apprenticing at Rosy Farms this summer. I decided to apply for this apprenticeship program because I am interested in regenerative farming and would like to learn as much as I can about it. This summer I hope to learn about all aspects of farming including how to prepare the soil, and how to plant and harvest. I would also like to gain an understanding of the business side of things including how to run a farm, marketing, and how to sell at farmer’s markets. My long-term dream is to have my own U-pick that uses organic and regenerative practices. My hope for the future is that the regenerative and organic farming industry will continue to grow and thrive.


Elizaveta Gostevskikh – Grey Arrow Farm – Camrose, AB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Emma Watson – Busy Bea Florals – Beaver County, AB

My name is Emma Watson and I’ll be apprenticing at Busy Bea florals this summer with my girlfriend Megan in Beaver County, Alberta. I have always wanted to help people, and what better way to help people than feeding them. When I heard about the Young Agrarians I was excited to jump into actually doing some farming before buying my own land and discovering that I don’t love it as much as I thought I would. Luckily for me I’ve started work now and I love it. I believe that farming as a concept needs to shift to accommodate our changing world; as a whole, we don’t value the massive contributions farmers make to society. I think that regenerative farming is one way to begin to shift the needle towards making farming a viable and desirable career that will continue to feed the world.


Megan Spence – Busy Bea Florals – Beaver County, AB

I’ve always had a love for nature and  growing plants, and I’m excited that this year I’m getting to expand that understanding into flowers and how to make a living in the farming world! I hope that in the future I can help to connect young people with nature and the food we eat! I look forward to being a part of the program!

 

 


Rachel Vanderpyl – Lady’s Hat Farm – Castor, AB

Hi! I’m Rachel Vanderpyl, a joyful plant lover and food enthusiast! I will be apprenticing at Lady’s Hat Farm in Castor, AB, where I am excitedly awaiting a farming season full of florals! I am hoping to learn more about…. all things flower farming, and farming in Alberta. I grew up in Lethbridge, AB, but have spent the last several years on Vancouver Island. I’m new to farming on the prairies, it’s a different world here in terms of land, climate, and people, and with that, I am looking forward to experiencing this apprenticeship. My main long-term farm dream is to have a vibrant heritage seed company, preserving ecological agriculture, right at its source…. Seed! I’m interested in natural plant breeding for climate resiliency, and creating locally adapted varieties that thrive. I worked for a small-scale seed company the last few years, which has inspired me in this direction. For me, there is magic in watching the whole process, from seed to seed. It never ceases to amaze me!


Samantha Gilmore – Triple Lyoness Farm – Goodfare, AB

I have become part of Young Agrarians to gain knowledge, experience, and an improved network surrounding agriculture, specifically in the cattle business. Myself and my husband Zachary have the hope to own our own cattle farm in the next five years. We have a 3-year-old son named Bennett we envision growing up on a farm. I am excited and grateful to receive this amazing opportunity with Triple Lyoness Farm.

 


British Columbia:

Allison Walters – A Rocha – South Surrey, BC

I’m Allison and I’ll be apprenticing at A Rocha farm this season. I’ve been wanting to do a YA apprenticeship for years, and now that I am graduating from my UBC BSc in Sustainable Agriculture program, I finally have time! I became interested in sustainable agriculture in my teens, wanting to make the food system more sustainable and plant-based. With my degree and some work experience in market gardening and IPM under my belt, I am excited to immerse myself at A Rocha this year and learn about their farm operations, their interpretation of regenerative agriculture, and their ways of building community. After this season, my goals include traveling to learn about agriculture worldwide and developing a career in agricultural policy-making or marketing.


Bethany Dow – A Rocha – South Surrey, BC

Hi, my name is Beth Dow! (This is me with my little sister – I’m the one with brown hair). This summer I will be apprenticing in Surrey, BC at A Rocha Farm! The reason I joined this program is because I was very interested in gaining experience as a regenerative farmer. I hope to have my own small farm one day and would like to learn as much as possible to prepare for that. I am hoping to learn about no-till farming and how to effectively accomplish that. I am also excited to learn more about the composting process and everything else this farm has to offer. I wish to use this knowledge to build my own small community with my future family one day. I want to create a place where I am growing every day in my physical, mental, and spiritual health. I believe farming is a great way for me to do that.


Kate McCauley – The Plot Market Garden – Saanich, BC

Hi! My name is Kate! I am excited to be an apprentice at The Plot Market Garden in Victoria, BC this summer. I grew up in Barrie, Ontario and I just finished up my fourth year studying Ecology at the University of Guelph. I have been gardening since I was a kid in my mum’s garden and I have a huge appreciation for nature and fresh veggies. I am super excited to be moving out west for the summer and to have this great opportunity to learn more about agriculture and connect with like-minded people!


Kyla Ibsen – Farmer Cam’s Foods – Terrace, BC

My name is Kyla and I’m apprenticing with Farmer Cam in Terrace, BC this summer. I joined YA to find a farm where I can learn skills to eventually run my own market garden and head in the direction of self-sustainability. My goals for the future of ecological agriculture include shortening the supply chain of food to my community and working collaboratively and fostering relationships with farms within my community.

 


Lauren Saretsky – Patty’s Greenhouse – Brisco, BC

Hello! My name is Lauren and I’ll be apprenticing at Patty’s Greenhouse and Farm this season. I hope to explore many avenues of agriculture during my time here, mostly with variety of crops and strategies to combat issues while being organic and sustainable. Learning about vegetable production is a topic I’ve wanted to explore for a long time as I hope to pursue a farm with a similar plan in the future. Food security and sustainability are two issues very important to me, personally. I dream of a future where reliable, organic agriculture is the norm. I wish to see a world where individuals know and care about where their food comes from and where there are producers to support that. I dream to be one of those producers.


Roisin Graham – City’s Edge Farm – Victoria, BC

Hi, my name is Roisin! I’m from amiskwaciy-wâskahikan in Treaty 6 Territory. This season I’m apprenticing at City’s Edge Farm. My interest in farming stems from my passion for food and cooking. While the taste of local vegetables can’t be beat, I’ve also become invested in the potential of regenerative practices to create relationships of responsibility to the land. I look forward to nurturing connections to both soil and people!

 


Tyler Thorpe – City’s Edge Farm – Victoria, BC

I joined the program to gain mentorship as I start my own mixed vegetable business. I hope to grow citrus and make wood vinegar one day. I believe in ecological farming and closed-loop systems as a sustainable future for BC.


Feeling inspired to apply as an apprentice next season?
Or are you a seasoned farmer who wants to train the next generation?

YA’s paid apprenticeships offer a comprehensive immersion experience, allowing you to dive deep into the daily operations of managing a farm business. Our network of host farm mentors boasts a wide range of expertise and skill sets, providing ample opportunities for learning. They are selected based on their farm philosophy, rooted in ecological and holistic values that acknowledge the interdependence between the land and people. While specific tasks will differ across farm types, apprentices will acquire knowledge in soil health, integrating livestock in pasture and grasslands, growing vegetables, fruits, and more, direct farm marketing, and community building to name a few.

Learn more about becoming an Apprentice or a mentor in the Young Agrarians Apprenticeship Program.