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Beginning farmers: Get paid farming experience through Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Labor4Learning Program – apply by Feb. 28

Are you a beginning or aspiring farmer looking for paid work opportunities that will offer real-world insights into the business and life of farming? If so, consider applying to Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Labor4Learning Program. The program, now entering its second year, seeks to give beginners who are considering a farming career paid on-the-job experience while helping established farmers attract high-quality, motivated farm employees.

This season, 11 selected PFI trainer farms around Iowa are hiring for the 2014 growing season. Applications are encouraged by Feb. 28, and should be made directly to the participating farms. Employment opportunities on these farms range from three to 24 months. A list of participating farms is included below, and specific farm needs and job descriptions can be found at http://practicalfarmers.org/programs/youth-and-next-generation/Labor4Lea...

Benefits: In addition to one-on-one time gaining practical farm management skills from an experienced farmer, trainees in the Labor4Learning Program will learn about farm business planning and financing – knowledge that’s vital for future success. Trainees also:

· Are eligible for a day of paid time off to attend a PFI event during their term of employment

· Receive a discounted rate to attend the 2015 PFI Annual Conference (a $100 value)

· Receive preference toward eligibility for free home-stay lodging during the 2015 conference

· Have opportunities to connect with other PFI trainees

Experienced farmers benefit from having an employee who is highly motivated and committed to working on a farm for a complete season.

Rory Van Wyk, who was a trainee with Cory Family Farm in 2013, says the program experience was “wonderful,” and that even after the term officially ended he has continued to be mentored by Tom and Mary Cory. “Having this chance to get hands-on experience and mentoring has been a tremendous blessing as my family and I seek an opportunity to begin farming in the future.”

Qualifications: To become a trainee, applicants must apply to and be hired by a training farm; have a strong desire to learn about the business of farming; and be a current member of Practical Farmers of Iowa (individual or whole-farm membership types both qualify). Those who want to apply but aren’t currently PFI members can sign up at www.practicalfarmers.org/join-pfi.html or by calling Erica Andorf at (515) 232-5661.

For questions about the Labor4Learning Program, contact Luke Gran, PFI’s member and sponsor coordinator, at luke@practicalfarmers.org or 515-232-5661.

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