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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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!
Kimberton Hills Dairy is a certified organic, pasture based dairy using biodynamic principles and methods, embedded in an intentional community with people of differing abilities, which includes other agricultural workshops, such as the CSA garden (which also has NABDAP apprentices), the orchard and the estate. We direct market most of our products in the local community. Our community has a very lively, participatory cultural life.
Size of farm: 210 acres managed by the dairy. The dairy is part of Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, a 432 acre agricultural and crafts community which focuses on life-sharing and specifically includes adults with disabilities.
Diversity of produce and livestock: The dairy manages a pastured milking herd and young stock -- in total around 90 cattle. We also have a flock of laying hen. We grow forage and bedding crops for the animals. Camphill Village also includes a 12 acre CSA garden, a separate herb garden, estate with managed wood lots, bees and orchard.
Skills that can be learned: See Kimberton Hills Dairy's Skills Checklists
Apprenticeship details: Apprentices learn to perform many key tasks on our dairy, beginning with milking and animal care, maintenance of fences, pastures, buildings and equipment, bottling and sales of milk and eggs and other products. Gradually, they learn to do tractor work to manage field crops and learn to manage other aspects of a dairy, such as acquiring supplies, dealing with special animal health needs, finances, etc.
Housing: Apprentices are housed in village housing, either the barn apartment with meals in Farm House, or in another nearby house.
Compensation: Apprentices receive room and board, free access to village vehicles, and a monthly stipend of $175 for the first year. They will receive health coverage after 3 months. Apprentices are expected to help up to or over 40 hours per week including at least 3 early morning milkings. They have one full day per week off, not necessarily on the weekend, and 21 days of vacation per year. Apprenticeships run from April 1 - March 31 most years
Mentor Farmer: Tommy Trzcinski
Address: PO Box 1045 Kimberton, PA 19442
Phone: 610-935-3963 Email: email@example.com