Overview of the Apprenticeship:
The Power Agronomy Program (PAP) is a paid apprenticeship program where urban growers learn techniques for enhancing sustainable growth in yield and in business. Urban farm experimentation places the new urban agronomist in direct contact with a farming system that is often quite complex. It will be the urban agronomist’s responsibility to learn as much as possible about this system and the way it affects the crops, which they are working with. This will require applying methods much different from those utilized in traditional agronomic research. This first step of this data collection method will start in the planning stage of the urban plots. During the experimentation phase the urban researcher will have access to the different urban plots sites and their crops, and the opportunities for collecting information during the course of the growing season will be considerable. Through observations and conversations the urban researcher will pick up small pieces of information, which are gradually woven together with the data obtained from the trials themselves and from earlier survey information from other urban food producers. The results of this process will inform some firm recommendations, but some of this information may create hypotheses that must be tested by further trials and data collection. This process is invaluable for the new urban agronomist. The new agronomist will learn that there are ways of planning experiments, organizing research activities and recording information that will make the urban farm experimentation much more effective.
Purpose of the Apprenticeship:
The overall purpose of the project is to develop and increase human capacity to implement urban farming procedures to maintain urban food hubs within Washington, DC. Furthermore, the purpose is to develop capacity of urban farmers by training either university students or community members to become more efficient farmers. These four members will be trained in each aspects of urban farming from (1) evaluation of the soil, (2) seed germination, (3) planting techniques, and (4) pest management using organic methods.
Goal of the Apprenticeship:
The goal of the project is to cultivate urban farmers/agronomists using the train-the-trainer model, who after their training period will be eligible for teaching and training opportunities in the Food Web Collective. At the successful completion of this training program each of these members will become certified as Power Agronomy Trainers. Trainers will be placed on a certified procurement list of local of trained urban farmers, gardeners, and processors to teach and lead hands-on agriculture development clinics in urban garden and farms using training tools development during their Power Agronomy tenure will reaffirm their training, spread knowledge on sustainable farming practices, and empower farmers in diversified income generation through employment and entrepreneurial activities. The educational model will be based on the train-the-trainer model.
To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to Dr. Ashley Milton at email@example.com