Now seeking applications and proposals for the 2017 Beginning Farmer Fellowship at Willow Brook Farm, a permaculture and art center.
Updated Deadlines as of 3/9/17
Letter of interest deadline: April 15, 2017
Application deadline: May 1, 2017
Notifications: May 15, 2017
Apply at: http://willowbrookfarmnh.org/about/
Willow Brook Farm is a 76-acre homestead in central NH founded in 2014.
Our Beginning Farmer Fellowship is a unique opportunity for beginning farmers to propose and explore their own farming practices and business idea in a low risk environment with support, mentorship, and collaboration. The fellowship includes: access to land, housing, a modest stipend, equipment, tools, mentorship and training. The Fellowship, beginning in 2016, runs on a two-year cycle.
The Beginning Farmer Fellowship is different from a traditional apprenticeship in several important ways: 1) rather than gain work experience and helping generate an existing farm’s profit, the Beginning Farmer Fellows have a mentored and self-directed experience to build their own farm business. Guidance is offered, but Fellows are ultimately in charge of planning and implementing their own farming operation, as they will be when they emerge from the Fellowship. Fellows are responsible for developing their own market for crop sales (with WBFAC help). Moreover, income earned is retained by the fellows for investment in their future farm and equipment purchase.
We expect to dedicate one to two acres of land for intensive crop production for each fellow. Fellows may have access to the entire farm and the amount of space available may vary based upon individual proposals and needs (e.g. for livestock). We anticipate fellows may:
- work with animals for dairy or eggs (meat is also a possibility provided the animals are treated humanely)
- sell produce at farmers’ markets
- run a weekly CSA operation direct to the consumer
- or produce a value-added product, such as cheese, jams, salsa, soap, etc.
Our goal is to have new Fellows join the program each year so we will have overlapping Fellows in residence to ensure the transfer of knowledge, encourage collaboration, and to engage Fellows in the experience of building networks and community which will serve them well when they have their own farms.
Please visit here for an overview of expectations and opportunities.