YA Apprenticeship 2022: The Homestead – Goodfare, AB

Posted by Kolby Peterson on November 01, 2021 4 Comments

Are you an aspiring farmer looking for an adventure in mixed farming? The Homestead is looking for a farm apprentice starting this spring to join their team.

About the Farm

The Homestead is a certified organic farm situated between the arable prairie of the Peace Country and a wilderness that extends all the way to the Pacific Ocean. It was started by Lisa and Donovan Kitt, two young farmers passionate about growing their own food. They have grown their subsistence farm into a medium-sized established operation that specializes in producing and direct marketing eggs, vegetables, micro-greens, pork, bison, beef, and chickens. 

Lisa and Donovan work closely with Jerry and apprentices will likely collaborate on projects with the whole Kitt family. Donovan and Lisa work six days a week and attend farmers markets on Friday evenings and Saturdays. There are no shortage of experiences to be had and they don’t necessarily follow a predictable schedule.

About the Apprenticeship

Apprentices will work alongside Donovan and Lisa and acquire skills in many aspects of running a diverse and certified organic farming enterprise, including cropping, market gardening, raising pigs, raising cattle, beekeeping, egg production, building, marketing, and farm maintenance.

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 host’s farm. You will also be invited to attend the 2022 Organic Alberta Conference.

2020 Apprentice – Josephine – rockin’ it at the farmers market

About the Farm Mentors:

The main mentors are Lisa and Donovan Kitt, their infant son Murray, Donovan’s father Jerry, and a revolving contingent of WWOOFers (short and/or long term volunteers participating in World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). Lisa is a market gardening extraordinaire, soil fertility expert, and cattle whisperer. Donovan works off farm and tackles farm resiliency and marketing. Jerry manages a pasture-based hog operation as well as a bison herd. Murray likes to ask questions and go on quad rides and Everett smiles, clap his hands, and squawks. WWOOFers travel from all reaches of the world to experience life on an organic farm.

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 through a learning plan with the host farm.

RAISING PASTURED PIGS market gardening
LIVESTOCK HEALTH DIRECT MARKETING
HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT SOIL FERTILITY
POULTRY HUSBANDRY ORGANIC FARMING PRINCIPLES
ROTATIONAL Grazing ORGANIC BEEKEEPING
EGG PRODUCTION SOIl FERTILITY / nutrient management
FARMERS MARKET SALES FINANCIAL PLANNING

Skills Required of the Apprentice

Apprentices working at the Homestead must have a desire to learn, a valid drivers licence and own means of transportation, and an established vision for regenerative agriculture.

Housing, Stipend and Duration

A skid shack is available for long term apprentices and holiday trailers for short-term apprentices. A monthly stipend is provided. The apprenticeship will be 8-10 months in duration. Lunch and dinner are shared together and apprentices have access to Donovan and Lisa’s house, with access to laundry and wifi. 

About the Community

The Homestead is located near Goodfare, which is a vibrant and close-knit community. Potlucks, impromptu visitors, and house concerts are common. Farming is a challenge to do independently and supportive community is essential for success. The farmers of The Homestead can provide examples of how to cultivate and maintain a vibrant community.

The area is abundant in wildlife and there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. The closest town is Beaverlodge, which is a half hour drive from farm and has most services. Grande Prairie is the nearest city and is a one hour drive The Homestead.

The farm is on Treaty 8 territory and the traditional and ancestral lands of Tsek’ehne (Sekani), Dane-Zaa (Beaver), Slavey, Nehiyawak (Cree), Saulteau, Denesuline (Chipewyan), and Métis Peoples. These communities have a deep relationship with this land based on, among other things, a spiritual connection and subsistence extending back thousands of years.

Young Agrarians recognizes the unresolved Indigenous land title and rights in the diverse territories in what is today called Canada. As we live and work in the context of and in response to a colonial system of laws and policies, it is important to acknowledge the historical and ongoing impact of agriculture and land enclosure on Indigenous lands and food systems. In this context, we acknowledge our collective responsibility to position Indigenous Peoples and their experiences with coloniality, in a narrative of reconciliation that places ecology, land stewardship, and Indigenous land title and rights at the forefront – if we are to sustain the Earth’s ecosystems in today’s rapidly changing climate.

Our deepest hope is that the future of our food systems is diverse, interconnected, and resilient, embraces people of all walks of life and sustains the water, plants, and creatures in ways that benefit and work alongside Indigenous Peoples and narratives and ways of knowing and caring for the land.

This farm, like many others, is surrounded by agricultural cultivated land, uncultivated land, Indigenous people and voices from non-settler walks of life. We encourage everyone to build relationship with the land and community that surrounds the place where you will be learning.

Be sure to check out The Homestead on social media and the world wide web!

2021 Apprentice Katia with 2020 Apprentice Josephine – washing carrots in the snow

More Details about this Apprenticeship and How to Apply 

Deadline to apply: February 15th, 2022.

Interested in an Apprenticeship but this isn’t quite the right one? Check out other Young Agrarians Prairie Apprenticeships being offered in 2022 here. 

4 thoughts on “YA Apprenticeship 2022: The Homestead – Goodfare, AB

  1. Hello,
    My name is John Ondounga I’m aspiring farmer looking for experience in a Cattle, Horses poultry and vegetable farm to incruise my skills and knowledge. The farm. I’m interested in The homestead Goodfare farm if they still need manpower for the next saison I would like them to feel free to contact me and discuss about.
    Thank you, best regards

    1. Hi John,

      If you are interested in this apprenticeship, please follow the application instructions as provided in this posting.

      Cheers,
      Michi

  2. Hi,
    Is there any possibility to be there for volunteership and learning on the weekends only? As i work full time in Calgary and want to learn this modern skill so i can teach farmer back home.
    This is very very serious and humble request.
    Thanks
    Biss

    1. Hi Biss,

      It would be up to the individual farms whether that would work for them. You could try reaching out to some farms to see if they could use some help on weekends and share some knowledge.

      Cheers,
      Michi

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