Join our Farmer-In-Training (FIT) Program

Ana Henry in the garden2024 Program Dates: May 14 – October 4

Wages for field work: $15/hour, about $3,600 for the season.

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

Get credit for farming: Students can take between 7 and 11 credits as part of the program, with scholarships available for summer courses

If you’re a non-student or graduating in May 2024, course fees are up to $2400; full and partial scholarships available.

Deadlines: Apply by February 1 and hear by March 1; Apply by March 1 to hear by April 1.

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 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Classes TTh 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
  • Field Trips W 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. through August

Program Schedule:

  • Orientation – May 14, 15, 16
  • Session 1: May 21 – June 27 (6 weeks – at least one field trip tied to each course)
  • Break – June 28 – July 8
  • Session 2: July 9 – August 15 (6 weeks – at least 1 field trip tied to each course)
  • Break – August 16 – August 26
  • Farmer Training Convergence – August 30-31
  • Session 3: August 27 – October 4 (4 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

View FIT Certificate

Apply to Farmer In Training program