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!
The Pfeiffer Center provides a unique opportunity to focus in on the essentials of caring for soil, plants, and animals. To learn ideal handwork methods in making compost, making beds, seeding and transplanting, cultivating, harvesting, processing, and storing as well as basic animal care provides an essential background towards any further career in agriculture. We focus intensively on the making and use of the biodynamic preparations as well as many other practical aspects of the biodynamic method. We work hard and also study hard. In the midst of the practical work we set aside time to study the Agriculture lectures by Rudolf Steiner and have a work related meeting to oversee the weeks work. Interns can attend all of the Pfeiffer Center courses and workshops. Interns can also participate in the Outdoor Lesson, a public elementary school farm program that we teach and gain skills in working with children in an agricultural setting. Volunteering at the Duryea Farm of the Fellowship Community and helping with their cows or field work is also a possibility. There are several other institutions based on the work of Rudolf Steiner in the surrounding area that help create a very lively and inspiring community to be in.
Size of farm: 3 acres
Diversity of produce and livestock: The Pfeiffer Center has a central 2 acre area which includes a Â½ acre raised bed handwork vegetable, flower, and herb garden. There is also a small orchard including soft fruit, and dye and rock garden. Our greenhouse, apiary, and compost area are located here as well. In another one acre area are located our two small draft horses and fields which we work with them for vegetables, and forage crops for the bees.
Skills that can be learned: See Pfeiffer Center's skills checklist.
Apprenticeship details: The Pfeiffer Center internship is intended for individuals who want to broaden and deepen their understanding of organic sustainable agriculture and the biodynamic approach. This full-time, one-year program combines academic work with hands-on field experience. Interns attend all courses and workshops of the Pfeiffer Center, including the One-Year Part-Time Training in Biodynamics, and a weekly seminar on Rudolf Steiner’s Agriculture course anchors the academic work. Interns also work with school and camp groups attending our children’s program, The Outdoor Lesson, which helps contribute to the future health of the earth by fostering an attitude of reverence and joy toward nature and all its beings. The internship’s focus on agricultural handwork represents an opportunity not available in farm apprenticeship programs, and helps develop skills that are invaluable when applied to larger-scale agriculture. The academic opportunities that are integral to the internship afford our interns an unusually balanced life of work and study. The focus on biodynamics leads to a heightened understanding of issues of quality which are generally not given sufficient attention in today’s agriculture. The Pfeiffer Center offers a Farm Based Education Track to interns interested in working with children. Interns in the FBE track spend about half of their working hours supporting the Pfeiffer Center's programs for children and teens. Interns in the FBE track also participate fully in the work of the garden. Internship applicants who wish to pursue the FBE track should indicate their interest on their application. Intern positions become available throughout the year and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please visit http://www.pfeiffercenter.org/internships.aspx to download the application.
Mentor Farmer: Mac Mead
Address: 260 Hungry Hollow Rd. Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977
Phone: (845) 352-5020, ext. 20
Fax: (845) 352-5071