FIELD Network - Monthly Networking Session - Strategies to Support Graduates


Friday, May 10, 2024


1:00pm – 2:00pm


Online - Eastern Standard Time  Zoom



Related Program(s):

Join the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and the FIELD Network for our Monthly Networking Session.  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 connect and share project updates!

This month's networking topic is:  Strategies to Support Graduates (Alumni) of our Beginning Farmer Training Programs.  An emerging issue for incubator and apprenticeship programs is recognizing that alumni and other agrarians early in their career often still lack key skills and knowledge to successfully launch their own enterprises or move into management positions on farms and ranches belonging to others. Is your program currently offering some kind of alumni support or management-level training to address this? Or other programming to support this transition to independent farming/ranching after your program? What post-graduate assistance and training is most needed? What can be effectively offered virtually; what is best delivered in-person via workshops, cohort gatherings, etc.?

Come join your peers and discuss key questions you'd like to brainstorm with the group:

  • Does your program currently offer some form of manager/ownership training support? If so, what are you doing and would you consider it effective?
  • What key needs do your alumni or other intermediate farmers/ranchers have regarding skills, education, etc? Technical advice? Business and financial skills? HR/personnel management? One-on-one mentoring as needed? Other?
  • What mix of in-person and virtual offerings would be optimal, given topic, logistics, networking?
  • Are you aware of other programs or offerings that would be useful, if they could be made affordable and accessible to these people?
  • What in-house staffing concerns do you have?
  • What funding sources could help?

Our presenters and facilitation leaders this month include: Julie Sullivan, the founding mentor of the Quivira Coalition New Agrarian Program (NAP), she has been a mentor with the program for 16 years, and serves as Mentor Training and Support for the program, as well as creating programming for orientations, supplemental education, staff training and their new/pilot Management Fellowship Program. She is on the Leadership Team for the FIELD Network and ranches in SW Colorado.  Leah Ricci is Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program Director. She leads the program’s team of regional coordinators, and oversees fundraising, program development, and evaluation. She’s based in Santa Fe, NM, and has been with the program since 2019.

Even if you don't have all the answers, come join us and learn and share your alumni support challenges with your peers.  We host monthly networking sessions throughout the year (usually on the 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). 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.  For any questions about the networking sessions, please reach out to:  Jennifer Hashley, New Entry Director.