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2023 BIPOC Beginning Farmer Programs Report

About the Program


We created Frontline Farming’s Apprenticeship Program in 2021 as a path for beginning to intermediate Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) growers to gain the fundamental skills needed in the movement toward personal and communal food sovereignty. Since then we have adjusted program design in response to experiences of both participants and educators. Each iteration of our program aims to provide a culturally supportive and immersive environment for a farming community who seek further education and advocacy within food systems. Our program teaches participants land-based skills such as farm planning, soil renewal and deep personal reflection as we affirmed historical divorce from the land and reignited our cultural connection to the earth. In 2023, we offered two pathways for beginning and aspiring farmers based on what we had learned from previous iterations of the program and the patterns of our work on the land: a 2-Week Farm Immersion Program and Full Season Work Experience. 

2-Week Farm Immersion Program

April 24 to May 5, 2023 

Monday through Friday, 9am - 3pm

Registration fee: $1000, with partial and full scholarships available. 

Full Season Farm Work Experience

April 24 to October 28, 2023

2-Week Immersion + Full Time Work Experience

Paid experience with health and dental.

Most importantly, we want to congratulate Beth Sanchez, Hasan Robinson, Cristy Minx, Briana Jenkins, Caronne Porter, Barclay Jones, Quinn, Molly Gonzales, Monticue Connally, and Katlyn Howery for graduating our first farm immersion program. And congraduations to Brandon Gehrke, Buho Navarette, Cypress Davis, Lorna Xu, Stacy Compoz, and Stephanie Serna on graduating from our third cohort of the Frontline Farming Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Farmer Apprenticeship Program. In seeking data sovereignty, each graduate received a personalized, private report with analyzed data collected on their participation in the program. While FrontLine Farming collected the data, we recognize the ownership of the data remains in the hands of the participants. We look forward to seeing the different ways you’ll utilize your experiences, knowledge, and skills from this program in your communities.


 

Read the full report

2023 Beginning Farmer Program Report (1)
.pdf
Download PDF • 9.91MB

 

Next steps for this program

We are redefining apprentices as career farmers who are hired as FLF staff.

From this season and previous, we’ve decided that having a new cohort of apprentices on the farm annually results in a rootlessness that leads to disrespectful demands and dynamics between our permanent farmers and seasonal apprentices. Our full-time farm staff needs the attention and care we dedicate to our temporary apprentices to increase the long-term sustainability of FrontLine. In the coming year, to address this learning we intend to shift our full-season farmer development program to provide more educational offerings to our BIPOC and Women career farmers. This will result in a resilient and equipped team who are more capable of farming and passing on farming knowledge for more seasons to come. As such, new hires will be assessed for their personal stage of farm career development and be connected with specific education opportunities catered to our staff of diverse farming experience and learning levels. All farm staff going forward will be treated as a student and given opportunities to mentor and teach others on the team as appropriate. Our hope is that education efforts for developing farmers will be more accurately delivered to those who have made a career commitment to this demanding work. 


We are increasing the number of immersion programs we offer to ensure we are providing the most useful spaces to novice farmers.

To ensure that we will continue to provide this vital information to our community in accessible ways, we will expand our Immersion Program offerings in years to come. We will maintain our 2-Week Immersion in the Spring for 2024, and expect to improve upon the curriculum and activities. We also aim to add a 2-Week Summer Immersion in late summer, which will be differentiated by skills and insights relevant to that time of the season. Since the evaluation data shows that the largest confidence boosts occurred during the immersion program we believe that this is the most effective approach to offering farm education to novice farmers. 


We are increasing the cost of the immersion program and offering a clear system of scholarships.

We hope to place value on our skill and knowledge as BIPOC and Women farmers. Since this program takes expert farmers out of the field for key hours of the work day, we see the need to increase the cost of our program to match the dedication and education provided by our staff. In 2024 the 10-day program will cost $2,000 with a 25% scholarship, 50% scholarship, 75% scholarship and 95% scholarship. Upon acceptance, all participants - regardless of scholarship amount - will be asked for a $100 deposit to secure their enrollment. We believe that this structure will create the needed reciprocity for growing mutual respect of the program and all beings involved. 


We aim to educate about the diverse ways to define community.

This program fostered community-building that is defined by friendship, but we hope to encourage future program participants to explore and embrace other ways of creating community. FrontLine leadership maintains broad and diverse ways to define community and while friendship is one of them, it is not the totality. We hold community based on morale and camaraderie in the farm fields, knowing that navigating tension and contention is part of kinship. We hold community based on reciprocity of giving and providing in equal balance, which can be a challenge in educational spaces. We hold community by holding ourselves responsible to others who depend on us, such as with individuals seeking food security. We hold community between us and the many people of color and women who labor for 15+ hr shifts in the dangerous Colorado weather to staff the agricultural industry -  even when we have only met the smallest fraction of them. In our work as activists and changemakers, we are exploring how to bring this mindset to future program participants and apprentice farmers on our farms.



 

Read the full report

2023 Beginning Farmer Program Report (1)
.pdf
Download PDF • 9.91MB

 


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