Farms Next is a full season of hands-on training and skill-based education in sustainable agriculture for aspiring farmers and ranchers. Through an innovative and cooperative model, Farms Next combines up to 1500 hours of field training with a mentor farmer, 75 hours of classroom learning with agricultural professionals and expert farmers, 15 tours of local farms, and opportunities for farm-based independent study on a diverse network of commercial family farms in Oregon’s scenic Rogue Valley.
Farms Next provides an intense, supportive experience that will leave students with a deeper understanding of sustainable agriculture, a foundation of entrepreneurial skills, and practical knowledge to plan for and start their own farming operation. Students will live and work full-time on a host farm, receive on-going training, and learn in-depth skills from their mentor farmer.
The companion classroom component, farm tours, discussion circles, and independent study will deepen the experience and expose students to the vast array of knowledge and expertise in our farming community. In addition, students in Farms Next are offered an unparalleled sense of community and social networking as they engage in the daily life of a vibrant agricultural economy.
Farms Next offers opportunity for hands-on training in:
- Organic vegetable, herb, seed and flower production at various scales.
- Marketing techniques, including direct marketing through farmers’ markets, restaurant sales and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs.
- Raising livestock, including cattle, goats, poultry, sheep and hogs.
- Farmstead dairying, including cheese making, with cows and goats.
- Farm-based education and agri-tourism opportunities.
As a student in Farms Next, you will work hard. And, you will learn from a diverse community of mentor farmers, agricultural specialists, and food system professionals, while living and farming in one of the most beautiful places in the country. To learn more about our program and host farms, and to fill out an application, please see our website at www.roguefarmcorps.org.