Monday, January 10, 2011

Learn to Farm with Ozarks C.R.A.F.T.

Ozarks CRAFT is a cooperative effort of Ozarks farms organized to enhance educational opportunitities for farm apprentices.

Ozark CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) was founded in 2010 by a group of family farmers who are interested in training the next generation of organic, biodynamic, and/or sustainable farmers.  CRAFT operates under the umbrella of the Springfield Urban Agriculture Coalition, a non-profit based in Springfield MO, with a mission to "promote healthy lifestyles and environments through hands-on education about production and consumption of locally produced, natural, healthy foods."

Internship positions at CRAFT farms provide the opportunity to observe, actively experience, ask many questions and above all learn about successful small farming.  By no means are internships easy.  They require hard work and long hours in the field daily, but they also offer the invaluable benefit of being a part of the inner workings of the farm.  The focus of the intership program is to train future farmers in creating a successful, diversified commercial market farm.  Ideal candidates are self-motivated individuals looking for agricultural training with a community purpose, and in-the-field training on the details of small farm management.

CRAFT members gain access to hands-on training and learn skillls that will help them advance from farming novice to starting and running their own farm.  CRAFT offers on-fram training and busines planning, field day workshops hosted by member farms, and access to a wide variety of resources; all provided directly by experienced farmers.  Apprentices will be exposed to a wide diversity of farming practices and join a supportive network of farmers and farmers-in-training.

CRAFT welcomes trainees with all levels of experience, whether you've never farmed before, you have significant experience and need advanced training, or you're an established farmer seeking to transition to sustainable agriculture.  CRAFT interns include rural and urban residents, recent immigrants, and women.  Full-time residential and part-time non-residential internships are available for 2011 with some starting as early as February.

For more information, email or call Curtis Millsap, Ozarks CRAFT coordinator at 417-839-0847.

1 comment:

  1. We now have The Ozarks CRAFT website up and running. the address is