Farmer-to-Farmer Mentorship Program
Get 1-to-1 guidance from an experienced organic farmer who can help you:
- Learn best practices for your type of organic farming operation
- Prepare your farm for organic certification
- Move your organic farm forward with experienced guidance
“This was exactly what I was looking for and has been an immense help this year to get me on the right track.”
—Jason, 2022 mentee
Mentored farmers pay $350 to participate in the program, which includes admission to two Marbleseed conferences ($600 value). 75%, or up to $200 per year, of the fee can be reimbursed by FSA for certified organic or transitioning producers through the Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP). Learn more here.
Applicants must have been operating their farm business for at least one year prior to application date.
Payment is due upon acceptance into the program. A limited number of scholarships are available.
Applications are due Dec. 10, 2022 for the 2023 mentoring program, which runs from January 2023 to February 2024. Accepted applicants will be notified in December 2022.
How does the Mentorship Program work?
The mentorship program empowers organic farmers through one-on-one guidance as they grow their business, seek organic certification, add farm enterprises, hone production skills, balance farm and family, and more.
Mentorships are available in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Beginning in January, mentors and mentees work together to set goals for the mentorship year and build a communication system tailored for their individual needs and preferences. Unlike many internship programs, the mentored farmer is not required to help on the mentor’s farm. Instead, the mentor visits the mentored farmer at least once during the year and is available to communicate and answer questions via phone and email.
Formal education component
The mentor and mentee each receive one complimentary registration to the Marbleseed Organic Farming Conference, the country’s premier education and networking event about organic agriculture, at both the start and the end of the mentorship. The pair also receives updates throughout the year regarding other organic educational opportunities, such as field days and workshops. In addition, Marbleseed Organic Specialists are available at any time of the year to ask specific farming or certification questions.
Program requirements for Mentored Farmers
Applicants must have been operating their farm business for at least one year prior to application date. We have found that farmers at this stage have more experience with basic farming issues and know where they need guidance. Mentored farmers pay $350 to participate in the program, which includes admission to two Marbleseed conferences ($600 value). Accepted applicants will be notified in December 2022.
Program requirements for Mentors
Our team matches experienced farmer mentors with a mentee, paired by specialty and proximity to each other’s farms. Mentors receive a stipend for sharing their time and knowledge with a mentee. Additional requirements are listed on the application form.