Young Agrarians Apprenticeship Program: 2023 Reflections

Posted by Lourdes Still on September 13, 2023 2 Comments

It’s been another fantastic apprenticeship season! This year, the program partnered with 17 host farms across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba offering 18 aspiring farmers hands-on training and educational experiences. 

The Young Agrarians Apprenticeship Program started in Alberta in 2016, and in Saskatchewan and Manitoba in 2021. To date, we have had  89 apprentices working with 72 host farm mentors, all offer something unique. These apprenticeships create the opportunity to learn about ecological land stewardship practices while developing a network of community and support. Through this program, participants gain an understanding of what it takes to create viable farms that are environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable.

Alberta cohort orientation at Alberta Reclaim Organics

The season kicked off with an orientation retreat, where apprentices gathered together provincially to connect with their fellow apprentices, have some fun, be on the land, work through some pre-season start-up jitters, potluck,  and engage in personal development activities. In Manitoba, apprentices gathered at Room to Grow, a guest house near Boissevain in the Turtle Mountains. In Saskatchewan, we gathered at Wolf Willow Winery by Outlook, and in Alberta at Reclaims Organics Farm. 

Saskatchewan apprenticeship cohort at Wolf Willow Winery

Over the season apprentices had the opportunity to attend farm tours from participating host farms in the program. Farm tours are an incredible learning experience that enhances understanding of regenerative agriculture practices on different farms, as well as provides space for networking, community building, and engagement in food security. In September, the season wrapped up with our closing retreats in person and online, with apprentices coming together to celebrate their accomplishments, reflect on their experience, and share what they learned. 

Manitoba apprenticeship cohort orientation at Room to Grow

Thank you to all the host farms and apprentices in participating in the 2023 program! Here are a few testimonials from our host farms and apprentices. 


Michelle Scram – Host Farm: Fresh Roots Farm

“It helped provide structure and support for the hiring process, took some of the workload off for vetting applicants (and reaching them) and feeling a part of a larger mentor (and apprentice) group that we could connect with. I liked the zoom sessions leading up to the start of the program, and the opportunity given to apprentices to lead a tour on their farm.  The matchmaking process seems to work fairly well. Nice to have the opportunity for apprentices to gather with each other.”

Donovan Kitt – Host Farm:  The Homestead

Victoria – 2022 Apprentice: The Dog’s Run Farm, Manitoba

“My apprenticeship has been a fantastic immersion into what life as a regenerative farmer could look like. My mentors are extremely supportive of my learning experience, and I have already done so many things this summer I would have never thought I would be doing. Not only am I learning about and participating in the physical and mental work involved in farming itself, but also all the behind-the-scenes labour that keeps the farm afloat (marketing, finances, building community connections, etc). The apprenticeship program also had lots of outside support from the coordinators and arranged connections between all the other apprentices in the province and the Prairies program. If anyone is seriously considering or even mildly curious about what a life of regenerative farming looks like, I highly recommend the apprenticeship program. “

Kira – 2023 Apprentice: Grovenland Farm 

“Coming to Grovenland has been an absolute gift. I didn’t have any farming experience really and everyone here has been so welcoming. Everyone is so lovely and kind and whenever friends ask me how the experience is going, I always tell them it’s incredible because I get to work outside barefoot all day. I’m mostly working in the vegetable gardens and prepping for our CSA and farmers markets this summer. I’ve also been tasked with looking after the chicks every day and have slowly learned more of the animal chores, too. In recent weeks, we have unboxed new chicks, moved cattle, and also gotten a new puppy!  I’ve learned so much since I’ve been here and I’m so grateful for it all. It’s been an absolute joy to be connected more to the land and the food I eat. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the summer. “

Join the 2024 Apprenticeship Program!


Saskatchewan Host Farm Mentors Duane Thompson & Kris Springer @ Tee Two Land and Cattle Farm Tour
Host Farm applications is now open!  Apply by November 3, 2023 and close November 3, 2023. 

Apprenticeship applications will open on November 6, 2023 and close January 31, 2024. 



For more information on becoming a host farm mentor, check this blog post and fill out an application when you are ready.

We are hosting a virtual info Q & A night for anyone interested in being a host farm on Wednesday October 18, 2023, 7:00 PM SK & AB / 8 PM MB.  Registration coming soon.

Questions? Reach out to a member of our Apprenticeship team.

Marsha Shack, YA Alberta Apprenticeship Coordinator

Alieka Beckett, YA SK Apprenticeship Coordinator                                                                                      Email:

Sara Yagelniski, YA MB Apprenticeship Coordinator

Words by: Alieka Beckett

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