New Agrarian ProgramApprenticeships in sustainable agriculture
"Once upon a time apprenticeship was the primary form of education available to a person, whatever the field - medicine, music, cobbler, or scholar. Not necessarily a beginner but not yet a master, an apprentice agreed to work for a specific period of time for a master craftsperson in a craft or trade, in return for instruction. An agrarian apprenticeship is a form of this age-old process whereby a learner becomes a practitioner." -Julie Sullivan, San Juan Ranch, CO
Quivira's New Agrarian Program grew out of the understanding that agriculture drives economies, creates green job opportunities and directly affects the health of our nation. With the national average age of US ranchers and farmers approaching 60, and with less than 2% of the US population currently dedicated to producing food, it is critical that we increase the number and accessibility of training opportunities for the next generation of food producers and land stewards. If we fail to take proactive measures to train the next generation of agrarians, we face further degradation of natural resources and ecosystem services, food insecurity, and the development of prime agricultural land.
Enthusiastic young agrarians are ready to take part in the sustainable food movement, but need opportunities to learn alongside established practitioners so that vital, experience-based knowledge can be transferred to a new generation of land stewards.
Since 2008, NAP has partnered with ranches and farms around the Southwest to design and implement intensive, 8-12 month apprenticeships for new agrarians. This selective, in-residence professional development program offers experiential training in all aspects of a resilient agricultural enterprise. It was designed to support the next generation of food producers, and is targeted specifically at young people with a sincere commitment to a life and career at the intersection of conservation and sustainable agriculture.
Our apprenticeship program works closely with carefully selected rancher and farmer mentors who are dedicated stewards of the land; practice beyond organic, regenerative methods of food production; provide excellent animal care; and who are natural teachers for young agrarians.
For more information on the various New Agrarian Program apprenticeship opportunities and how to apply, visit the following pages:
- San Juan Ranch (San Luis Valley, CO) - Ranching Apprenticeship
- James Ranch Artisan Cheese (Durango, CO) - Cheese-Making Apprenticeship
- Tooley's Trees (Truchas, NM) - Holistic Orchard Management
- 47 Ranch (Cochise CO., AZ) - Diversified Ranching Apprenticeship
- Cheese-Making Courses in New Mexico
New Agrarian Education, A Handbook for Mentor and Apprentice - Read more and Purchase