SOIL Farming Apprenticeship Program

SOIL Farming Apprenticeship Program

Postby Oscar » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:15 am

SOIL Farming Apprenticeship Program

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An organization called Stewards of Irreplaceable Land (SOIL) contacted the office and would like to connect with prairie farmers who might want to help a young person get started farming.

SOIL is an accessible framework for getting folks interested in farming to try it out for a season through hands-on learning and for experienced farms to share their knowledge and bring new people into the industry.

For more info see below and their website at or contact SOIL Coordinator Jordan Marr at or Keeley Nixon at with any questions you may have.

What it SOIL

A non profit program, established in 1989, that links farmers with young folks wanting to learn and work on an organic farm using sustainable practices. We aim to create apprenticeships which transfer lasting knowledge to both the farmer and the apprentice.
The host farms that list with SOIL, are farms which emphasis organic techniques with little or no dependence on pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. Beyond that they represent a wide variety of focus and practices; from market garden businesses, biodynamic farms, animal husbandry operations of all sizes, orchards, seed companies to name a few.
SOIL's goals are to encourage the growth of sustainable agriculture, offer valuable hands-on learning for young folks to acquire the basic skills for an agricultural career and to assist farmers with the necessary support required to successfully run their organic operation

How SOIL works

Apprenticeships are available to anyone over 18 years old who is healthy, self motivated and eager to learn. A time commitment of eight weeks is usually required, but a full-season commitment is usually preferred. Typically, apprenticeships take place between May and September, although many farms need help all year round.
SOIL provides the listing service for host farm opportunities and acts as an initial liaison between the farmer and prospective apprentices. SOIL endeavors to match the apprentice with the farm according to the information given by both parties.
Farms make a commitment to provide a teaching component to the apprenticeship. They are encouraged to provide a monthly stipend or wage to the apprentice. If this is not practical, most apprentices agree to room & board and a productive learning experience in return for their labour. It is the responsibility of both parties to come to a working agreement.

How to get involved as an apprentice:

Complete and submit the apprentice application (available as print or electronic document) as well as a $30 application fee
When we receive your application from the web site we will notify you and wait until we receive your membership fee. Then we will email you the applications filled in by the farms you are interested in, along with some guidelines for making a contract with the farms. We will also send your application to the farmers. Then is it up to you to contact the farms that most interest you to discuss a possible placement!

How to get involved as a farmer interested in hosting an apprentice

Complete and submit the farmer application (available as print or electronic document) and a photo if you’d like to include one
SOIL will put a brief description of your farm and photo(s) on the website. Based on these descriptions, apprenticeship applicants choose five farms they are interested in, and we send them the full farm profile you filled out in your application.

There is normally a $30 application fee however to promote apprenticeships in the Prairies, farms in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba may list free of charge for 2015.
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