Organic Farmer Training Program
The 15-acre certified organic Student Organic Farm, including its 20,000 sq ft of passive solar greenhouse space, is the learning laboratory for the Organic Farmer Training Program (OFTP). The OFTP is taught through a mix hands-on activities, farm walks, classroom activities & discussions, video lectures, readings, guest speakers, visits to 20+ Michigan farms and practical assignments, like writing a Farm Business Plan. The OFTP is a vibrant, diverse and positive learning community where students learn from each other and can share their unique skills, experience and goals. The program focuses on the technical knowledge and skills for people who are committed to owning or managing a farm or agricultural education project.
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. 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.
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"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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at 517-230-7987.