FIELD Network - Monthly Networking Session


Friday, April 7, 2023


1:00pm – 2:00pm





Join us to connect with staff of land-based farm incubator and apprenticeship training programs!  Share challenges faced by land-based training programs supporting a diversity of beginning farmers and brainstorm ideas, solutions, and shared resources.  Network in breakout groups to mix and mingle with other incubator farm program staff and apprenticeship staff across the country to do some networking, connecting, and sharing of project updates!

Our April topic is:  Providing Feedback to Aspiring Farmers in Land-based Training Programs.  Effective communication requires thoughtful planning and preparation.  As land-based training programs work with aspiring and beginning farmers, there is significant value in establishing strong practices around informal and formal check-ins to both assess learning, measure progress, and providing feedback to farmers in training. When farmer educators and their apprentices/incubator farmers/trainees meet for regular check-ins, the positive impact is crystal clear and the lines of communication are much more open day to day. When check-ins don't happen, there is often frustration on the part of the apprentice/incubator farmer which can snowball. 

This month’s networking session will be led by Sarah Janes Ugoretz, Apprenticeship Manager of the Fairshare CSA Coalition (based in Madison, Wisconsin) and PhD Candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying long-term career pathways in diversified vegetable production.  Join Sarah and your peers to explore questions such as:  how does your program let apprentices/incubator farmers know how they're doing?  Do you provide a dedicated space for structured communication?  What topics do you cover during these check-ins (their shorter and longer term goals)?  How might your program or farm be able to use that information to benefit both the apprentice/incubator farm and the overall program or farm outcomes?  How do you build a habit around effective communication that can benefit your program’s staff and employees of your training program as well - this doesn't just need to be something you do with apprentices or incubator farmers!  Come with ideas to share and learn about effective tools for improving communications on the farm and in your programs.

We will be hosting monthly networking sessions throughout the winter months (First Fridays of the month at 1pm EST) as a way to connect, continue to learn from one another, build the network, and engage in topic-based discussions of interest (bring your enthusiasm for a topic you’d like to discuss).

Come with questions you’d like to get diverse perspectives from peers across the country.  We are open to a diversity of conversation topics – come ready to share and/or gain new perspective on some of your sticky programmatic challenges!  If you have a topic you’d like to host at a future session, please email Jennifer to discuss ideas:

If you have new staff working with your incubator farm program or your apprenticeship training program, please invite them to come and network and meet their peers across the country to build connections