Growing New Farmers Incubator Project needs Teaching Assistants and Apprentices for 2011 Season
Lowcountry Local First is a non-profit organization based in Charleston, SC. “Growing New Farmers Incubator Project”, our sustainable agriculture initiative, needs 2 skilled teaching assistants with previous farm experience to help lead our apprenticeship program. Through this program, apprentices will be matched with mentor farmers to learn the art and skill of farming firsthand as a vehicle to train new farmers and food system leaders in the Lowcountry, South Carolina. By doing so we are addressing the issue of an aging farmer population and an increase in demand for local food. The TA would work closely with farmers to develop a crop plan and plant accordingly to meet the needs of the restaurants in the program; work with farmers and chefs to grow and make profitable the online market, www.farmfreshmarketsc.org; structure tasks and organize a learning environment for the apprentices on the farm; participate in the Lowcountry Growers Group— quarterly meetings for local, established famers and new farmers and apprentices in the region. Candidates must have the following skills: At least one year in apprenticeship or on a training farm. Responsible, reliable, hardworking, good work ethic. Ability to take initiative and lead, able to delegate. Some management skills or ability. The TA position is an exciting opportunity for a new or beginning farmer to explore an emerging ‘farmie’ community within a great ‘foodie’ city with a fast growing local food movement. It’s an exciting time for farming in the Lowcountry SC. This is a part-time position, 10-20 hours per week.
We are also looking to place 6 Full-Time apprentices on 4 training farms in the Lowcountry region of SC. The apprenticeship runs from April through November. Apprentices will work on the farms within an educational structure approximately40 hours per week. Apprentices will be involved in all aspects of the farm from seeding and greenhouse production; soil preparation and cultivation; irrigation; fertilization; disease and pest management; harvesting and delivering to market. Apprentices will be given the opportunity to experience direct sales through a Farmers Market, working with CSAs, and with our online market delivery to restaurants. Most apprentices will experience two different training farms and two different growing seasons—spring/summer and fall. Throughout the course of the program, apprentices are given the opportunity to learn the essentials of sustainable farming/production through our Sustainable Agriculture class at Trident Technical College and are guided in the business management of farming/ production with the FastTrac Business course for food producers and entrepreneurs offered by Clemson University.
Part-Time Apprenticeship opportunities available too. For many, the FT Apprenticeship is not a feasible lifestyle. We offer a one day/week (4-8 hours) option for those who want a valuable leaning experience, but can’t commit full time.
We are looking for applicants who are committed to a sustainable way of life, who are hard working and self-motivated, and have a passion for growing and shaping the local food economy!