Farmer Training at Our Harvest
Our Harvest's farmer-training efforts are now housed under a new non-profit, Cultivate! Ohio Valley, which was formed in 2015.
About Cultivate! Ohio Valley
Our mission is to inspire, educate, and support Ohio Valley farmers.
One way farmers grow their farms is to grow and cultivate their staff. Cultivate! Ohio Valley's farm apprentice training program educates farm staff by combining on-farm training with classes in the Sustainable Agriculture Management Certificate program at Cincinnati State Community and Technical College. Upon completing the training and 2,000 hours of on the job training, apprentices will get a certificate from the Ohio Apprenticeship Council, once the program is registered with the Council.
Apprentices are employees mentored by their farmers or farm managers. Interested farmers, and their employees, can get apprentice program information from Ken Stern, manager, at (513) 473-1860.
Cultivate Ohio Valley educates and supports Ohio Valley farmers through workshops at farmer conferences (Southeast Indiana's Food and Growers Association Conference and OEFFA in 2016) and on farm workshops (Seed Starting Workshop for Commercial Vegetable Production at Bahr Farm, Aprl, 2016).
We inspire farmers to increase vegetable acreage in the tri-state, encouraging vegetable farmers to increase the size of the planting and challenging commodity farmers to develop vegetable plantings.
We also consult with farmers and farm organizations to plan expansion of their vegetable farms. This winter staff and consultants worked with Miami University's Institute of Food to assess their new nine acres site and suggest directions for planning and planting their first acre in vegetables and cover cropping the remainder.
Cultivate! Ohio Valley's vision is for a region of thriving, sustainable farms of all scales. We work to be a contributing and valuable part of creating a food system in the Greater Cincinnati region that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.
Growing Farms by Growing Farm Apprentices
Farmers committed to mentoring the next generation of tri-state vegetable farmers and their employees form the backbone of expanding vegetable production. New apprentices in 2017 will join the 2016 apprentice class. Farmers seeking to expand their production by strengthening the capacity of their staffare needed to come forward as mentors, leading their employees as mentor farmers and enrolling them as apprentices.
Employees, please read Cultivate! Ohio Valley's Apprenticeship Position Description before applying. Applications can be found here, and will be considered in early 2017 until the positions are filled. This training combines your farm job with on-farm training and classes in the Sustainable Agriculture Management Certificate program at Cincinnati State Community and Technical College. While working on your farm you will be trained in the full scope of specialty crop production, from learning about soils to seeds, transplanting to harvest, and processing to marketing and selling into the local food economy, both wholesale and retail.
Encourage your farmers to read the Mentor Farmer Position Description and to apply to be a mentor farmer. Applications can be found here, and will be considered in early 2017 until the positions are filled.
Mentor Farmers Needed
Farmers, there is no farming future without your passion, commitment, and participation. If you have an employee you know will improve your operations if you can increase that employee's knowledge and training, or, you seek an employee you would like to have an increasing responsible role on your farm, please contact Cultivate! Ohio Valley.
The mentor farmer is someone committed to sustainable agriculture practices, passionate about specialty crop production, and willing to take a leadership role in developing the next generation of farmers to farm sustainably.
Farmers experienced in specialty crop production and passionate about sustainable agriculture and the future of farming and farmers. Willing to sponsor an employee or add an employee who will partake in this 2,000 hour on the job training program. The apprenticeship is a paid position, combining farm training with corresponding weekly classes. This hands-on program emphasizes the full scope of specialty crop production, from soil to seeds, transplanting to harvesting, and processing to marketing and selling into the local food economy, both wholesale and retail. The mentor farmer assists the apprentice in learning management: planning and decision making on the farm and as a business.
Please contact Ken Stern, Manager, at farmtrainingOH@gmail.com or 513.473.1860 with any questions or to submit an application. A fill-in application can also be obtained by contacting Ken.
Our Harvest and OHREI also partner with Cincinnati State to serve as a practicum site for students in their Sustainable Agriculture Management certificate program. More details can be found on the Cincinnati State Technical and Community College website or by contacting Heather Wiggins-Augustine at firstname.lastname@example.org.