Applications for the 2023/2024 apprentice cycle have closed, and applications for the 2024/2025 year are not yet open. However, if you want to start dreaming and planning of participating in a future year, you can review the 2023/2024 position details below. Details may be adjusted in future program cycles.
DESCRIPTION FOR TEMPORARY POSITION BY LETTER OF APPOINTMENT
Title: NEVADA FARM APPRENTICEComp Grade: N/AJCC: J001497Essential Function (to be discussed in the interview; not included in job announcement): Very Heavy WorkNecessary ADA accommodations are to be disclosed after an offer is made only.
This inaugural year of the Nevada Farm Apprenticeship Program will prepare participants to become farm owner operators in Nevada. Through their engagement, apprentices will gain the knowledge, contacts, and experience necessary for outdoor fruit and vegetable farming at the small farm scale (approximately $25,000 - $350,000 gross farm income).
From October 2023 to September 2024, two successful applicants will be hosted as Farm Apprentices at the Desert Farming Initiative (DFI) within the Experiment Station of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources at the University of Nevada, Reno. The program emphasizes certified organic and climate-smart practices. Apprentices will receive on-the-job training through a science-based curriculum; manage farm incubator space; and work at DFI and partner farms in the region.
Major responsibilities of the apprenticeship include:
Apprentice positions will be overseen by the DFI Director, and guided by a team of specialists that includes University faculty, an agricultural business advisor, DFI Education Program Coordinator, the DFI farm management team, partner farms, and food system organizations and businesses.
This program is an element of DFI’s mission is to advance climate-smart farming and food sovereignty in the region. In general, this mission is accomplished through:
Upon completion of this 1-year position, Nevada Farm Apprentices will:
The approximate percentage of time devoted to major responsibilities is as follows:
The Nevada Farm Apprenticeship Program is designed for participants that already have initial agricultural training. We are recruiting apprentices that have enough experience to know that fruit and vegetable farming is the career path they will pursue, and an initial foundation of skills that enable them to succeed in performing position responsibilities.
*Relevant Experience: Fruit or vegetable farming, intensive gardening (market scale), perennial crop management (market scale), agricultural research
Apprentices will complete a 1-year position with an average 32-hour per week schedule (80% of a full time position), with flexibility that reflects the seasonal demands of farming. Each apprentice will receive a stipend of $40,000/year – received in monthly payments. An Apprenticeship Agreement will be signed by the apprentice and DFI Director at the outset of the position, and the first 3 months are structured as a probationary period.
Classroom curriculum and practical training will be delivered primarily during the first half of the apprenticeship (October 2023 – March 2024), whereas the second half will focus on DFI farm incubator management, gaining experience at a partner farm(s) off-site (1 day per week will be spent at a partner farm(s), and future farm business plan development (April – September 2024). The incubator space for each apprentice will include 3 beds (width 30 in x length 84 ft) in a hoop house with roll-up sides, plastic cover, shade cloth and row cover. Additional space in DFI’s open field will be made available for summer peak season; the total area made available will depend on competency demonstrated by the apprentice. Apprentices will be provided with access to all mechanical and hand-scale equipment, seeds, soil amendments, pest and weed control supplies, climate-controlled greenhouse propagation space, marketing equipment, and other associated supplies within the means of the DFI Program. Apprentices will also receive branded t-shirts, caps, banners and labels to market their produce. The program will culminate in completion of a farm business plan and presentation to contacts, partners and funders from the region, and receipt of a certificate of completion from the Department of Labor (anticipated, but pending certification of this apprenticeship program).
The Nevada Farm Apprenticeship Program is funded by USDA AMS Award AM22RFSPNV1042-00 and Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Miller, A., 2023, Nevada Farm Apprenticeship Program Application, Desert Farming Initiative
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