Organic Farmer Training Program
The 15-acre certified organic Student Organic Farm, including its 20,000 sq ft of passive solar greenhouse space, is used as a learning platform for the Organic Farmer Training Program. The program is taught through a mix of lectures, readings, written assignments, hands-on demonstrations, hands-on activities, farm walks, and visits to other Michigan farms that build participants’ knowledge and understanding of organic farming principles and practices. The program focuses on the technical knowledge and skills while providing hands-on learning. The OFTP is a robust learning platform for those who are committed to owning their own farm business, managing farm operations, or working with others on their path to food production and sustainable agriculture.
The program is designed to give participants a strong background and working knowledge of farm production, management, marketing, and business operations necessary to operate a diversified small farm. Visit the Program Goals and Learning Outcomes page to see an extensive list of topics that will be covered throughout the eight-month program.
This training program prepares graduates for careers in organic farming, urban agriculture / community gardening, and other sustainable agriculture related careers. Program participants who satisfactorily complete the program will earn a Certificate from MSU Student Organic Farm, MSU Department of Horticulture and the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems.
We are no longer accepting applications for the 2017 OFTP cohort, which is now filled. Please check back in summer for the 2018 application. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions!
"The skills I've gained created a strong base while starting my own farm business. The experience really solidified my desire to take on farming as my life's work." ~Carolyn Leadley '08, Owner & Manager of Rising Pheasant Farm in Detroit, MI. To read more student testimonials, click here.
Merit and need-based scholarships are made possible by funds raised at our annual Hoophouse Gala, sponsored by MSU Residential and Hospitality Services. These scholarships exists to assist participants of limited financial means who exhibit evidence of strong achievement in their work and/or studies as well as excellent potential for success in organic farming. We are proud and excited to be able to offer these scholarships in order to decrease barriers to training for new and beginning farmers.
A limited number of scholarships will be awarded based on assessed financial need and merit. Need and merit-based scholarships will range from $500 to $3,000 and will be applied immediately and directly to the cost of the program. (i.e. Total program fees are $3,600; a recipient of a $1,000 scholarship will owe $2,600 for the program.)
Click here to access our scholarship application.
Would you like to talk with someone about the program? Contact Katie at email@example.com or at 517-230-7987.