Over the past several months, I have heard a lot of support and interest in starting a Growing Growers program in the Wichita area. This program has been instrumental in growing the local food system in NE Kansas over the last 10+ years. We are tentatively planning on trying out this program for 2018, but your support is critical!
What is Growing Growers?
The Growing Growers program provides education to new and experienced growers through a farm apprenticeship program and an annual workshop series.
Apprentices work on fruit & vegetable farms in the area (not just Sedgwick County, KS!) to get first-hand, practical farming experience. They attend the workshops series during the production season and receive one-on-one mentorship with their host farmer. Apprenticeship positions can be paid or volunteer positions.
The Growing Growers program offers workshops throughout the year that are open to the public. The classes address skills required to run a produce farm.
What can YOU do?
If this is going to happen, we need to make sure that we have existing farms ready and willing to serve as host farms. You might qualify if:
- You currently grow and sell produce
- You are able to manage an employee / volunteeer
It is not required that you offer a paid apprenticeship, but it is helpful if you can do so. Each host farm will be asked to provide 8 hours of one-on-one mentoring to the apprentice. Each host farm will also receive a small stipend. If you know of a farm that would make a good host farm, encourage them to apply!
If you might be interested, please complete the Host Farm Application. This does not commit you to being a host farm. However, I need 6+ host farms before we can move forward with this program. Please take some time to submit this application by January 15th. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-660-0142 with questions.