Mentorship Program

Supporting Farmers

IN SHARING KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE

Peer mentors

Learning with and from each other enhances our ability to put new knowledge and hands-on experiences into practice.

The ability to share expertise and skills with fellow farmers is a powerful way to focus on and highlight how people learn from each other. When two well-matched individuals are given the space to exchange ideas and resources, good things happen. Our goal is to build engaged and sustained relationships in the organic farming community. When peers — one acting as a mentor — are brought together to define and create their learning outcomes, lasting impact is possible.Oregon Tilth launched its farmer-to-farmer mentorship program to support peer-led, experience-based learning for new and transitioning organic practitioners.

Program details

Participants are paired based on several criteria — organic expertise, farm size, production type, and location — to match complimentary learning goals and skills.The year-long program begins in winter with an initial meeting to set shared goals and a working plan. Participants will engage in at least two farm visits for on-site learning, one on each person’s farm. Each mentor will be available by phone or email as needed by his or her mentee, with communication expectations and learning goals agreed upon during the initial planning meeting. The program coordinator will schedule periodic calls throughout the year with mentors and mentees to provide assistance and ensure program expectations are being met.

Participants finish the program by attending a final joint meeting with the mentorship program coordinator.

Participation

We encourage both non-organic farmers transitioning to organic practices and organic farmers pursuing certification for the first time to consider becoming a program mentee. All mentee applicants must have at least two years of commercial farming experience.

For interested mentor participants, we accept applications from certified organic farmers with at least five years of experience and are enthusiastic about providing peer-learning leadership for a fellow farmer. The 2018-2019 program is offered only in the following states: Oregon, Idaho, and Washington.

The Farmer-to-Farmer Organic Mentorship Program is a project of Oregon Tilth, made possible by funding from Risk Management Agency and partnerships with Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides and Tilth Alliance.

Value for Mentees

The mentorship program offers new and beginning organic farmers the unique opportunity to learn from experienced organic farmers who are going through (or have experienced) similar challenges. From technical expertise to business know-how, mentorship is a chance to learn from someone else’s practice to help define your own goals and approach.

When farm peers have matched appropriately, mentees will be empowered to engage effectively. You will develop shared learning goals, areas of interest, and opportunities for regular idea exchanges over the course of your relationship with your mentor.

For a mentee participant, the program includes:

  • One mentor visit to your farm for on-site learning and support
  • One visit to your mentor’s farm for on-site learning and observation
  • $100 education stipend to attend an agriculture event, workshop or training (must be redeemed while enrolled in the program)
  • Access and engagement with Oregon Tilth staff, organic stakeholders, and support services (e.g., extension agents, organic buyer groups, etc.)
  • Cost of participation for mentees: $200

Value for Mentors

Being a mentor places you squarely in a position to positively influence those new to organic agriculture. Time and again, well-practiced farmers tell us that having a mentor impacted their ability to be successful. Our program is a learning partnership. We support you in becoming a role model and teacher for those just starting out in organic farming.

For a mentor participant, the program includes:

  • Mentor stipend of $500
  • $100 education stipend to attend an agriculture event, workshop or training (must be redeemed while enrolled in the program)
  • Access and engagement with Oregon Tilth staff, organic stakeholders, and support services (e.g., extension agents, organic buyer groups, etc.)
  • Opportunity to formally share your knowledge and experiences with new and upcoming organic producers

Applications

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and we are currently accepting applications for 2018/2019.Apply to become a farm mentor online or download and send your application by email to <http://www.privatedaddy.com/?q=QDRfd0IOW2hObTtkb15mOTJiN296_19>.
Online Mentor Application Download Mentor Application Form

Apply to become a farm mentee online or download and send your application by email to <http://www.privatedaddy.com/?q=QDRfd0IOW2hObTtkb15mOTJiN296_19>.
Online Mentee Application Download Mentee Application Form

Please contact Drew Katz, Transition Services Coordinator at <http://www.privatedaddy.com/?q=SzRdYWwTUURObHl-2FdRdiN296_19> if you have questions about the mentorship program.

Education / Request

Get technical support and expertise

Interested in having Oregon Tilth provide a training, workshop or webinar? Want a staff member to attend and present at an upcoming event?
Send us an email at <http://www.privatedaddy.com/?q=SiJNdU0TUUdURCN5awRhZToKfmI3b3o-3D_19>.

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