California Farm Academy

Apprenticeship Program FAQs

Is this a paid position? How much can I expect to make?

Yes, the apprenticeship is a paid position. Unless otherwise discussed, base pay starts at minimum wage, and increases by $0.50 approximately each 6 months. The farmer will provide your paycheck and you will also be covered under workers compensation. Overtime and double-time wage compensation for agricultural workers absolutely applies to apprentices working more than 60 hours a week. You can learn what these standards are by reading the IWC Wage Order #14.

Do I have to pay for tuition for the CFA Training Program?

No. Tuition fees for all required coursework (including the CFA Training Program) for apprentices are covered by the program, once accepted.

What is the weekly time commitment?

As farming is highly seasonal, you can expect to work less hours during the winter months, and more hours in the summer months. During the high season, you can expect to work at least 40 hours a week, and some farms will ask you to work 60+ hours a week. Keep in mind that the more hours you work, the larger your paycheck will be, and that overtime and double-time wages will apply to you.

When does the program start?

The CFA Training Program classes start in mid-February. You will need to be available to start attending these classes at that time. It is up to the farmers to determine a hire date, but most farmers will hire apprentices starting in early March. Please note there may be a gap of 2-3 weeks between when classes start, and your hire date.

Where are the classes held?

Most classes for the CFA Training program are held in Winters at the CLBL Headquarters, and also at the Cannery in Davis. Some classes will also be held at UC Davis. You will be responsible for getting to class on time throughout the season. Your host farmers are required to let you off work early enough to attend classes.

Can I select the farm I want to work on?

No, but CFA staff will do their best to match your interests with host farms and their needs/interests. Your application and intake interview will help us determine a good fit. If more than one farm offers you a position, you may select which farm to apprentice on at that point.

How does the selection process work?

Once your application has been received, one of our CFA staff will either call or email you to complete a short intake interview. If your application is approved, staff will match your application with appropriate host farmer (or multiple farmers) based on information from your application. Host farmers will set up interviews with candidates they are interested in. You are welcome to contact CFA staff to learn about the status of your application. If you were not selected by a farmer, you are welcome to recruit a farm that has not yet joined the apprenticeship program to participate. Qualified applicants not selected will also remain in the applicant pool for the following two seasons.

Are there housing or meals provided?

Some of our host farms may have housing opportunities, but the majority do not. In that case, you will be responsible for finding your own housing in the area. Meals are typically the responsibility of the apprentice.

For more information, please contact California Farm Academy staff at 530-795-4146, or apprenticeship[at]landbasedlearning.org.

Go here for more information on how to apply.

About the Apprenticeship Program How to apply to the Apprenticeship Program