ALBERTA APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

YA AP 2020

DEADLINE: FEB 15, 2020. Get your applications in!

Do you want to be a Young Agrarians Mentor Farm?  Read more here: Become a Mentor

Are you an aspiring farmer looking to gain skills and knowledge that match the ecological values you hold? Are you feeling the farming bug, but not quite ready to take the plunge and launch your own business?  Young Agrarians, Organic Alberta and our network of exceptional mentor farmers are now offering advanced, hands-on apprenticeships in regenerative agriculture. Participants with a serious interest, curiosity and commitment to full-time farming are invited to apply.

Our apprenticeships are a full immersion program that puts you into the heart of running a farm business, day in and day out. Our carefully selected family of farm mentors have diverse expertise and skill sets –  their farm philosophy is guided by a holistic framework that recognizes the connectedness of the land and people. Although farm activities will be different on each farm, the core activities will involve care of soil, pasture and livestock, farm direct marketing, and using sustainable practices for cereal, grain, and vegetable production.

As part of the program, you will also visit other farms that are hosting Young Agrarian apprentices. This gives you the opportunity to learn from other ecological farmers, be exposed to different perspectives and practices, and make connections with other apprentices in the program.

Redtail Farm Karel and Rusty

Program Details:

Duration: Most apprenticeships last 8-12 months, however some farms offer 4-6 month programs. Start dates and end dates will be determined by the host farm and apprentice. 

Hours:  Work hours will vary with the season; however, apprentices are prepared to work 6-days a week.  Living on a farm, you will be presented with constant change. While summer months offer abundance and long hours; winter brings shorter days, cold weather, and a slower pace. If the apprenticeship extends to the off-season, apprentices will learn about business planning and marketing, and/or focus on special projects, such as building and repairs.

Compensation: The greatest benefit to apprentices is the opportunity to become fully immersed in the daily labor and operation of their host operation. Room, board, and stipend packages vary from farm to farm. Housing is safe, secure and internet is available on each farm.

Food: While apprentices can expect to have some food provided by their host operations, they must clarify details and expectations related to food with their mentors as soon as possible upon accepting the apprenticeship position. Some mentors will provide a variety of food as ranch or farm products, while others will provide shared meals or possibly additional food stipends. Apprentices may be expected to participate in food preparation and clean-up for shared meals. 

Days Off: Apprentices are encouraged to clarify details pertaining to days off and paid leave with their mentors as soon as possible upon beginning their apprenticeship.

Insurance: Each farm is required to have Workers Compensation coverage and insurance.

Orientation: Apprentices attend an orientation late March or early April. Attendance at this event is mandatory. The orientation will prepare you for your learning journey: you will learn about ecological agriculture and meet visionary farmers, connect with your fellow apprentices, meet the project coordinators and have fun together.

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On-Farm Evaluation & Meetings: Mentors schedule 3 larger evaluations with the apprentices throughout the season to review skills checklists, discuss learning goals, observations, and general concerns or questions that arise. Monthly check-ins between mentors and apprentices are conducted to assess well-being and exchange more formalized feedback (though feedback is ongoing and often exchanged informally). Weekly meetings to review the schedule for the week are to be expected. 

Education and Organic Alberta Conference: All participants will attend supplemental trainings and workshops offered in combination with the farm tours and potlucks. These workshops are designed to expose apprentices to topics ranging from soil health and land management to financial management and business planning. Apprentices will have the opportunity to attend the Organic Alberta Conference in 2021, free of charge, as part of their apprenticeship curriculum and graduation.

Farm Log: Apprentices receive a workbook to log their day, for recording weather, hours worked, activities, observations, learning goals and questions that arise. The farm log is used to guide your check-in with farm mentor and program coordinators.

Peer-to-Peer Networking:  Apprentices will have the opportunity to network with fellow apprentices, local farmers, agricultural professionals and meet other young agrarians. Each apprentice is responsible for organizing a farm tour with potluck, and will visit other apprentices’ farms.  

One-on-one Support: Young Agrarians staff will facilitate an in-person check-in with each apprentice and help you develop your learning strategy. Phone calls and emails will be the primary form of communication throughout the season, but the Apprenticeship Coordinator will always be available if apprentices want additional check-ins.

Program Work & Evaluation: Apprentices are required to complete a formal exit interview with the mentor farm and program coordinator, a program evaluation with the program coordinator, and complete a final report in the form of a shareable post for the Young Agrarians blog.

Jerry Machinery

Host Farms: The following farms are now accepting applicants

Application Process: (Only complete applications will be reviewed by the host farms)

STEP 1: Online Application – 
Complete the online application (https://forms.gle/RWorQkopqyd9T9Zo8)

STEP 2: Email your resume and a personal essay (max 1500 word) describing: “What is your vision for ecological/regenerative agriculture? How do you see yourself fitting into your vision?” The essay can take the form of a written document, video, audio recording, or any other format at you choose — we encourage you to get creative! Submit your essay to centralalberta@youngagrarians.org 

STEP 3: Telephone Interviews 
Successful applicants will be contacted for an interview with the host farm and program coordinators.

STEP 4: Initial Farm Visit – 
Selected applicants are encouraged to visit the host farm for 3-5 days*. After this visit both parties will decide if they will proceed with the program. 
*the program does not provide funding for this initial visit

STEP 5: Participant Fee Payment –
Participants who are accepted into the program are required to pay $175 before the start of their apprenticeship to secure their position in the program. 

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Important Dates:

Applications are now being accepted. Applications are due by February 15th, 2020.

Host farms will conduct video or phone interviews with select applicants. Confirmation of successful applicants will be in February.

Apprentice start dates vary by farm however are generally April or May 2020. 

For more information contact:

Kolby Peterson, YA Alberta Apprenticeship Coordinator
Email: apprenticeship@youngagrarians.org
Call: 1-587-521-2400 (Organic Alberta Office)


The YA Alberta Apprenticeship is a program of Organic Alberta. The program curriculum and materials have been adapted from the Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Apprenticeship program. 

Our gratitude to our program funders for making these apprenticeships possible: 

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YA Apprenticeship: Akesi Farm – Sundre, AB

Posted by Dana Penrice on January 18, 2020

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Are you an aspiring farmer looking to gain skills and knowledge that match the ecological values you hold? Are you feeling the farming bug, but not quite ready to take the plunge and launch your own business? Meghan Vesey, Kwesi Haizelare and Tara Stephens are excited to provide you with a meaningful apprenticeship experience in your path to becoming a farmer. About the Farm Akesi Farms was started in 2014. The farm was previously used to raise chickens and sheep. The goals of Akesi Farms including having challenging and meaningful livelihoods, seeking resiliency, participating in community, and learning. Currently, Akesi Farms hosts chickens, geese, bees and annual/perennial … Continue reading YA Apprenticeship: Akesi Farm – Sundre, AB

FARM JOBS: CAWSTON, BC – Snowy Mountain Organics, Multiple Positions & Apprenticeships

Posted by Michalina Hunter on January 15, 2020

snowy mountain organics, farm job, cawston, okanagan

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APPRENTICESHIP: LYTTON, BC – Stein Mountain Farm

Posted by Michalina Hunter on January 06, 2020

Stein Mountain Farm, lytton, apprenticeship, internship

Stein Mountain Farm in Lytton, BC is seeking an apprentice for the 2020 season!  About Stein Mountain Farm We are located in the Fraser Canyon in a beautiful , natural, off grid setting. We have been farming organically since 1985. We are a family farm working together to grow quality produce for the Vancouver markets. We grow many varieties of heirloom tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onions, eggplants, cucumbers, carrots, beets, squash, basil, melons. We have 60 varieties of heirloom apples. We grow cherries, plums, pears, apricots. We use a tractor and tiller for cultivation and bed making, and rely on hand weeding, hoeing, … Continue reading APPRENTICESHIP: LYTTON, BC – Stein Mountain Farm

YA Apprenticeship – Lady’s Hat Farm & Lazy T Farm

Posted by Kolby Peterson on January 04, 2020

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Are you an aspiring farmer looking for hands-on farming experience on an ecological farm? Flowers, chickens, lambs, cows, bees and more! Spend your summer helping out at two small farms under the endless skies of Central Alberta. Lazy T Farm and Lady’s Hat Farm near Halkirk, Alberta are looking to share an apprentice this upcoming spring and summer. The two farms work closely together under the umbrella The Prairie Farm Project – an informal cooperative of farms in the area that hosts dinners, plans workbees, and markets collaboratively. About the Farms Brett and Jenna Hauck of Lazy T Farm moved … Continue reading YA Apprenticeship – Lady’s Hat Farm & Lazy T Farm

YA Apprenticeship 2020: Sunrise Gardens – Onoway, AB

Posted by Kolby Peterson on January 03, 2020

Apprenticeship - Sunrise

Are you an aspiring farmer looking for hands-on farming experience on an ecological and certified organic farm?  Sunrise Gardens is looking for farm apprentices starting this spring to join their team. About the Farm Sunrise Gardens is a market garden, in operation since 2003 and certified organic since 2007. First and foremost we recognize that we are stewards of Soil. Our livelihood is a product of our successful care for ourselves, the soil and the ecological systems we live within. We practice crop rotation, soil monitoring, compost building (thermal and static), biodynamic and permaculture practices, low-till, high density bed systems, … Continue reading YA Apprenticeship 2020: Sunrise Gardens – Onoway, AB

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Posted by Michalina Hunter on January 02, 2020

four beat farm, farm job, pemberton

Four Beat Farm in Pemberton, BC is seeking field crew members and a CSA Lead for the 2020 season! ABOUT FOUR BEAT FARM Four Beat Farm is a certified organic vegetable farm in the Pemberton Meadows in Lil’wat Territory. The farm was started in 2016 and is run by Naomi with the help of two draft horses, a sassy dog, and lots of human power. We are looking for motivated, hardworking individuals to join our farm team for 2020 and beyond. We have 3 acres in vegetable production with 30+ varieties, with a focus on summer and fall storage crops. Our Harvest … Continue reading FARM JOBS: PEMBERTON, BC – Four Beat Farm, Horse-Powered Vegetable Farm Team Members

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FARM APPRENTICESHIP: GUELPH, ON – Ignatius Farm

Posted by Michalina Hunter on January 02, 2020

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FARM JOBS: Pemberton, BC – Plenty Wild Farms, Organic Farm Workers 2020

Posted by Alyssa Belter on January 02, 2020

Interested in learning the ins and outs of running a profitable market garden business? Plenty Wild Farms in Pemberton, BC is seeking farm workers for the 2020 season! ABOUT US Plenty Wild Farms is a small-scale, certified organic farm committed to providing high-quality veggies for our local community through farmers’ markets in Squamish & Whistler and our farm stand in Pemberton. We grow over 40 different varieties of vegetables on 2.5 acres using a compact tractor, BCS, other small hand tools & equipment and systems that focus on efficiency, productivity & soil health. Our farm is a positive, well-run, organized and safe place … Continue reading FARM JOBS: Pemberton, BC – Plenty Wild Farms, Organic Farm Workers 2020

YA Apprenticeship 2020: Good Note Community Farm – Edmonton, AB

Posted by Kolby Peterson on December 31, 2019

Are you an aspiring farmer looking for hands-on farming experience on an ecological farm? Are you interested in organic farming and homesteading practices? Good Note Community Farm is looking for a farm apprentice starting this spring to join their team. About the Farm Good Note Community Farm is a diversified Community Farm, sharing food producing knowledge with families and individuals from nearby cities and acreages.  They care for two dairy cows and their young, as well as 8 dairy goats and their young. They have a flock of 100 chickens and 10 Muscovy ducks. In all cases they steward these animals with as much … Continue reading YA Apprenticeship 2020: Good Note Community Farm – Edmonton, AB

APPRENTICESHIPS: LILLOOET, BC – One Love Farm

Posted by Michalina Hunter on December 30, 2019

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