Friday, February 05, 2010

Support for Farm Interns Coming This Season

Training our next generation of organic, biodynamic, and sustainable farmers

CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) is a supportive network of farmers and farmers-in-training. Prospective farmers gain exposure to and experience with a diversity of farm/garden designs and agricultural practices. Northwest Lower Michigan CRAFT is a new program, designed to support farms who have existing internship/apprentice programs.

CRAFT provides emerging farmers a vital experience--a community they can learn from. Interns gain a deep understanding of their resident farm, and CRAFT complements that learning by connecting them to the entire network of member farms. Through farm tours and workshops, interns gain exposure to a wide variety of farm types, production methods and management styles. Regular potlucks help ease the isolation an intern can feel while cloistered on a single farm. The connections made through CRAFT can last far beyond a growing season, and can offer support for the beginning years of starting a business.

Farmer members of CRAFT are required to allow their intern(s) the day off 1-2 times a month to attend the CRAFT workshops. Farmers are also encouraged to attend. Each farm hosts one workshop/farm tour/potluck in the 2010 growing season.

 Individuals that are interested in farming but are not farm interns may join CRAFT as an opportunity for to work with other Northwest Lower Michigan farmers. The program works to establish a peer group for all of us!

Individuals who are not interning on farms can still attend workshops and farm tours for a donation of $10 each.

The CRAFT program is funded by ISLAND. As a non-profit educational center, we receive support from private donors, and private and public funding agencies. If you would like to support ISLAND, your donation is fully tax deductible and can be earmarked to finance the Northwest Lower Michigan CRAFT program.

How can I learn more?
Visit or contact Brad Kik at ISLAND: (231) 480-4515 or We'd love to hear from you!

No comments: