What is the Urban Ag Apprenticeship Program?

 
 
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Urban Farmer Apprenticeship Program (UFAP)

Adults 18 and up

Qualified applicants must be 18 years old or older, possess a high school diploma, GED, or enrolled in a GED program with additional management, sales or customer service experience preferred. Applicants must be able to work outdoors with little to no physical assistance.  Beginning February 2018, 12 adults embarked on a 9 month apprenticeship training program in Urban Agriculture right in the heart of Peoria. Apprentices will:

*Learn technical agricultural skills and business planning specific to the needs of the community through seasoned small farmers, dietitians, city planners, business leaders and educators
*Grow their own products at the new Reed Street Farm, South Garden and Learning Center, and personal residence
*Market their products through a local Community Supported Agricultural program and  local outdoor farmer’s market (in partnership with the Peoria Riverfront Market)
*Earn 350.00 stipend to offset the cost of child care and transportation while in training.  Earn additional income through sales and marketing of products
*Own their own piece of the planned urban producer co op, which allows for complete independence and self sufficiency for farming, sales and marketing for years to come.

The Workforce Training and Apprenticeship Program includes: Urban farm training and worksite program, Safety and Food Handler Certification, basic Job Performance Skills and leadership building, marketing and value added product training, land ownership and share equipment program and nutrition education. We will provide direct hands on education in complete crop production and develop a network of business, nonprofit, and funding partners that support program work and employment of graduates. 

For more information, contact us.


Features

This program is designed to instill workforce development skills for underemployed, unemployed and disadvantaged workers residing in the 61605 area, promote employment of workforce trained staff for market and urban farm components of project.  Allow for development and expansion of current product line, creation of market for direct sales, expand into value-added produce for market sales (i.e., sauces and prepackaged healthy family meals), design of marketing plan for growth into new market venues, such as restaurants, retail and wholesale, assist in private ownership of empty lots for agricultural purposes, improve the sustainability of our organizational education and research mission.

Urban Agriculture Apprentices will become self employed growers that sell produce grown on empty city lots, residential lots or Stormwater Farms. Multiple markets will be available for the purchase of their products such as CSA, Local Urban Farmer’s Market and Wholesale contracts. These markets will be relationships fostered by The gitm Foundation. Future seasoned urban growers will then be trained in managing their own producer co-op for full producer ownership.