HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pasa Sustainable Agriculture is proud to announce the first three graduates of its Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship program. This formal, paid apprenticeship program, registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, pairs beginning farmers with established farmers to provide a guided pathway toward managing or starting a vegetable farm. Graduating apprentices have completed at least 2,700 hours of on-the-job training as well as 200 hours of related technical instruction, including trainings, workshops, and other educational events.
The graduating apprentices are Ashley Beeson at Two Gander Farm with host farmers Trey and Deirdre Flemming; Logan McCabe at Fullers Overlook Farm with host farmers Liz and Mike Krug; and Megan Moore at Nook & Cranny Farm with host farmer Bob Tuori.
Graduates were recognized in a virtual ceremony at Pasa’s Annual Meeting at the end of January. In a video of the ceremony, which includes interviews with apprentices and host farms, Bob Touri remarked that his apprentice, Megan, “did a fantastic job… She definitely has a future of running a good business ahead of her!” Liz Krug said, ”We can’t speak highly enough about the program and Logan…It’s been wonderful seeing the growth of a new farmer over two seasons. And from an employer standpoint, it’s been wonderful having that steady employee here.” In an extended version of his interview, host farmer Trey Flemming also sang the praises of his apprentice, Ashley, and of the program, adding that it was a “profound experience…to be able bring the next generation into diversified vegetable farming.”
What’s next for the next generation?
Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship graduates have now achieved journeyworker status and are each pursuing different paths toward their respective futures in farming. Logan McCabe is currently seeking continued employment in farm management; Ashley Beeson is in the process of opening her own diversified vegetable farming operation, and even had help from her former host farmers in planning her new greenhouse; and Megan Moore is partnering with two other women to start a small CSA and farm stand at a brewery.
Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship is funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Applications for both apprentices and host farms are accepted on a rolling basis. To learn more, visit pasafarming.org/DVA or call 814.349.9856.
–Pasa Sustainable Agriculture