Power Agronomy Program


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 agronomists 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 amilton@thearcdc.org