Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Information for Prospective Host Farmers

Programs \ Farmer Programs \ Farm Apprenticeships \ Information for Prospective Host Farmers


• Education and Relationship Building

The host farmer commits to principles of mentorship including agreeing to share their experience and knowledge in all aspects of their farm on a regular basis. The host farmer commits to taking the time and thoughtfulness through regular check-ins to support the growth of the beginning farmer and build a relationship of mutual respect that may extend beyond the length of the apprenticeship. The host farm agrees to support their apprentice in accessing MOFGA educational programming.

• Equity and Inclusivity

Prior to mentoring apprentices, host farmers are encouraged to acknowledge their own perspective including assumptions, privileges, and biases that may affect an apprentice’s experience on their farm. MOFGA expects host farmers to support a more equitable and just food system for all and work towards creating a more inclusive farm learning and working environment for beginning farmers that are historically and currently under-supported in agriculture. This includes but is not limited to women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, veterans, low-income individuals, people of diverse religious and non-religious affiliations, immigrants, and asylum seekers.

• Environmental Sustainability

In line with MOFGA’s mission, host farmers are expected to be farming in an environmentally sustainable and regenerative manner and provide training in these techniques with the apprenticing beginning farmers. Host farms are not required to be certified organic, but their production methods should be in alignment with organic principles.

• Safe and Fair

It is the host farmer's obligation to compensate the apprentice fairly and justly and to comply with all applicable laws including insurance and workers compensation. The application of other federal and state laws governing housing, safety and farm operations may also apply. The host farmer will have respect and dignity for the labor and service being provided by the apprentice and prioritize clear, respectful, and non violent communication on their farm. Host farmers agree to establish and respect physical and emotional boundaries communicated between the apprentice and the host farmer.

Important Notes:

Host farmers commit to participating annually in continuing education from a range of offerings provided by MOFGA to learn how to better support their apprentices.

Farms participating in the MOFGA Apprenticeship program are not vetted by MOFGA, and a listing on MOFGA's website does not imply an endorsement. Participants are expected to do their own due diligence and not enter into any situation, either living or working, without serious consideration.

Any apprenticeship arrangement made is an employment relationship made strictly between the Host Farmer and Apprentice.

MOFGA's expertise is limited and it cannot offer legal advice. The website is provided for information only and may not reflect current legal developments. Nothing on the MOFGA website should be construed as legal advice or replace consultation with an attorney concerning your own situation.

If you're interested in hosting a MOFGA apprentice on your farm, follow these steps:

1. Download and fill out a HOST FARM APPLICATION (Word document)

2. Email it as a PDF or Word attachment (preferred) to [email protected].

Or, mail the completed application to: MOFGA Apprenticeship Program, PO Box 170, Unity, ME 04988.

3. Mail your payment to the address above. Notes that fees for new farms differ from renewing farms.

MOFGA will post your farm profile here. We will send you the apprentice applications that indicate an interest in your farm.

4. Read and acknowledge terms of participation in the program by visiting this link and electronically "signing" in the appropriate spot.

It is up to you to follow up with applicants who interest you. When you find the right apprentice(s), please contact MOFGA so that we can keep track of who is working where.

Recommended Resources for Prospective Farmer-Mentors

Internships in Sustainable Farming: A Handbook for Farmers, by Doug Jones. (Download PDF)

Ag Apprenticeship Toolkit (PDF)

The New England Small Farm Institute's Farm Mentor Project

Worksheet for prospective apprentice farm visits – what to share about yourself and your farm, and what to ask them. (PDF)

Webinar video (2019): Communication Styles for Positive Farm Apprenticeships.mp4

Webinar video (2019): Supporting Beginning Farmer Learning.mp4