Carefully selected mentor farms are a core element of the Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year. Each mentor farmer practices biodynamic agriculture and has a passion for and dedication to educating the next generation of farmers, not just receiving labor from apprentices. We welcome applications from established biodynamic farms and farmers to join our mentor farm network.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor in our farmer training programs, please complete our inquiry form and we will be in touch.
Benefits for Mentor Farms
- Support in your educational mission: Program elements like the On Farm Skills Development Guide, farm journal, and independent project provide you with a structural context for the hands-on education you are already providing to your apprentices. Beyond the on-farm training that you are able to offer, your apprentices will work with regular readings, exercises, and a weekly online cohort session.
- Highly motivated apprentices: Because the Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year is aimed toward applicants who have a serious interest and commitment in learning about biodynamic farming, you will likely find that participants are more highly motivated.
- Support in your development as a farmer and mentor: Mentor farmer peer support sessions offer connections to other mentor farmers, suggestions, and inspiration in your own professional development.
The program guidelines allow room for each farmer’s unique style and circumstances, so if you have already been working with apprentices and mentees, you won’t need to change much. You will continue to be able to choose which apprentices and mentees to work with and, as a mentor farmer, you will continue to make your own arrangements with apprentices regarding room and board, finances, time off, etc.
Mentor Farmer Responsibilities
Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year mentor farmers are responsible for:
- Providing hands-on instruction in the principles and practices of biodynamic farming
- Working with the program elements, including the On Farm Skills Development Guide, farm journal, independent projects, evaluations, and giving space for apprentices to participate in coursework.
- Participating in mentor farmer peer learning sessions to support their professional development
- Maintaining a current membership in the Biodynamic Association.
In doing these things, you will have the support and assistance of the Farmer Training Coordinator, who will meet regularly with the program participants, help keep track of paperwork, and work to solve any problems that may arise.
A modest stipend is also offered for all mentors to support their dedicated work in education.