Jumpstart your career in organic agriculture with an immersive training program led by some of the world’s leading regenerative organic experts.

Rodale Institute’s Farmer Training (RIFT) program is a multiple-track internship that gives aspiring farmers the knowledge and experience they need to start their regenerative organic career. Interns will experience the entire life cycle of an organic diversified crop and livestock farm, while also learning how to distribute and increase access to healthy organic food.

The Basics

RIFT internships provide hands-on training in the skills necessary to operate a highly diversified, certified organic farm. Participants will be fully immersed in the day-to-day activities involved in a growing season, from the greenhouse to the field, from the barn to the pasture, and everything in between. This curriculum is designed to enable individuals with little-to-no farming experience to become fully capable farmers or farm managers in 2 years or less. Individuals interested in taking the next steps toward starting a career in regenerative organic agriculture are encouraged to apply.

Why train with Rodale Institute?

Rodale Institute is widely considered the global leader in organic agriculture, growing the regenerative organic movement through research, training, and consumer education. By training with Rodale Institute, participants will be gaining valuable experience at the cutting edge of regenerative organic innovation in an educational setting that will prepare them for future careers.

Benefits & Requirements

The Rodale Institute Farmer Training program includes:

  • eligibility for on-site housing
  • free vegetables for the length of the internship
  • hourly wage based on on-site or off-site living status
  • at least 40 hours/week commitment with additional weekend duties, in rotation with other interns

Interns are expected to have a positive attitude, be able to lift in excess of 50 lbs, and work in all types of weather.

Internship Tracks

trainees learns during harvest

Short Season

(2-4 months)

This track is intended for beginners looking to gain introductory knowledge about regenerative organic farming. Interns will get firsthand experience in farming skills and exposure to the pace and effort needed to operate an organic farm during peak season.

Tasks will include seeding/planting, cultivating, harvesting, processing, irrigating, mulching, maintaining livestock, and selling products.

Short season interns are required to attend all classroom sessions and off-site farm visits during their internship.

Full Season

(9 months)

This track is intended for individuals who are seriously considering regenerative organic agriculture as a career. Full season interns will get firsthand experience on basic farming skills and experience an entire season of farming, typically from March to November.

Tasks will include greenhouse work, seeding/planting, cultivating, harvesting, processing, irrigating, mulching, maintaining livestock, selling products, and preparing fields for winter.

Full season interns are required to attend all classroom sessions and off-site farm visits, complete all classroom assignments, and pass all quarterly exams to graduate.

Individuals interested in Second-Year Full Season opportunities are strongly encouraged to apply for a full season internship, as graduation from First-Year Full Season is required to apply for Second-Year Full Season.

Second-Year Full Season

22 consecutive months (including 9 months as First-Year Full Season intern)

Open only to First-Year Full Season graduates and intended for those with plans to open an organic farm, the second-year internship will teach the management and financial skills needed to own and operate an organic farm.

Tasks include all full-season operations, as well as advanced training in skilled tractor work, management of a farm crew, organic certification, crop rotation, pasture/livestock rotation, budgeting, equipment/seed orders, mechanical skills, and carpentry/facility skills.

Second-year interns will complete a full farm plan and budget; upon successful defense of their proposal, graduates will be considered under the official mentorship of Rodale Institute.

Second-year graduates will receive one full year of free consultation from our certified Crop Consultants, as well as continued access to an extensive network of program alumni, Rodale Institute employees, and partners.

Apply Today

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021 season. We will begin accepting applications for the 2022 season in November 2021.

View most recent application

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Rodale Institute's Farmer Training program works to create farm shares for our local community. We offer both vegetable and meat share options. Support our trainees and enjoy fresh, organic produce with a subscription!

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