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Building Successful Farmer-Apprentice Relationships

Field Day focuses on helping farmers recruit, hire & manage farm interns

Join the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) and the PA Women’s Agricultural Network (PA WAgN) on Tuesday, October 16th at New Morning Farm in Hustontown, Huntingdon County, for an interactive workshop as part of PASA’s 2012 Farm-Based Education (FBE) schedule.

How do you know if interns are right for your farm? What do you need to do legally to hire interns? What about housing and insurance issues? Participants will leave this workshop, “Managing & Mentoring Farm Apprentices”, with a good understanding of intern recruitment and hiring, housing options, managing expectations, fostering teamwork, insurance, work schedules and cultivating these new farmers.

At New Morning Farm, the apprentice’s primary role is assisting in the management of crops, equipment and marketing. Moie and Jim Crawford assume the duty of training apprentices with the goal of creating a larger community of trained, professional growers who will help agriculture thrive. The Crawfords will share their experience and techniques for ensuring a mutually beneficial farmer/apprentice relationship and how to avoid common pitfalls. A New Morning Farm intern will join us to provide insight into the intern experience.

The Crawfords own and operate New Morning Farm, a 95-acre certified-organic vegetable farm in Southcentral PA. They have farmed organically for over 40 years and produce 60 crops that they sell retail, wholesale and through the Tuscarora Organic Growers cooperative they helped found. The farm employs 4-5 year-round helpers and 20 seasonal workers and apprentices. The apprenticeship program is well developed and has helped many aspiring growers to get started in farming.

This Field Day is held in partnership with PA WAgN, with generous contributions by Lisa
and John Boecker. PASA strives to ensure all those interested in becoming a member of the organization or attending an event can do so at a reasonable rate. PASA is offering a new member special combo deal, which includes membership in the organization and a Field Day registration for $45 (an $80 value).

This special rate gains attendees access to a quality educational program, a delicious locally sourced lunch, all of the benefits of membership and access to PASA’s growing network. PASA Field Days are open to the public; members of the organization receive discounts on all educational events. Walk-ins welcome, but lunch is provided with pre- registration only. To access the special combination rate, register for this workshop or review the remaining list of events planned for this year, visit or call 814-349-9856.
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