Farmer in Training (FIT) Program

 

Collaboratively manage a plot of beautiful produce! 

 

For those who want more experience before starting their own business or getting a farm job, farmers-in-training (FITs) work 2-3 days per week, both in the Education Garden and co-managing a 1-acre plot in the Incubator Field from May through October. Experience in the education garden and FIT plot will range from harvesting greens to fixing drip irrigation, from planting peppers to packing CSA bags. In addition to winter educational classes, monthly informal classes will be offered during work hours, including pump maintenance, harvesting and food safety, direct seeding, and other topics with hands-on components.

Learning farming skills that will support them in the future, FITs will be able to design and run irrigation, select varieties, manage weeds, and harvest, process and market many different crops, and will be poised to apply as incubators continue farming in various capacities the following season.

The Old Fort at Hesperus is a growing and multi-faceted answer to farmer training in the Four Corners region. Welcoming everyone from college interns for brief summer experiences to incubator farmers ready to start a business, the Old Fort offers good (and challenging) growing conditions, supportive and knowledgeable staff, a lively farming community, and rich resources for high elevation market farming.

Each growing season, the Old Fort welcomes 3 FITs. Applications due in December, classes start in February, and field work days in late April.

For more information or a current application, email Program Manager Elicia Whittlesey at ewwhittlesey@fortlewis.edu. Applications are due each year in December.

The 2019 Growing Season is in full swing.  We have six interns, three Farmers in Training and six incubator farms operating three independent businesses.  

If you are interested in the 2020 season, applications will be available in November.  Sample applications can be downloaded below.  Please check out our Instagram or Facebook to see what the farmers are up to this summer.  

Facebook: The Old Fort at Hesperus  Instagram: @theoldfort_hesperus

Program Information 

2019 Sample Application for Farmer in Training Program  PDF Version Word Version

2019 Sample Application for Market Garden Incubator Program PDF Version  Word Version

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