Options for New Farmer Training: A Scan of Farmer Training Programs in North America, explores different models of practical farmer training across North America. This report is the result of a research partnership between FLEdGE: Food, Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged researchers, the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO), and the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training Southwest Ontario (CRAFT).
Part 1 of the report includes a description of the five categories of farmer training: 1) Informal Associations for Farm Internships; 2) Centralized Internship Programs; 3) Private/Non-profit Programs; 4) Formal Academic Programs; and 5) Independent and Self-Directed Learning). It also includes as discussion of the implications of the various models in the Ontario context.
Part 2 of the report details the second phase of research, where farm internships were explored in greater detail to describe the range of existing approaches within this model.
Our research determined that there is an opportunity to expand farmer training options in Ontario in all five of the categories, should sufficient support and funding be secured. It was further determined that while there is great interest in practical farmer training programs, there is limited published research and information in this area. Further research is recommended into practical farmer training options—and associated funding and support mechanisms—both domestically and internationally.