Our Farmer Training Programs Are Evolving!

Since 2009, over 100 aspiring biodynamic farmers have participated in our North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NABDAP), learning side-by-side with exemplary biodynamic mentor farmers across the continent. We have celebrated the graduation of 37 new biodynamic farmers, and 12 more are on track to graduate this year. Just as each farm individuality needs to grow and evolve over time, so does our work to train the next generation of farmers.

Building on the strengths and accomplishments of NABDAP, we are delighted to introduce two new intensive one-year programs that will provide more flexibility, as well as a solid and broad foundation in all of the essentials of biodynamic farming for everyone who participates. Individuals will have the option to participate in just the first year, or both.

For both programs, we are inviting established farmers interested in learning more about biodynamics to participate as well continuing to offer apprenticeship opportunities on exemplary mentor farms.

The Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year offers aspiring biodynamic farmers the opportunity to build a solid foundation in the principles and practices of biodynamic agriculture. Individual support from an experienced mentor farmer and a cohesive, integrated, and interactive learning curriculum bring biodynamics to life.

The Biodynamic Farmer Development Year, which will begin in 2019, will develop and deepen the skills needed for biodynamic farm management for those who graduate from the foundation year. This program will allow for more scope and specialization in specific farm management and production areas.

Applications for the Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year will open at the end of November. Contact Anthony at anthony@biodynamics.com (link sends e-mail) or by phone at 262.649.9212 x14 with any questions or to be notified when applications open.

The NABDAP pages will remain in place for those interested in seeing the strong foundations we are building our new programs on. The graduate profiles are especially inspiring!  You can find all the details on our new Farmer Training programs at our new Biodynamic Farmer Training page.

These are Mentor Farms from NABDAP, which is retired. We will have mentor farm pages up for our Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year very soon!

North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program > Participating Mentor Farms

Glencolton Farms is a fully diversified biodynamic farm. With 30 years in the making and home to one of Canada’s outstanding BD farmers, cheesemaker and raw milk activist, Michael Schmidt, Glencolton Farms has much to offer individuals wishing to learn about biodynamic farming from a practical and spiritual perspective.

Glencolton Farms offers a wide range of skills which can be tailored to the interests of those who make a minimum one year commitment to the farm. As biodynamic farmers we look to the interests of the farm and the land first and consider ourselves in service to agriculture and healing the land. Our ongoing task of personal development compliments our work and those individuals who join us can participate in our development program which can be as extensive as 3 years. The aims of this program is to give the participants a chance to experience biodynamics through a 3 fold process using the 7 learning process which are connected to our very own life process. Together with the farmers we will journey through the farm and ourselves and see that we are all learning together. The program also includes capacity development in dealing with conflict and communication with each other and the people around us.  Please enquire for a more detailed description.

About the farm: Glencolton Farms is a 300 acre farm specializing in dairy production.  We have cattle, chickens, pigs, other fowl, horses, an orchard and garden. We grow our own grains, which are baked into bread and other treats in our on-farm bakery. Our products include raw milk and cheeses (available to our cow share holders only), bread, meat, eggs and poultry and vegetables. Our current market is direct sales to our customers and herd owners. We have a farm store, which is open every Friday afternoon and we take a trip to Toronto with our products on Tuesdays.  We serve our shareholders products from the farm and surrounding organic or biodynamic farms.  The farm has a legal structure which is unique and is owned co-operatively by the consumers which attribute them as co-producers.

Apprenticeship Positions: We now have 2 year round apprenticeship positions available. One position in the dairy processing and one position in animal husbandry.

Skills that can be learned: See Glencolton Farms' Skills Checklists (pdf)

Mentor Farmers: Elisa Vander Hout and Michael Schmidt

Address:#393889 Conc. 3 EGR, R.R.#1, Durham, Ontario, Canada N0G 1R0

Email: agriculturalrenewalcoop@gmail.com