Information about Applying and the Selection Process
We do not expect or require that all of our graduates go on to spend the rest of their lives farming. The Learn to Farm Program can be a catalyst for many different life paths. However, because we invest deeply and significantly in each of our student-farmers, both financially and in terms of the time, energy, resources, and the community of support we offer, we do expect student farmers to maximize their training and to then use it to serve their community, to start their own farming operation, or to teach others. We look favorably on applicants that demonstrate a commitment to these goals for their future work. Our students are people who seek to live deeply into the land and contribute meaningfully to their home-places.
Selection Criteria and Expectations:
Applicants must be at least 18 years old at start of the program year (the first week of October).
Successful applicants are ready to work hard physically. They have the ability to lift 50 lbs, and work for several hours a day outdoors in a variety of weather conditions.
In building our community each year we will be looking for a diverse group of people who are eager to live and work with others in order to learn how to farm. Maturity, the ability to encompass other points of view, kindness and a sense of humor are critical. We look for students who can function collaboratively and positively as part of a group learning environment and are motivated to both learn and contribute.
The program is mentally, socially and physically demanding – a tremendous number of new concepts and ideas are followed by long hours of hard work in the fields. The ability to stick with it through difficult concepts, work projects or social situations is essential, as is the ability to hold up to the demands of production farm work. As an adult experiential educational experience, students must be able to take responsibility and initiative for their own learning in a fairly open environment, and also have the ability to conform to the expectations and structures of the program.
There are no part-time students in the Learn to Farm program. All students must be able to immerse themselves fully October – mid September, with the exception of a winter break and one week of self scheduled vacation. An early graduation in late August is possible for students returning to academic programs or jobs with early fall start dates. All students participate in all aspects of the program curriculum. Certain exceptions can be made for religious observances and moral preferences, please be in touch with email@example.com with questions.
This is a vocational training and not a therapeutic program. Applicants must be in a strong state of mental, emotional and physical health, for the sake of their own success and safety as well as that of our staff and other program participants.
As an equal opportunity institution, licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Licensure, we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital or veteran status in our application process.
When to Apply:
We accept applications on a rolling basis and encourage you to start the application process early. Our Priority application deadline is February 15. If spots remain in the class, we will continue to accept applications until our late application deadline of April 1.
We will confirm the submission of your application with an email, and look forward to reading your application with great care and interest. Within a month we will contact you to inform you whether or not your application meets our criteria to be considered further. Those whose applications warrant further consideration will be contacted to schedule a visit to the farm on one of our applicant visiting days. In the event a visit is not possible, we can accommodate a phone or skype interview.
Notification of Admission Status:
In early March applicants will be notified by email if they have been accepted into the program or onto the waitlist. Our admissions process is competitive. We receive many more applications than we have spots for in the program and we are not able to provide admission to every worthy applicant. If we are not able to accommodate you in the program, we will also notify you by email by early March.
Accepted students will have until April 1 to return their contracts and non-refundable books and materials fees to hold their spots in the class. If there are open slots in the class in early April we will issue another round of acceptances based on the March wait-list and applications submitted for the late application deadline (April 1).
Onsite housing opportunities are limited. Students who apply by the February 15 deadline will be given priority for the spots in the farm house, however, applying by February 15 does not guarantee onsite housing. You will be notified upon acceptance about your housing status. If we are not able to offer you housing, we would be happy to assist your search for alternative arrangements in the area.