Organic Farmer Training Program
The OFTP teaches aspiring farmers in a 50/50 mix of field and classroom activities at the 15-acre MSU Student Organic Farm. In the field, everyone participates in hands-on activities, farm walks and equipment demonstrations. In the classroom, we focus on small group activities, full group discussions, guest speakers and participant presentations. You will also visit 20+ Michigan farms! Outside of class each Monday, video lectures, readings and practical assignments, like writing a Farm Business Plan will connect learning themes from the class to YOUR farm goals.
The OFTP is a vibrant learning community connecting students of different backgrounds, ages, genders and levels of farm and life experience. Everyone learns from each other and shares their unique skills, experience and goals.
The OFTP uses different themes each week to give graduates the working knowledge of farm production, management, marketing, and business operations needed to operate a diversified small farm. Each graduate leaves with their complete Farm Business Plan and earns a Certificate from MSU Student Organic Farm, MSU Department of Horticulture and the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems.
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2022 OFTP Update!
The MSU Organic Farmer Training Program will be fully IN-PERSON for 2022! We will return to a 50/50 mix of field and classroom learning, including 27 days at the MSU Student Organic Farm and 6 field trips to 20+ farms. You will learn real hands-on farm skills while planning for a farm that fits your values, goals, skills, land and markets. Check out the full schedule to see how the OFTP can help you make your farm dreams a reality. The OFTP is defined by its learning community of aspiring and beginning farmers, farmworkers, homesteaders, educational gardeners and OFTP instructors who all support each other in learning farm and business planning skills. It worked for 2019 graduate Heather Fuson, who says “Before OFTP I had a vision, but when I left I had a plan.”
"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.
Would you like to talk with someone about the program? Contact Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 517-230-7987.