Careers in Small-Scale Farming
BREAKING NEW GROUND is a ten month certification for beginning farmers in sustainable agriculture.
Our course is aligned with the USDA curriculum and addresses organic sustainable agriculture. We incorporate a a wide variety of adaptive tools and techniques for accommodating a wide range of physical and mental disabilities with the goal of teaching them how to be active gardeners or farmers.
Our graduates, who complete the course and adhere to the Code of Regulations, are given a plot of vacant land on which to establish and maintain their own agri-business. Some of the graduates may choose to further their on-farm training and choose to work on another farm for additional time. One year of follow up is provided with continued access to workshops, agricultural conferences, TALMAR memberships, TALMAR CSA vendor space and the farm alliance portal.
According to The Center for Rural Affairs within 10 years there is expected to be a 50% reduction in the number of farmers across the United States. As a result there is a demand for new farmers, especially those trained in organic and sustainable agriculture.
- Half of all current farmers likely to retire in the next decade
- Number of entry-level farmers has fallen by 30% since 1987
- New farmers make up only 10 percent of farmers and ranchers
What happens when these aging farmers and ranchers are no longer working the land? Their lands concentrates in bigger operations, and we lose our family farms and ranches and our rural communities. There is a need to fill this gap.
TALMAR has several answers to this issue, including but not limited to, downsizing production space, build structures that may accommodate farmers that experience mobility issues and market to smaller scale end users such as restaurants, farmer’s markets, co-ops road side farm stands. This is just one of many community needs that TALMAR addresses in the program.
This innovative 4-Semester Program Includes: Education in Planning Management & Development, Social & Environmental Issues, and Marketing & Distribution. Our farm lab provides the application of the class content while providing hands-on-learning in Organic Farming and Gardening Skills in our growing fields and greenhouses.
Students are required to participate in a series of workshops that are outlined below.
CURRICULUM CALENDAR (Note that there are 2 sessions each year).
November 1, 2017 Deadline for Application for the January, 2018 enrollment
November 15, 2017 Veterans using benefits must have an approval letter signed from their case manager emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
or faxed to our office (410-321-1466).
January 17, 2018 Wednesday evening workshops*
February 19, 2018 Practicum start date
November 1, 2018 Certification commencement
April 1, 2018 Deadline for Application for the June, 2018 enrollment
April 15, 2018 Veterans using benefits must have an approval letter signed from their case manager emailed to email@example.com or faxed to our office(410-321-1466).
June 1, 2018 2nd session begins
December 1, 2018 Last class before winter break
January 14, 2019 Wednesday evening workshops begin for 10 weeks* Note: this date is subject to change.
February 19, 2019 Practicum reconvenes
March 19, 2019 Certification commencement
- The 10-week winter workshop series (January-March), is held in partnership with University of Maryland Extension Service. This series is focused on introducing beginning farmers to key production, marketing, and business planning topics. These workshops are held once a week on Wednesday evenings (6 p.m. – 9 p.m.) at the Baltimore County Ag Center in Cockeysville, MD. For trainees located too far to attend in person, they will be offering a webcast option.
- Saturday workshops at TALMAR will provide additional opportunities to learn how to build raised beds, vertical structures, row tunnels and to set up a hydroponic system that may be duplicated anywhere. We encourage you to invite family members.
These workshops total approximately 30 hours of your class work time. Trainees must attend six additional hours of hands-on training (farm practicum) each week for a total of eight months. This will take place primarily at our farm at TALMAR. You will be given opportunities to spend your practicum day at other farms to expose the trainee to aquatics, animal husbandry, berry farming and the like.
Fee Based: $4800.00 (Payment plans available). VETERANS benefit may apply. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
The leading killer in Baltimore is heart disease. Graduates of Breaking New Ground reduce this rate by educating their consumers about the benefits of eating naturally-grown produce. Through our training, farmers will help decrease obesity and decrease the number of people suffering from heart disease.
The departure from interstate commerce is ever on the rise. Produce travels thousands of miles which upon arrival, results in shelf lives of 4 or less days. To endure commutes, companies rely heavily on the use of chemicals, preservatives of which are responsible in part for the departure of company’s consumer bases. Consequently, Maryland and the U.S are witnessing a widespread move towards buying “local”.
Baltimore is comprised of over 44 food deserts- neighborhoods without access to fruit and vegetables. The need for harvesting produce in Baltimore is huge. For more information call us at 410-825-2020 or email us at email@example.com
**TALMAR has been using horticultural therapy for 18 years. It has expanded in capacity with the beginning farmers program, Breaking New Ground, which offers training to all individuals, including our military veterans, while addressing a variety of disabling conditions that could affect their success in farming.