2019 Sustainable Agriculture Apprenticeship Program

Sustainable Farming Systems Research and Animal Management

Location: CEFS’ Farming Systems Research, Dairy and Swine Units at Cherry Research Farm, Goldsboro, NC
Required Commitment: 6 months, start date flexible
Apply Online: The 2019 application period has closed.

Overview of Research Experience:

Apprentices will spend time at the Farming Systems Research Unit (FSRU), the Pasture Based Dairy Unit, and the Alternative Swine Unit assisting with research and daily management. This is a unique project that offers a number of hands-on opportunities in various aspects of agricultural production and research. Examples of experiences include various crop planting, harvesting, experience with pasture based cattle systems, research evaluation and data collection, as well as operating farm equipment.

What Specific Skills Are Required for This Position?

Good communication and organizational skills, able to follow directions, complete tasks independently and to work in a team. Additionally, some activities may need to be done under adverse weather condition (cold, heat, humidity, rain, pollen). Most important is a positive attitude and enthusiasm for sustainable agriculture.

What Does an Average Week Look Like? What might an Apprentice Encounter During This Time?

The work day starts between 7-9 am and lasts until around 5 pm. The activities will vary through the apprenticeship program (depending on start date between March and November). The participant will be involved (directly or indirectly) in all farming activities. The participant will be involved in all the research activities, including planning, sampling, measuring, data management, and evaluation. The participant will share ideas and take part on discussions to decide actions to improve both agronomic and research procedures and strategies.

The Apprentice is responsible for their own transportation to and from the farm, but housing in Goldsboro near the farm is available.

The Skills You Acquire With This Apprenticeship Opportunity Will Build a Solid Foundation for the Following Career Paths:

Research assistant, research technician, farm manager assistant, a variety of higher education or graduate programs in related fields. We have had many apprentices at the animal units go on to veterinary school.

What is Expected of Apprentices from Faculty and Staff on This Project?

To be familiar and to learn how to use some farm equipment. To understand various sustainable agricultural practices, research procedures and the importance of collecting good quality data. To learn the basics of data management and analysis.

Other Requirements?

Apprentices will be expected to live in the Raleigh or Goldsboro area and have their own transportation. Housing is available in Goldsboro at a discounted rate.

Learn more about the Farming Systems Research Unit here.