Farmer-In-Training (FIT) Program

Ana Henry in the garden2023 Program Dates: May 16 – October 12

Wages for field work is paid at $15/hour, up to $3,600 for the season.

Living stipend of up to $2,500 available for Native American farmers and farmers from other communities underrepresented in farming.

Course Fees: $2250; full and partial scholarships available.

Deadlines: Apply by January 20 and hear by February 10; Apply by February 15 to hear by March 10.

Program Description: Farmers-in-training (FITs) gain hands-on experience growing vegetables at high elevation. Through morning field work and afternoon classes and field trips, the FIT program provides a strong foundation for aspiring and beginning farmers. FITs work with program staff to tend about two acres of vegetables, learning new and traditional skills and techniques vital to farming at high elevation. FITs join the Old Fort staff and program partners in a network committing to supporting beginning farmers through incubator and land access opportunities, business planning, and community support.

Program graduates will have completed:

  • Six farming courses
  • 240 hours of work in the fields
  • At least eight field trips to regional farms

Work and class schedules require a 22-hour/week commitment:

  • Field work TWTh 8am-12pm
  • Classes TTh 1pm-3pm
  • Field Trips W 1pm – 4pm through August

Program Schedule:

  • Orientation – May 16, 17, 18
  • Session 1: May 23 – June 29 (6 weeks – at least one field trip tied to each course)
  • Break – June 30 – July 10
  • Session 2: July 11 – August 17 (6 weeks – at least 1 field trip tied to each course)
  • Convergence: August 18-19
  • Break – August 20 – August 28
  • Session 3: August 29 – October 12 (7 weeks – no field trips)

Courses include:

  • Farming tools of the trade
  • Intro to market farming
  • Seed to seed: plant basics for farmers
  • Growing specialty crops at high elevations
  • Intro to farm business planning
  • Practices of ecological farming

Download program information

Apply to FIT Today