YA Apprenticeship: Nature’s Way Farm – Grimshaw, AB

Posted by Dana Penrice on December 06, 2019 1 Comment

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? Peter and Mary Lundgard are excited to provide you with a meaningful apprenticeship experience in your path to becoming a farmer.

Photo: Rianna 2017 Nature's Way Farm Apprentice
Photo: Rianna, 2017 Nature’s Way Farm Apprentice, cutting hay

About the Farm

Nature’s Way Farm, a 640 acre farm close to the banks of the Peace River in northern Alberta. Covered by aspen, birch, spruce, pine, and willow shelter belts, this farm provides wildlife habitat for moose, deer, beaver, foxes, coyotes, grouse, partridge, and migratory birds. This farm includes a livestock operation with cattle, sheep, pigs, dairy cattle and a farm garden. It also operates a alfalfa seed and leaf cutter bee operation. The farm is certified organic and certified humane.

Photo: Milking time with apprentices and interns at Nature’s Way Farm

About the Apprenticeship

Through this one-year (period of 8 months from April 21st until December 21st possible) apprenticeship, you will learn about grass-based farming, planned grazing of cattle, sheep and hogs, pasture calving, lambing and farrowing, animal nutrition and low stress livestock handling. Learn about seasonal grass-based dairy and dairy processing. An Agrarian Apprenticeship would be incomplete without learning about  soil building, including mineral balancing soil and making mineral rich compost.

Nature’s Way Farm will also expose you to Holistic Management, a framework used by many farmers to make socially, environmentally and ecologically sound decisions. The family also values traditional nutrition following the teachings of the Weston A. Price Foundation. From time to time, this farm also hosts WOOFers, interns and others coming to learn.

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 .

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.

livestock husbandry managing for soil fertility
livestock health compost making and application
low stress livestock handling direct marketing
milking food preservation
leaf cutter bee management Food self-sufficiency & gardening
 Grazing management operating farm equipment (tractors)
forage seed production fencing
field crop production and harvest (ex: baling silage and hay) carpentry

Housing, Stipend and Duration

Apprentices will live in a separate house that is furnished and includes appliances. A monthly stipend will be offered. This is a 1-Year Apprenticeship.

About the Community

The farm is close to the town of Peace River that has full services, shopping, indoor swimming pool, and community theatre. There is a campground just across the river accessible by ferry where locals go horseback riding, 4 wheel biking, hiking, and canoeing on the river. In the winter there is a ski hill and cross country skiing. The farm itself is close to Grimshaw, AB which is 172 km northeast of Grande Prairie (2 hr drive) and 512 km northwest of Edmonton (6 hr drive).

More Details about this Apprenticeship and How to Apply 

Deadline February 15, 2020.

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