Farmer Training Program
Jumpstart your career in organic agriculture with an immersive school led by some of the world’s leading regenerative organic experts.
Rodale Institute’s Farmer Training (RIFT) school gives aspiring farmers the knowledge and experience they need to start their regenerative organic career. Students will experience the entire life cycle of an organic diversified crop and vegetable farm, and learn what it takes to maintain a profitable business, all while caring for the soil and ecosystem.
The RIFT school is a hybrid experience composed of classroom instruction, farm visits, and hands-on training in the skills necessary to operate a certified organic farm. Students will be fully immersed in the day-to-day activities involved in a growing season, and spend time in a classroom setting for lectures from the experts in the field.
In addition to the education in science and farming, students will also receive an extensive education in agricultural budgeting, marketing, and finances of agricultural products. This curriculum is designed to enable individuals with little-to-no farming experience to become fully capable farmers or farm managers. 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 free housing
- Free access to all Rodale workshops and webinars
- Free vegetables for the length of the internship
- Weekly stipend
Expectations for students:
- At least 40 hours/week commitment
- Studying and homework to be completed outside of work and class time
- Personal vehicle and computer
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Students are expected to have a positive attitude, be able to lift in excess of 50 lbs, and work in all types of weather.
Intended for individuals who are seriously considering regenerative organic agriculture as a career. Students will receive firsthand experience on basic farming skills for an entire growing season, as well as time in the classroom for more in-depth discussions around agriculture.
Field tasks will include growing and maintaining vegetables, grains, fruits, and a small number of livestock for integrating into crop fields.
Students 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 the Fellowship are strongly encouraged to apply as graduation of this track is required to apply for the Fellowship.
22 consecutive months (including 9 months as First-Year Full Season intern)
Open only to graduates of the RIFT school and intended for those with plans to open an organic farm. The Fellowship will teach the management and financial skills needed to own and operate an organic farm.
Fellows tasks include all field operations, as well as advanced training in skilled tractor work, management of a farm crew, organic certification, crop rotation, livestock integration rotations, budgeting, equipment/seed orders, mechanical skills, and carpentry/facility skills.
To graduate, Fellows will create and defend a profitable agricultural business plan. Upon successful defense of their farm plan, graduates will be considered under the official mentorship of Rodale Institute. Fellowship graduates will receive free consultation from our Organic Consultants, as well as continued access to an extensive network of Rodale Institute alumni, employees, and partners.
Applications for the 2023 season are now closed.
We will begin taking applications for the next season in September of 2023. Please contact us at RIFT@RodaleInstitute.org with any questions.View the 2023 Application
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, sexual identity or handicap.