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. This training integrates participants along the entire life cycle of an organic diversified vegetable and livestock farm on multiple scales, while gearing the curriculum toward beginning farmers. 

The Short Season track is intended for individuals with little-to-no experience, looking to gain introductory knowledge about regenerative organic farming basics.

Responsibilities Could Include:

  • Seed starting
  • Greenhouse & high tunnel production
  • Pest & weed management
  • Irrigating & mulching beds
  • Introduction to small and large equipment
  • Harvesting & processing produce
  • Maintaining livestock
  • Farmers market or Mobile Market site staffing
  • Record keeping and basic bookkeeping
  • Research plot establishment and maintenance, including Vegetable Systems Trial 

Education Program:

Interns will be fully immersed in day-to-day physical activities for 2-4 months to learn what is needed to be a regenerative organic farmer. The experience incorporates a comprehensive curriculum over the course of the season that focuses on training in regenerative organic growing skills. Interns are required to attend all Rodale Institute classroom sessions and off-site farm visits during their internship.

Candidate Qualifications:

Applicants should have a positive attitude, be able to lift up to 50 lbs., and possess the ability to work in seasonal environmental elements. Candidates must be willing to work in a changing environment with day-to-day flexibility in tasks. Must have a valid US driver’s license.

Additional Information:

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

Location: Rodale Institute Experimental Farm, 611 Siegfriedale Road, Kutztown, PA 19530

Compensation: Interns are eligible for on-site housing and free vegetables for the length of the internship. Interns will receive an hourly wage based on on-site or off-site status.

Schedule: An ideal candidate for a short-season internship could commit to at least 40 hours/week for a minimum of 2 months. Candidates will have additional weekend duties which extend beyond the average work week.

Deadlines: We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021 season. We will begin accepting applications for the 2022 season in November 2021. Short season applications are generally accepted on a rolling basis and will close once all positions are filled.

About Rodale Institute: Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For seventy years, the Institute has been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest option for people and the planet.

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