The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) Apprenticeship Program is seeking highly-motivated individuals from a variety of different backgrounds to participate in a hands-on work and study program that trains participants in many aspects of sustainable agriculture production and research.
The majority of each apprentices work will focus on a particular production system at CEFS. A wide array of topics to study are available, including: Organic Grain and Vegetable Production, Small Farm Production, Agroecological Production Techniques, Long-term Comparative Farming Systems, Livestock including Beef and Dairy Cattle as well as Swine Production and Agroforestry.
Apprenticeship appointments are for a period of time of six to nine months and are located in Goldsboro and/or Raleigh, NC. During that time, Apprentices will have the opportunity to:
Immerse oneself in agricultural production and field research, spending up to forty hours a week as an integral part of a team,
Work with a highly diverse team of educators from North Carolina State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
Interact with other Apprentices at various research units and sites;
Weekly lecture(s) on various topics of sustainable agriculture;
Participate in field trips to local farms;
Prepare a written research paper, suitable for publication;
Give an oral presentation on your research at the conclusion of the program.
Available Apprenticeship Opportunities:
SUSTAINABLE FARMING SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT AND RESEARCH
Start/ End Dates (Approximate): March to November (or December).
The Farming Systems Research Unit (FSRU) is a long term, large scale, multidisciplinary research project that compares five different agro-ecosystems: conventional agriculture, integrated crop-animal, organic agriculture, forestry plantation, and succession. The main objective of this project is to determine the effects of the different systems on the productivity and soil health over the long term. Both productivity and soil health are important indicators of sustainability in agricultural systems. This is a unique project that offers a number of hands-on opportunities in various aspects of agricultural production and research.
The Small Farm Unit is a 4+ acre organically certified vegetable farm with a greenhouse and three high tunnels for season extension research. An apprentice working at the small farm would be in charge of researching, designing and executing various organic weed control methods on a half-acre plot (s). An apprentice could also be involved in assisting in the collection of other on-farm research data, and the planting, weeding and harvesting of vegetables. There is also the opportunity to learn about irrigation and equipment use on a smaller scale farm.
Expectations & Goals:
The participant will be involved in all farming activities to learn all aspects about farm equipment and management practices.
The participant will be involved in all the research activities, including planning, sampling, measuring, data management, and evaluation which will provide a good understanding about sustainable agricultural research procedures.
The participant will share ideas and take part on discussions to decide actions to improve both agronomic and research procedures and strategies.
The knowledge and experiences gained can be applied toward diverse farm management and sustainable agriculture research purposes.
The participant will design a small research project evaluating various methods of organic weed control and summarize the results.
Special Skills Needed: Good communication and organizational skills, able to follow directions, to do tasks independently, and to work in a team, lift up to 40 pounds.
Location of Apprenticeship: Goldsboro, NC (most of the time) and Raleigh, NC (occasionally).
Any Other Pertinent Information: Some activities may need to be done under adverse weather condition (cold, heat, rain, pollen).
CULINARY FARMING APPRENTICESHIP AT THE NCSU AGROECOLOGY FARM
Start/ End Dates (Approximate): April-November
The Agroecology Education Farm (AEF) is a 6-acre teaching farm dedicated to providing experiential learning opportunities and produce to the North Carolina State University (NCSU) dining halls. As the farm has grown so has its partnership with University Dining. The focus of this apprenticeship is on the relationship between farm production and culinary clients. The apprentice will work on the farm three days a week to learn basics of small-scale organic farm production. Besides the usual farm work, there will be a weekly educational focus (ie- crop rotation, equipment maintenance, volunteer management) and field trips. Additionally, the apprentice will work with our partners in NCSU Dining and on a project of their choice. The project will concentrate on developing curriculum and programing around the culinary aspects of growing food.
Expectations & Goals:
The apprentice will learn about small scale organic vegetable production through experiential learning at the AEF.
Through a partnership with the NCSU Dining Halls, the apprentice will gain hands-on experience working with the chefs, dining hall management, and students.
Through partners in the farm-to-table movement the apprentice will connect with farmers and culinary customers to gain insight on successful client relationships.
The apprentice will work on building leadership and communication skills by taking lead on developing some culinary programming at the AEF.
The apprentice will work as an ambassador for the farm at workshops and meetings. They will build connections and create a network.
The career goals of the apprentice will be encouraged and employment opportunities expanded through the apprenticeship.
Special Skills Needed (if any): Apprentice should be able to lift 40 pounds and should expect to spend extended periods of time on the farm in all kinds of weather conditions.
Location of Apprenticeship: Raleigh, NC
EDUCATIONAL FARM MANAGEMENT AT THE AGROECOLOGY FARM AT NCSU
Start/ End Dates (Approximate): March-November
The Agroecology Education Farm (AEF) is a 6-acre teaching farm dedicated to providing experiential learning opportunities and produce to the North Carolina State University (NCSU) dining halls. With the growing number of jobs opening that are associated with educational and non-profit farms, this position will prepare the apprentice for employment in that sector. Our focus is on the balance of education and vegetable production while developing curriculum and workshops for the farm. The apprentice will split time between the AEF and other partners. At the AEF, the focus will be on production and education. Besides the usual farm work, there will be a weekly educational focus (ie.- crop rotation, equipment maintenance, volunteer management) and field trips. One day a week the apprentice will work at a non-profit farm partner. Additionally, the apprentice will work on a project of their choice to develop farm programming and curriculum.
Expectations & Goals:
The apprentice will learn about small-scale organic vegetable production through experiential learning at the AEF.
Through a partnership with a local non-profit farm, the apprentice will add depth to their experience and expand their knowledge base.
The apprentice will work on building leadership and communication skills by taking lead on d