The MOSES Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring Program pairs experienced organic farmers with transitioning organic farmers to promote the successful adoption of organic methods through one-on-one interaction. Organic farming mentors and mentored transitioning farmers accepted into the program will receive free attendance to our Organic Farming Conference in February. To enhance
local relationships, experienced farmers who know of farmers interested
in organic agriculture are encouraged to inform them about this program,
and visa versa.
The application period for the 2013 Mentoring Program is now closed. Check back in the spring for applications to the 2014 Mentoring Program.
Our mentoring program pairs mentors and mentees in January of each year. We accept applications throughout the year, so feel free to submit an application (provided below) at any time during 2012. We will contact you in late November to make sure you are still interested in being in the 2013 program.
Our 2014 program will stop accepting applications December 10, 2013.
Applications for our 2013 program: - Mentor application to fill out electronically and email, download.
- Mentor application to print, download.
- Mentee application to fill out electronically and email, download.
- Mentee application to print, download.
What is the program?
The MOSES Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring Program pairs an organic farmer with one or two transitioning-to-organic farmers, to help these new to organic farmers negotiate the various USDA regulations on organic and modify their operations to meet organic standards. Mentors share practical information on day-to-day chores and activities on the farm, which are somewhat different for an organic farmer than a conventional farmer. Our mentors are long time experienced organic farmers who have a track record of helping others as conference speakers, performing certification activities and running a successful organic farm. New to organic farmers can either be transitioning their conventional farm, or be starting up a new operation.
How can I get involved with this program?
Mentors must complete a profile form and new organic farmers must complete
an application, helping MOSES pair them up according to type of production
and region. This program is different from internship programs; the new
farmer is not required to help on the mentor's farm, unless they both feel
this would be beneficial. Instead, the mentor visits the mentored farmer's
home at least once and is available for phone calls and emails as mutually
agreed. This mentorship lasts at least one year. The mentor receives
expenses and a stipend for each mentored farmer they help. The mentored
farmer is asked to pay a small fee. All participants will be asked to
provide periodic progress reports so MOSES can track what works well and
what needs to be improved. Only one farmer per farm is eligible for free conference and Organic University registration.
Why is this program needed?
Demand for organic production continues to grow annually
and is still the fastest growing sector of agriculture in the U.S. The pace of new farmers entering the organic supply stream is not keeping up with consumer demand for these products. Entering the world of organic production can be overwhelming, with a wide variety of rules to follow as well as new methods and inputs to use on the farm. Organic farmers have been helping each other improve their operations since the mid-1980s, and most successful organic farmers attribute their current situations to this type of sharing when they began their organic production. Organics is still less than 4% of the agricultural production in the United States and it is not easy for farmers interested in organic to find an experienced farmer willing to help them with their transition.
What are the benefits of the program?
This program has a strong formal educational component, including full participation in the MOSES Organic Farming Conference and Organic University. The MOSES Organic Specialist, Harriet Behar, will be keeping in touch with all participants, making sure they are aware of other organic educational activities available in their region, including field days and workshops. Harriet will also be available to answer any questions.
Where can I get more information?
To learn more about our Mentoring Program, or to request information,
MOSES Organic Specialist
43299 Patton Road
Gays Mills, WI 54631