One-on-one mentorship will increase support systems and grow production skills.
The Foundation for Agricultural and Rural Resource Management and Sustainability (FARRMS), is offering a mentorship program for beginning farmers. FARRMS staff pair experienced farmers with beginning farmers based on their learning goals and the sustainable ag enterprises they operate. The mentorship relationship takes place through monthly phone calls and a site visit to each farm. FARRMS will provide mentors a small stipend and opportunities for professional development. Applications for both mentors and mentees are at farrms.org/mentorship
One-on-one mentorship will help farmers build lasting relationships and gain skills and knowledge. FARRMS developed the program in response to farmers’ requests for support systems and social networks. According to Executive Director Stephanie Blumhagen, “We serve small-scale, direct market growers, many of whom are geographically distant from other like-minded farmers. We continuously ask farmers how we can better serve them and a recurring theme has been a desire for mentorship, peer support and social networking opportunities.” By helping farmers expand networks, FARRMS aims to ensure that farmers’ enterprises are more successful and sustainable. The program is funded by a 2018 USDA NRCS Conservation Collaboration grant.
FARRMS is a 501c3 nonprofit providing education, peer networks, and financial support to sustainable agriculture producers in North Dakota. The organization offers a whole farm planning course called Farm Beginnings®, internship opportunities on farms and at farmers markets, peer support and mentorship, and grants and loans. FARRMS is headquartered in the Tuttle Rural Innovation Center, in the former Tuttle school building. Visit FARRMS online at www.farrms.org or facebook.com/FARRMS.ND