New Agrarian Apprenticeships

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What to expect

Contact Hours

Apprentices can expect approximately 1200 – 1600 contact hours over an eight month period.


Apprentices attend a group orientation in March, held in or near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Apprentice Workbook

Each apprentice receives a copy of the NAP Apprentice Workbook, which includes a daily work log for recording weather, hours worked, activities, observations and questions that arise during the day. Work logs are shared with mentors during check-ins, serving to guide the review of tasks completed and assess progress. The workbook also includes a schedule of the full eight months of the apprenticeship to help the apprentice track important program dates and events.


Apprentices schedule an initial assessment upon arrival, followed by a minimum of four evaluations with their mentors throughout the season, approximately one every other month. During each check-in, apprentices and mentors review skills checklists, which are tailored to each apprenticeship, and discuss other topics or concerns as needed.

Ranch / Farm Visits

During their eight-month apprenticeships, apprentices are given access to a travel fund to cover transportation to the conference and to other farm and ranch visits – including other NAP mentor operations, if possible.  The purpose of these visits is to expose the apprentice to different perspectives and practices.


Apprentices receive approximately thirty-five hours of online instruction covering a range of topics relevant to land health, business development, and financial management. These webinars are offered through Holistic Management International (HMI), and divided into five, six-week courses.

Quivira Conference

Apprentices attend the annual Quivira Conference where they represent the program and assist with a variety of tasks and events including the New Agrarian Career Connection. Graduation from the program takes place and is celebrated at the conference.


Each apprentice submits two reports to NAP: 1) a one-page personal introduction, due the second week of their apprenticeship, and 2) a three-page final report and a copy of the completed skills checklist, due November 1.


Apprentice education is divided into four categories: experiential learning, online classroom sessions, visits to other operations and the annual Quivira Conference.

Experiential learning

Apprentices spend more than 80 percent of their scheduled time on the host operation working alongside their mentor or, as their learning progresses, engaging in more independent activities. They engage in all activities necessary for the daily operation of the ranch or farm. Basic, repetitive tasks are balanced with new and increasingly challenging work to enable the development of higher-level skills and to further apprentice learning.

Online Classroom instruction

Holistic Management International Certified Educators host five online courses, which total approximately thirty-five hours of classroom instruction, each lasting six to seven weeks and addressing topics ranging from soil health and land management to biological monitoring, financial management and business planning. All NAP apprentices participate in the webinars at the same time each week. Reading and writing exercises are assigned and generally require two to three hours to complete before the next session. Apprentices may have additional opportunities to attend meetings, workshops, and conferences local to their host operations.

Site visits

Apprentices visit other ranches and farms for the opportunity to see different models and management styles. Apprentices identify operations they are interested in visiting (typically NAP host operations, but not necessarily) and schedule one to two days visits.

The Quivira Conference

In November, apprentices visit Albuquerque to attend a wide variety of workshops and plenary presentations addressing land health, regenerative agriculture, food systems and other relevant topics. The conference offers apprentices an opportunity to network and seek out their next career steps.


An apprenticeship is designed to be a hands-on, working and learning experience, offering high-quality professional training and education. The greatest benefit to apprentices is the opportunity to become fully immersed in the daily labor and operation of their host operation. Other compensation includes:


Approximately 1200-1600 hours of direct mentorship and hands-on learning, thirty-five hours of online classroom instruction, visits to other operations, and the annual Quivira Conference.


Apprentices receive monthly pay as employees of their host ranch or farm. The specific amount is determined by the host mentor, based on labor law and apprenticeship regulations specific to their state.


Mentors provide apprentice housing on or near the ranch or farm, separate from mentor housing. Housing includes adequate heating and other utilities, easy access to cooking and bathing facilities, and some private space for the apprentice. Apprentices are expected to keep living spaces clean at all times. While there will usually be Internet access on host operations, it may or may not be directly accessible in the apprentice housing. Apprentices are expected to provide their own telephones and telephone service.


While apprentices can expect to have some food provided by their host operations, they must clarify details and expectations related to food with their mentors as soon as possible upon accepting the apprenticeship position. Some mentors will provide a variety of food as ranch or farm products, while others will provide shared meals or possibly additional food stipends. Apprentices may be expected to participate in food preparation and clean-up for shared meals.

Workers’ Compensation

Apprentices are covered by workers’ compensation during the periods of their apprenticeships spent on the host operation. While most work-related injuries are covered, those that occur during off hours are not. Mentors will discuss details with apprentices as soon as possible after they arrive at the host operation.

Days Off

Apprentices will be given a minimum of one day off per week (or two consecutive days off every other week). The day off will be the same each week, and will begin by 4:30 the previous day when possible, and be free of any and all host ranch/farm-related obligations.

Paid Leave

Apprentices generally may negotiate up to five days paid personal leave for their eight-month apprenticeship. Apprentices are encouraged to clarify details pertaining to days off and paid leave with their mentors as soon as possible upon beginning their apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship Locations

Applications are now open for Cobblestone Ranch apprenticeships running October/November 2018 through June 2019.  Applications for 2019 apprenticeships, largely running March – November, will open in mid-October.

Cobblestone Ranch

Grass-fed Sheep and Cattle

Los Molinos, California

Oct/Nov 2019 – June 2020

Round River Resource Management

Cattle Grazing

Rush, Colorado

Vilicus Farms

Organic Heirloom Grains and Pulses

Havre, Montana

Barthelmess Ranch

Grassfed Sheep and Cattle

Malta, Montana

Mannix Brothers Ranch

Hay, Stockers, and
Grass-finished Cattle

Helmville, Montana

Tooley's Trees & Keyline Design

Tree Nursery

Truchas, New Mexico

Richards ranch & Richards grassfed beef

Holistic sheep & cattle ranching

Oregon House, California

Badger Creek Ranch

Working Cattle and Guest Ranch

Cañoncito, Colorado

James Ranch Artisan Cheese

Grass-fed Raw Milk Dairy and Cheesemaking

Durango, Colorado

Ranney Ranch

Direct Market Grass-fed Beef

Corona, New Mexico

Indian Ridge Farm

Pastured Poultry

Norwood, Colorado

Triangle P Cattle

Rangeland Cattle

Mescalero, New Mexico

San Juan Ranch

Organic Grass-fed Beef

Saguache, Colorado

Watch for new apprenticeships soon!

2019 Apprenticeship Locations

Curious about where our apprenticeships are hosted? Click on the map below to learn about the amazing mentors who are hosting apprentices in 2019.

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