Urban-farming apprenticeship programs crop up across the country.
By Aleigh Acerni
Urban Farm Magazine
February 3, 2012
Would-be farmers have a new way to hone their skills while helping to increase access to fresh produce in urban communities: urban-farming apprenticeship programs. They’ve been cropping up across the country with mounting frequency for the past few years, offering specialized, hands-on training in sustainable, urban-farming methods. And as the popular — and typically competitive — programs grow, they’re giving rise to a new contingent of professional urban farmers.
“We just graduated our first class of beginner farmers in December,” says Dan Bravin, food program coordinator for Multnomah County, Ore., and one of the creators of the Portland-based Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship program. A partnership between the county and the Oregon State University Extension Service, BUFA provides in-depth and comprehensive training in sustainable, small-scale urban-farming methods through formal classes, hands-on training, field trips, online learning, farmers market sales and supervised apprenticeships.