[Option B] Sustainable Agriculture: Introductory Track

Sustainable Agriculture: Introductory Track

Actual careers in a relevant labor market used by TALMAR’s Sustainable Agriculture Program providing trainees an accurate work experience on a commercial farm.
● An integrated work experience versus a facility based experience that serves persons with disabilities.
● Authentic experience with a true work culture offering industry standards and workplace practices versus a simulated facility based experience.
● Successful experiences in an area of interest which impacts a trainee’s self-esteem, motivation and performance.
● Information regarding positions that are available in the labor market leading to hiring by employer or
● Actual positions in the labor market used within TALMAR’s Career Readiness program in Sustainable Agriculture provides our staff and the documentation to educate the business community on this valuable source of manpower.
● Opportunity for on-site consultation in areas of accommodation, modification and use of adaptive tools and techniques.
● Provision of information on targeted tax credits, ADA, EEOC, disability awareness, community resources to address barriers that may affect their employees, etc.
● Establishment of a network of employers who can serve in advisory capacity in the creation of training programs to address barriers that may affect their employees, etc.
● Engagement in joint projects with staff, community partners, and the public to promote participant career readiness.

This program provides 12 Weeks in Sustainable Agriculture covering the fundamentals of small scale organic farming. The request for local, organic produce is on the rise. Grocers, farm-to-table restaurants and the popularity of local farmer’s markets are in-demand for locally grown- high quality fruits and vegetables This training program may serve as a pre-requisite to our Certificate Track that incorporates a 10- month curriculum in Sustainable Agriculture (Referred to as “Breaking New Ground”). After a successful completion of the 12 -week training, a participant may choose to move forward into the certificate program to continue training for an additional seven months. This also follows the approval of DORS as well as the teaching staff at TALMAR. This training teaches both an educational and hands-on practicum in the small-scale sustainable farming industry based on our USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) aligned curriculum.

The curriculum design is embedded with skills that have been identified as necessary in the practice of agriculture/ farming. The outcome of the training will enable the participant to find, maintain and succeed in an entry level position in the agricultural industry.  Participants will participate in classroom-based lessons designed to teach both hard and soft skills as well providing real work experiences on the TALMAR farm. A trainee that does not live near the TALMAR farm, may choose to train on a farm that is close to their home.  That farm must specialize in sustainable agriculture and capable of making adaptations, if necessary. The trainee will acquire the knowledge of the demands, meaning and value of work.

Trainees will spend approximately four weeks learning the basics of organic farming.  During this time, trainees learn soft skills necessary to find and maintain employment. The most up-to-date knowledge and practices of farming skills, tools and equipment usage, diseases and insects, growing, harvesting, packaging, storage practices and sales to end-users will be demonstrated and performed on our farm.  Clients will have opportunities to participate in farmers markets off site and onsite preparation and sales. Each participant will design a career plan and are trained in seeking and finding appropriate positions that meet their interest and ability.  They will acquire techniques to find employers, acquire about salaries, gather any pre-requisites and requirements, develop a resume, write cover letters, fill out applications, perfect interviewing skills, learn payroll/money management skills, and confirm appropriate references.  Professionalism and community integration are incorporated into the daily curriculum.