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The Organic Farm School (OFS) offers a full-time, 8-month, experiential training program designed for aspiring farmers to learn and practice the skills they need to run a small-scale organic farm. Through attending weekly lectures, discussions, and demonstrations on topics including organic crop and livestock production, soil science, business planning, and direct marketing, as well as cooperatively managing the ten-acre student farm, participants receive a thorough education in organic small farm management. Participants also learn to conduct on-farm research through variety trials and group projects, while bi-weekly field trips to regional farms allow participants to see a variety of farming styles and talk to experienced producers.
Participants are also assisted in creating a personal farm business plan where their farm goals are explored and built upon. Through management of the OFS student farm, participants develop their practical farm skills including planning, tillage, greenhouse propagation, weeding, harvesting, marketing, and record keeping. Students also learn how to operate tractors, make compost, manage the farm’s livestock, and much more. With the skills and knowledge gained and a business plan in hand, program graduates know what it will take to start or manage their own small organic farm.