ALBERTA APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

DEADLINE FEB 28, 2019. Get your applications in!

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 and grain production.

As part of the program, you will also visit other farms that are hosting apprenticeships. This gives you the opportunity to learn from other ecological farmers and make connections with other apprentices in the program.

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. In the off season, apprentices will learn about business planning and marketing, and/or focus on special projects, such as building and repairs.

Compensation: Room, board, and stipend packages vary from farm to farm. Housing is safe, secure and internet is available on each farm. Enjoy access to farm fresh food and some shared meals. 

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

Orientation: Apprentices attend an orientation within their first few weeks of the program. 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.  

On-Farm Evaluation: Mentors schedule bi-weekly check-ins with their apprentices throughout the season. During each check-in, apprentices and mentors review skills checklist, and discuss learning goals, observations and general concerns or questions that arise.

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 neighbouring farms.  

One-on-one Support: Young Agrarians staff will facilitate monthly check-ins and help you develop your learning strategy which will include farm visits and meeting with a business coach. Phone calls and emails will be the primary form of communication.

Program Evaluation: Apprentices are required to complete a formal exit interview with the program coordinators and complete a final report.

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://goo.gl/forms/WjvY9ehVWZHdd78B2)

STEP 2: Email you resume and a personal essay (max 1500 word) describing: “My vision for ecological agriculture” to apprenticeship@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. 

Important Dates:

Applications are now being accepted. Applications are due by February 28th, 2019.

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 2019. 

For more information contact:

Dana Penrice, YA Prairies Program Manager
Email: alberta@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. 

Sept 14+15 2019: Grimshaw, AB – Low Stress Livestock Handling Workshop with Dylan Biggs

Posted by Lilli Klamke on August 15, 2019

September 14 & 15 _Nature's Way Farm_ Grimshaw, AB-2

  Workshop: Low-Stress Livestock Handling with Dylan Biggs “Low-stress livestock handling can contribute to the well being of your cattle by allowing you to handle them in all situations in a safe, calm, efficient manner — effectively minimizing the amount of stress you expose your cattle to.” Dylan Biggs Are you running your herd of cattle or are they running you? There is lot’s to learn and to know about not only the behavior of our animals but also about the way we are handling them. Come on out for the two-day workshop at Nature’s Way Farm in Grimshaw. Dylan … Continue reading Sept 14+15 2019: Grimshaw, AB – Low Stress Livestock Handling Workshop with Dylan Biggs

FARM JOB: ACME, AB – APPRENTICE GOATHERD, DANCING GOATS FARM

Posted by Alex on August 13, 2019

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Dancing Goats Farm is seeking an apprentice Goatherd/Farm Worker for September 2019 for full-time employment. On farm accommodation is available. Dancing Goats Farm is an equal opportunity employer. Tasks and Responsibilities This position offers the opportunity to learn about animal care and husbandry, pasture management, and relevant government agriculture regulations. The employee will assist with and be responsible for daily care of the goats including: Milking Feeding General animal care and health Cleaning milking equipment, milking parlour, and animal housing areas Other duties as assigned Experience and Physical Requirements General livestock, farm, or veterinary experience an asset. The successful candidate will … Continue reading FARM JOB: ACME, AB – APPRENTICE GOATHERD, DANCING GOATS FARM

Opportunity: Funding Program for Agricultural Internships

Posted by Kolby Peterson on June 24, 2019

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Are you a farmer looking to hire and mentor a young, new, or aspiring farmer? The Youth Employment and Skills Program is providing funding for the creation of agricultural internships to youth and youth facing barriers. This is a program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and employers across the agriculture sector may apply for funding to hire Canadians, age 15 to 30. Approved projects will be eligible to receive 50% of total eligible costs, up to a maximum of $14,000 in matching funds. For those hiring youth facing barriers, 80 percent of total eligible costs up to $14, 000 may … Continue reading Opportunity: Funding Program for Agricultural Internships

WORK TRADE FOR ACCOMMODATION: VALLICAN, BC at Where the Pavement Used to End Farm

Posted by Michalina Hunter on June 19, 2019

where the pavement used to end farm, vallican, winlaw, nelson, work trade

Looking for farm accommodation for work trade? Where the Pavement Used to End Farm in beautiful Vallican, near Nelson, BC might be the right fit for you! ABOUT Where the Pavement Used to End We are a 3 acre homestead/hobby farm working towards expanding into a market garden and farm stand.  We have a large vegetable garden and many fruit and nut trees along with about 65 laying hens and a roadside egg stand. We use organic practices however our farm is not certified organic. DESIRED QUALITIES Previous farm labour experience preferred, good work ethic, reliability. TASKS AT THE FARM Tasks will mainly be in … Continue reading WORK TRADE FOR ACCOMMODATION: VALLICAN, BC at Where the Pavement Used to End Farm

AUGUST 10, 2019: ALCOMDALE, AB – 1st Generation Farmer Conference

Posted by Alex on June 13, 2019

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Are you a 1st generation farmer looking to connect with a strong community of friends and mentors? Do you want to make your farm business more resilient by improving your financial plan and communication strategies? Are you an urbanite itching to get your boots on the ground but don’t know where to start? Join us at the 1st Generation Farmer Conference to get relevant, ready-to-apply farm knowledge from a fantastic line up of speakers and to meet other passionate farmers in Alberta! Farmers, food lovers, and the farm-curious of all ages are all invited! When: Saturday, August 10, 2019 Where: Rosy … Continue reading AUGUST 10, 2019: ALCOMDALE, AB – 1st Generation Farmer Conference

FARM JOB: INVERMERE, BC – Groundswell Network Society Greenhouse and Gardens, Sustainability Intern

Posted by Michalina Hunter on June 12, 2019

groundswell network society, farm job, invermere

Groundswell Network Society in Invermere, BC is seeking a Sustainability Intern for the 2019 season! About Groundswell Network Society Our operation consists of a 3000 sq ft cold climate greenhouse designed to offer educational programming and community participation. The greenhouse is located on a 1/4 acre property which also includes a developing food forest and a demonstration garden. Hand garden tools and a weed whipper are the primary tools used to maintain the site. We offer a u-pick to community members and also provide a harvest-to-market component to local vendors. We also sell our produce at various community events that … Continue reading FARM JOB: INVERMERE, BC – Groundswell Network Society Greenhouse and Gardens, Sustainability Intern

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YA Alberta Apprenticeship Orientation Weekend

Posted by Kolby Peterson on June 11, 2019

“Young farmer, learn as much as you can about farming and life. Listen to your elders, for they are wise… Whatever you learn, share that knowledge with others; whatever you grow, share with those who have less. Be prepared to meet the challenges ahead, but know that you are not alone.” – Karen Washington, activist and farmer, Rise & Root Farm Young Agrarians has launched its 2019 Alberta Apprenticeship Program, and we couldn’t be more excited to introduce this year’s crew. How they all ended up on Alberta farms would require a long night of storytelling around a campfire, but … Continue reading YA Alberta Apprenticeship Orientation Weekend

FARM JOB: PENDER ISLAND, BC – Pender Island Community Hall, Farm Program Coordinator

Posted by Michalina Hunter on June 04, 2019

Pender Island Community Hall, on Pender  Island, BC, is seeking a Farm Program Coordinator for the 2019 summer season! About Pender Island Community Hall The Pender Islands Community Hall is a 7000 square foot, two storey building. The gambrel-roof gives it the appearance of a modified barn, so that the Hall fits the rural landscape of the island. The Hall sits on a 3 acre parcel of land between three farms and a unique coast pine-forest. Pender Island Recreation and Agricultural Hall Association’s (“PIRAHA“) Purpose: To Assist, Develop and Foster Community Spirit. To Promote Agricultural Endeavours of all kinds. To Promote Educational, Cultural, … Continue reading FARM JOB: PENDER ISLAND, BC – Pender Island Community Hall, Farm Program Coordinator

FILLED ~ FARM JOB: VICTORIA, BC – Sweet Acres Farm, Part Time Farm Hand

Posted by Michalina Hunter on June 03, 2019

This position has been filled as of June 13, 2019. View other farm jobs and apprenticeships here.  Sweet Acres Farm near Victoria, BC, is seeking a Part Time Farm Hand for the 2019 season! About Sweet Acres Farm Sweet Acres Farm is a small and diversified mixed vegetable farm located on leased land at Lohbrunner Community Farm. We grow 40 plus different high quality veggies and herbs on about 1 acre primarily with the use of a walk behind tractor, hand tools, and good old hard work! We sell through a diverse number of markets including 2 farmers markets, a local grocery … Continue reading FILLED ~ FARM JOB: VICTORIA, BC – Sweet Acres Farm, Part Time Farm Hand

POSTPONED June 8+9 2019: Grimshaw, AB – Low Stress Livestock Handling Workshop with Dylan Biggs

Posted by Lilli Klamke on June 02, 2019

Good news. Bad New. Bad news is that this workshop won’t be happening this weekend but the good news is that we will be postponing it to a later date so you will still be able to take this amazing course later this year. To get on the list for more information contact Lilli at albertapeace@youngagrarians.org. Workshop: Low-Stress Livestock Handling with Dylan Biggs “Low-stress livestock handling can contribute to the well being of your cattle by allowing you to handle them in all situations in a safe, calm, efficient manner — effectively minimizing the amount of stress you expose your … Continue reading POSTPONED June 8+9 2019: Grimshaw, AB – Low Stress Livestock Handling Workshop with Dylan Biggs