Interested in becoming a Seed Farm apprentice? The application process at The Seed Farm begins with a visit to the farm, where you will meet our Farm Manager/Educator and work alongside our apprentices. This is the best way to assess whether our new farmer training program is a good fit for you.
4 Steps to Applying
- Schedule a visit to The Seed Farm to meet with our Farm Manager.
- Apply online. Along with your application, please remember to send us three references and a resume.
- Optional: submit financial aid application (this needs to be completed by fellowship and work-study applicants).
- In-person interview with our staff.
Note: Please contact us if you need a hard copy of the application materials mailed to you.
The full cost of our program is $8,400 per year. This tuition includes all on-farm training, Penn State Extension formal courses, printed materials and guides, and other workshops and farm visits that are offered during the training season. Participants are encouraged to apply regardless of financial ability (see scholarship application above).
Financing new farmer training at The Seed Farm
We are committed to providing high-quality training to new farmers regardless of race, creed or gender, and we recognize that many of our participants are interested in options for financing this training.
- Fellowships: 3 high-ranking applicants will be offered merit-based scholarships. Applicants must have at least one full season of full-time experience on a commercial vegetable operation and must demonstrate commitment to an agricultural career. A deposit of $1,000 will be required at the beginning of the season, and $500 will be returned upon successful completion of the program. Please submit scholarship application for consideration.
- Work-study: Work-study apprentices have the opportunity to get more experience on a farm while earning back some of their tuition. This is a good option for applicants with less farming experience. Actual amounts depend on labor needs of the farm and apprentices' abilities. Work-study application may be considered along with standard financial aid application. Please submit scholarship application for consideration.
- Standard need-based financial aid: Available on a case-by-case basis for applicants with demonstrated financial need. Please submit scholarship application for consideration.
- 529 Plan: Past apprentices have successfully used their 529 educational savings plans to cover the cost of tuition at The Seed Farm.
- Apprentices participate in all aspects of running the Seed Farm market garden. Duties include: greenhouse work, soil preparation, site maintenance (mowing and weed-eating), planting, cultivating, harvesting, and marketing.
- All apprentices are expected to attend weekly farm walks, field demonstrations and participate in weekly work meetings.
- Each apprentice will be responsible for managing one crop group in the market garden.
- Attend courses offered by Penn State Cooperative Extension, held on weekday afternoons or evenings.
- One year of farming experience on a diversified vegetable farm.
- The intention to start or manage a sustainable farm business.
- All apprentices are expected to have a strong work ethic, commitment to detail, ability to take direction and work both independently and collectively.
- Dedication to cooperative working and sustainable agriculture.
- The ability to work well with staff and other apprentices.
- Access to reliable transportation to Emmaus, Allentown, and other farm sites in the area as needed.
- Ability to lift 50 pounds and work for hours at repetitive manual labor.
- Ability to work in all weather conditions, especially heat.
- Familiarity with and access to the internet and Microsoft office programs.
- November 15: Complete applications due
- December 1: Applicants notified if selected to interview
- Applications received after November 15 will be considered on a rolling basis if spots are available.
For more information about the program, visit our training program page, download our Program guide, or contact Lindsey Parks by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 610-391-9583 Ext 16.
"This institution is an equal opportunity provider."