About the Program
The Apprentice Farmer Program is a farm incubator program that aims to serve as the launching point for individuals interested in starting their own farming enterprise. This residential program provides farming entrepreneurs with the necessary tools and assistance needed to ensure a solid start to their farming career.
Land, equipment, tools, and mentorship are provided to qualified applicants for up to five years so they can develop a business plan, establish accounts, build capital, and fine-tune skills. The apprentice farmers will grow alongside the talented North Farm staff and other apprentice farmers, sharing ideas, techniques, and labor.
The program runs for up to five growing seasons, beginning in March.
Who Should Apply?
This program is designed for individuals with ample farming experience who are ready to start their own farming enterprise. We do not expect you to have all the answers, which is why a backbone of this program is the technical assistance provided by The North Farm staff. However, we must emphasize that this is not a formal training program. (For more information on beginning farmer training options, see our Novice Farmer Program.) Instead, this is a program that allows you to farm in community and share experiences, advice, tips/tricks, and struggles with those around you. This program is open to individual farmers, as well as farming couples/partnerships.
Housing is provided for a small fee to all participants that desire to live on-site. Participants are not required to live on-site, and many options are available in Chatham, Munising, and Marquette. Participating farmers may be asked to live in a cooperative housing situation. Please be advised that it is strongly suggested that participants live on-site, as The North Farm staff cannot be held responsible for participants' crops in inclement weather.
About Chatham, MI
Chatham is a village of approximately 220 residents in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Only eight miles from the shore of Lake Superior, it is an astonishingly beautiful area with lots of recreation opportunities. It is located between the tourist hub of Munising (home of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore) and the UP's largest city, Marquette. Only 35 miles away, Marquette is the primary outlet for farm products with its 20,000 residents, a state university, vibrant food cooperative, and active farmers market.
The program is designed to admit three apprentice farmers each year, allowing for a total of six apprentice farms on site. Please see above for more information on what is provided in the Apprentice Farmer Program. To see the fee schedule for the program, please click here.
The North Farm Provides: