Farmer Mentor FAQs
I want to start an apprenticeship program on my farm. How do I do it?
What makes Apprentice Link different from other farm apprenticeship listings?
To be included in these listings, Organic Growers’ School has vetted each farm to determine that they are 1) actively engaged in the local community; 2) using organic and/or sustainable production methods (certifications aren’t required, but we do ask that farms and farmers are “in-the-know” and conscientiously practicing organic standards); and 3) dedicated to training new farmers by providing education as an element of their apprenticeship program.
Apprentice Link highlights farmers that are part of the WNC CRAFT Farmer Network which illustrates the farms’ dedication to new farmer education. As a CRAFT member, you have access to resources such as the CRAFT Handbook (articles written about challenges and approaches to farming specific to the Southeast) and the CRAFT farmer network (a monthly social event organized around farm tours, intern education, and good food). Although not all farms listed are necessarily Certified Organic, all are focused on “sustainably-minded” farming practices and often adhere to most (if not all) organic standards.
We have also incorporated a review element into our database that works to take previous apprentice experience into account. All reviews written were reported by apprentice or employee “references” that were provided by the farm through their application. We believe this element of our database furthers community accountability and will help provide applicants with resources to help them make an informed decision when accepting farm positions.
Interested in being listed? Please visit the Farm Application Page to get started.
What are some good resources on working with apprentices/managing labor on the farm?
Organic Growers School provides resources on continuing farm worker education, as well as resources on best management practices in order for your farm and your farms apprentices get the most out of employment. We also have a list of additional labor resources for consideration, including mentorship resources and other databases (both national and international) to find workers. Please contact us with specific questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much do I need to pay my farm workers?
Do I have to provide on-farm housing to apprentices?
Are my workers considered employees or contractors?
What is the maximum salary or wage threshold that I can pay apprentices before I must deduct taxes from their paychecks?
If I hire a worker and it doesn’t work out, do I still have to report their income, even if I only employed them for a short period of time?
Can I ask about physical or mental disabilities when hiring farm workers? What do I need to know about the Americans with Disabilities Act?
Where can I get the appropriate tax forms for workers to complete?
OGS Farmer Programs are made possible by our farmer network and our funding partners: Blooming Prairie Foundation, Community Foundation of WNC, CLIF Bar Family Foundation, Cornell Douglas Foundation, Harry Chapin Foundation, New Visions Foundation, Patagonia, Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, UNFI Foundation, Walnut Cove Members Association, WNC Bridge Foundation, and USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Foundation. Our Growth Partners (year-round program support) are: Carolina Farm Credit, Buchi, Living Web Farms, and Gaia Herbs. Our Media Sponsors are WNCW, Asheville FM and Blue Ridge Public Radio.