New Agrarian Apprenticeships

Apprenticeship LocationsApply now

What to expect

Contact Hours

Apprentices can expect approximately 400 – 600 direct contact hours over an eight month period (or approximately 10 – 15 hours a week) with a person in a designated mentorship role. Some operations have multiple people offering mentorship.


Apprentices working an April to November season will attend an in-person group orientation in late March or early April for four days. Attendance at this event is mandatory. 

Dis-orientation Guide

Each apprentice receives a copy of the NAP Dis-orientation Guide which includes an example of skill checklists and a daily work log for recording activity. The workbook also includes a schedule of the full eight months of the apprenticeship to help the apprentice track important program dates and events; some info on critical communication tools; history of the program and Quivira; and other documents that maybe useful during your apprenticeship.


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.


All participants will attend a series of supplemental trainings offered in partnership with Holistic Management International. 

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.

Supplemental education

Holistic Management International (HMI) in partnership with the New Agrarian Program (NAP) will offer a series of training opportunities designed to expose apprentices to topics ranging from soil health and land management to biological monitoring, financial management and business planning. Upon completion of the NAP apprenticeship program graduates will be given priority in applying for HMI training program scholarships. 

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 400 – 600 hours of direct mentorship, supplemental education in partnership with HMI, 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 for 2020 apprenticeships, largely running March – November, will open October 15, 2019.

Apprenticeship is a very personal form of education that relies on the energy you put in and the relationship you develop with your mentor. No two mentor sites are the same and no two apprenticeships on the same operation are identical one year to the next.

Please take the time to read through the site descriptions and choose a mentor site that will be a good fit for you! As you read through the descriptions, ask yourself:

  • Where do you want to be?
  • What skills are you hoping to learn?
  • What type of operation do you want to be on?
  • What type of learner are you?
  • What type of mentor are you hoping for?

Remember…you will get out of an apprenticeship what you put in. So find an operation that you are ready to invest a lot of energy into before you apply!


Cobblestone Ranch

Grass-fed Sheep and Cattle

Los Molinos, California

Oct/Nov 2019 – June 2020

Richards ranch & Richards grassfed beef

Holistic sheep & cattle ranching

Oregon House, California


San Juan Ranch

Organic Grass-fed Beef

Saguache, Colorado

Indian Ridge Farm

Pastured Poultry
Organic Vegetable Farming

Norwood, Colorado

James Ranch Artisan Cheese

Grass-fed Raw Milk Dairy and Cheesemaking

Durango, Colorado

Round River Resource Management

Cattle Grazing

Rush, Colorado

Badger Creek Ranch

Working Cattle and Guest Ranch

Cañoncito, Colorado

XK Bar Ranch

Grass Finishing 

Crawford, Colorado

New Mexico

Tooley's Trees & Keyline Design

Tree Nursery

Truchas, New Mexico


Vilicus Farms


Havre, Montana

B Bar Ranch

100% grass fed and grass finished, certified organic beef
Big Timber, Montana

Seacross Ranch

Cow-Calf-Yearling Operation
Lodge Grass, Montana

Charter Ranch

Cattle Ranch

Huntley, Montana

Chauvet Cattle Co.

Cow-Calf Cattle Ranch
Big Sandy, Montana

Barthelmess Ranch

Grassfed Cattle

Malta, Montana

Moe Ranch

Cow/Calf Cattle Ranch

Two Dot, Montana

Milton Ranch

Cow/Calf Cattle Ranch

Roundup, Montana

2020 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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