This toolkit is designed to introduce apprenticeship training programs to the topics and frameworks that mentors have identified as challenges and that are important for mentors to address to offer a successful learning experience for their trainees. While agricultural mentors are likely experts in their field with many years of experience running an agricultural business, they still benefit from improving their skills and capacities as mentors,
educators, and life-long learners. Apprenticeship training programs that support mentors with professional development opportunities are in an excellent position to introduce new tools and resources to their mentors. Mentors will benefit from new resources and skills to address the many and nuanced aspects of running an agricultural business while providing a quality educational experience for their trainees. As such, this Mentor Training Toolkit is designed to provide agricultural service providers with:
- agriculture-specific mentor training resources
- mentor training tools and curricula
- mentor training strategies
- support to build mentor learning networks and mentor-to-mentor peer learning circles
- tools to strengthen ongoing learning within and among mentor training programs
Throughout the toolkit, case studies, examples, and resource links, and highlight lessons learned from experienced apprenticeship and mentor training programs are shared. Each of these resources referenced in the document are also annotated in a robust Resource Chapter. Case studies of different apprenticeship and beginning farmer training programs throughout the toolkit illustrate different approaches that organizations have used to support their mentors. Where applicable, sample training agendas, application forms, interview questions, resource handouts, checklists, or other programmatic material is shared by existing programs either in the Resource section (Chapter 6) or if unavailable online, content was posted in the AgALN Resource Library and links to those were referenced. We strongly encourage readers to visit the AgALN Resource Library on the New Entry for additional Apprenticeship Training and Mentor Resources. This is an ongoing, living resource library that will continue to be updated as programs share their content with the network. Enjoy!