Farm School Program
Beginning in January 2021!
Apply Sept. 1- Oct. 30, 2020
Are you interested in a career growing specialty crops of vegetables, fruits, herbs or flowers?
Do you want to gain a deeper understanding of the issues that are involved in farming in Northwest Arkansas?
Our Farm School might be right for you!
11 Month Program
20 Hours per week M-F from 8 to Noon
Learn by Experience
Small Farm Models / Specialty Crops
Cost $2000 / Supplies $100
The Center for Arkansas Farms and Food (CAFF) Farm School is an 11-month program of experiential learning that combines hands-on farming with core knowledge classes in production, business, and legal issues. This comprehensive approach is specifically designed for beginning farmers of specialty crops. Students gain an in-depth understanding of the farming production systems and business applications needed to succeed. The Farm School prepares farmers to become specialty crop entrepreneurs, contributing to local and regional foodsheds in Arkansas.
During this 11 month program, a cohort of students will participate in approximately 350 hours of production, business and legal curriculum lessons and 700 hours of hands-on field activities.
Farm School students will learn
Foundations of sustainable agriculture concepts and applications
Hands-on experience in commercial crop production
The business and legal needs of a farm
Market identification and marketing essentials
How to utilize area programs, resources, and networking opportunities
This program is located at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Milo J. Shult Agricultural Research & Extension Center, 1366 Altheimer Drive, Fayetteville AR, 72704.
Start Date, Course Length & Hours:
This program is 20 hours per week and lasts 11 months, beginning in January. The curriculum includes approximately 350 hours of classroom instruction in farm production, business, and legal knowledge. There are an additional 700 hours of hands-on activities.
Curriculum & Instruction:
The curriculum for the Farm School was developed to provide foundational knowledge and experience in issues that are key to farmer success. Classroom and field instruction are led by experienced educators. Many guest instructors will provide additional information and expertise on topical information. These include experienced farmers, U of A System scientists, and local resource providers.
Farm production training includes annual crop production of one-half and five-acre models, greenhouses, high tunnels, and perennial fruit. The class curriculum integrates farm business and legal knowledge. Curriculum topics include sustainable crop production, harvest methods, food safety, biodiversity, record-keeping, financial management, managing legal risk, accessing local resources, and business and market planning.
The program uses a cohort model with students learning and farming in small groups. Each cohort of up to 15 students goes through the program together. This class size allows for in-depth instruction, small group interaction, and strong classroom bonds.
The program is currently offered at a deeply discounted rate for a limited time. The cost is $2000/person, with $100 in supply fees. Payment plans can be arranged. Full tuition must be paid by July 1 for the session in which you are participating.