NAP Mentor Training

2020-2021 NAP Mentor Training



This page is for NAP mentors only! If you are interested in Quivira’s Mentor Training calls that are open to anyone, please visit our general Mentor Training page.

New mentors are required to attend each of the eight calls. You can choose between either Tuesday at 12pm, or Thursday at 7pm. Returning mentors are highly encouraged to attend calls as well! Tuesday calls  (12pm Mountain Time) are open to both NAP mentors and folks outside of NAP. Thursday evening calls (7pm Mountain Time) are restricted to current and incoming NAP mentors only. 

Click on the date and time below to register for each session! After registering, you’ll be provided with a Zoom link for the session. All times listed are in Mountain Time.

#1 Recruiting the Apprentice You Want: (Oct 20th, 12pm) How do you write an apprenticeship description that is both appealing and realistic about the ups and downs of ranching and farming? Discuss what issues to address in the description, what to ask in the application, and where mentors have successfully recruited great apprentices. 

#2 Evaluating Written Applications (Nov 10th, 12pmNov 12th, 7pm How do you sort through written applications? We will share strategies for tackling the pile of applications, and templates for responses to applicants who you would like to interview and those you will decline.

#3 Effective Interviews (Dec 1st, 12pmDec 3rd, 7pm)  During an interview, what questions will reveal the skill level, motivation and personality of an applicant? What questions can’t be asked, for legal reasons? How do you find out what you most need to know? And how do you evaluate interviewees? We’ll discuss both phone/video and on-site interviews, as we find that having finalists come to see your operation is key to finding the best fit. Experienced mentors will discuss how they structure a working interview.

#4 Fairness and Nondiscrimination in Hiring (Dec 8th, 12pmDec 10th, 7pm) What can you do to ensure that your hiring process is safe, fair, and equitable for all applicants? What are the things that you must do (or avoid) in order to ensure that you’re not inadvertently discriminating in your hiring?

#5 Setting Expectations (Jan 19th, 12pmJan 21st, 7pm)  You’ve chosen your apprentice and are preparing for their arrival. Writing an apprenticeship agreement, creating a skills list, and setting clear boundaries at the beginning can support a successful apprenticeship.

#6 Balancing Work and Education (Feb 9th, 12pm; Feb 11th, 7pm)How do you structure the workday, week, and month so that work is done and education happens?  Mentors share strategies including weekly planning meetings, how to find those ‘teachable moments’ during a workday, and ways to do up-front training to get your apprentice going and maintain focus, communication and motivation in the busy season. 

#7 Mentoring to create a Self-Starter Apprentice (Mar 2nd, 12pm; Mar 4th, 7pm) A great mentor-apprentice experience depends on both parties co-creating relevant goals that take advantage of the built-in learning at your operation, and identify ways your apprentice can engage in solo study, find local resource people to learn from, and visit other operations. Skill sheets are great prompts for this so we’ll discuss ways to make them truly effective and useful to you and your apprentice.

#8 Feedback (Apr 20th, 12pm; Apr 22nd, 7pm) Giving and receiving feedback is one of the most fraught challenges of being a mentor. We offer a variety of tried and true methods and tips to generate objective, honest, and open conversations in scheduled and impromptu feedback sessions.

Recordings from last year’s calls:

Agrarian Apprenticeship Handbook

For the last year, the New Agrarian Program has delved deep into the state of agricultural apprenticeship in the US as part of a Thornburg Foundation funded research project. The culmination of this work is a 120+ page book detailing our findings, profiling apprenticeship programs around the US, and a guide to starting an apprenticeship on your ranch or farm. In 2015, the New Agrarian Program launched a national dialogue among agricultural apprenticeship programs in order to foster systemic improvements in agricultural education and practice and to encourage the development of new programs of a consistently high quality. Initial research included in-depth analysis of apprenticeship programs, follow-up interviews, and site visits to diverse regions and regenerative agricultural operations. This work has culminated in Agrarian Apprenticeship. We hope you enjoy reading it, and using it as a resource.  The digital edition is available for free online here, you can download a PDF, or you can order a hard copy. Check out the QC store. The print edition is a limited run, so reserve a copy today by emailing


Agrarian Apprenticeship Guidebook


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