California Farm Academy

Introduction


The California Farm Academy is a seven-month program that provides an intensive overview of what it takes to succeed as a farmer. It's held part-time at the Land-Based Learning headquarters, Farm on Putah Creek in Winters, a small town in the agricultural heart of Solano County in Northern California.

Over 30 weeks from February to September, students gather at the incubator farm to learn and practice basic crop planning and production, soil science, pest management, irrigation methods and other field and greenhouse work. They even learn to drive a tractor. But that's not all. The academy also spends considerable time on the business aspects of running a farm successfully: writing a business plan, obtaining financing, risk management, record-keeping, food safety, and even decision-making and problem-solving.

Visits to regional farms are a regular part of the curriculum. Classes visit some organic farms, whether certified or not, as well as conventional farms, to learn different ways of farming. "Each individual decides how they want to farm," says director Jennifer Taylor. Certainly no one can learn everything about farming in seven months, but that's the beauty of the California Farm Academy program.
The curriculum is designed to provide the next generation of motivated, hard-working farm entrepreneurs with the support and connections they need to contribute to the $20 billion specialty crop industry in California.

[Some content for this page was excerpted from Small farmers discover the hands-on secret to success at farm academy by Kristi Garrett, Little Green Wheelbarrow Blog]

Alumni Stories



More information


California Farm Academy classes meet Tuesday and Thursdays, 4:30-7:30 p.m. and 2 Saturdays/month at the Center for Land-Based Learning farm or at other nearby locations.

Check out the Curriculum and Application & Deadlines sections or contact Farm Academy Director Jennifer Taylor, for more information.

Farm Academy students harvesting sweet potatoes

"The curriculum is designed to provide the next generation of motivated, hard-working farm entrepreneurs with the support and connections they need to contribute to the $20 billion specialty crop industry [in California]."
— Kristi Garrett
Little Green Wheelbarrow

Tractor driving and maintenance classes


 

 

Watch California Farm Academy on America's Heartland

Watch the full video here