The National Young Farmers Coalition is launching the Food Safety Fellowship to train farmers in on-farm food safety and support them as they develop resources and educational opportunities for their community of growers. Over the course of 2021, we will work with 8-10 Food Safety Fellows to develop their on-farm food safety knowledge and build their capacity as trainers and in assessing risk of contamination to produce. Each fellow will create one unique resource and educational opportunity to serve their unique farming communities.
This fellowship will begin in April 2021 with some long days of required training, including an introductory course on popular education and facilitation taught by trainers from Farm School NYC and the Produce Safety Alliance’s Train-the-Trainer, both to familiarize fellows with the Produce Safety Rule and build capacity and comfort facilitating. This will be followed by one-on-one sessions with each fellow and YF staff to walk through each fellow’s farm operation and produce safety practices and begin to identify their strengths and biggest challenges. The pace of the fellowship will slow from June 15 to August 31, the height of the growing season for most, and fellows will do some in-season reflections about integrating produce safety on their farms and make one social media post. YF staff will be available during the season to offer technical assistance if needed. In September, fellows will plan their educational opportunities and develop their produce safety resources, both to be completed by December 2021. We will check in once per month from March to May and from September to December as a group.
What to expect:
Each fellow will receive a $2,700 stipend, paid out over the course of the fellowship. The fellowship will be divided into “milestones” and after completion of each one, farmer fellows will receive their stipend. Milestones include:
1) Training: $1200
Introduction to Popular Education and Facilitation: 10 hours; Wednesday evenings beginning April 7 through May 5, 4 pm PT / 7 pm ET – 6 pm PT / 9 pm ET each Wednesday
Produce Safety Alliance’s Train-the-Trainer: 22 hours; May 17-20, 5.5 hours each day
One-on-one walkthrough with YF staff: 2 hours
2) Reflections: $300
3 in-season reflections
1 social media post
3) Education: $500
Farmer fellows conduct one educational opportunity/focus group for community
4) Resource: $700
Farmer fellows create one resource for their farming community
This fellowship will be conducted virtually, except for the possibility of in-person educational opportunities in the fall of 2021 (up to the fellow’s discretion). We will also try to work in an activity for the fellows to connect with each other and Young Farmers staff that has nothing to do with produce safety.
How will fellows be chosen:
Young Farmers staff will choose fellows based on the following application. There aren’t wrong or right answers, but we want to have a group of fellows that represent different communities, geographies, and growing methods. Fellows do not need to be current farm owners but should have experience growing produce and enthusiasm to expand their produce safety knowledge. Potential fellows who consider themselves to be part of an existing community, even a virtual community, will be prioritized. Applications will be open from Feb 1- March 15. We will announce the fellows by March 31.