JAFSCD Article Press Releases

JAFSCD Article Press Release are brief ready-to-share summaries of recently published papers. All authors of accepted papers are required to draft a press release using the exmaple below. This should be layreader friendly, and with minimal jargon. The title hook should be engaging and thought provoking.We will edit and format and run it by you before we share it with 8,000 people on our email list. It will also be posted to appropriate listserves, and an abreviated version will be tweeted, and posted on the JAFSCD Facebook page.


JAFSCD Article Press Release

New paper scans programs for training a new generation of North American farmers

JAFSCD viewpoint article by Laura Schreiner, Charles Z. Levkoe, and Theresa Schumilas


Farmers play a critical role in food systems, rural economies, ecological sustainability, and the social fabric of communities. As farmers age, new farmers are needed to maintain the stability of the agricultural sector. Without skilled individuals willing and able to take up farming as a career, the future of domestic food production is in jeopardy. This has a range of environmental, social, and economic implications.

In a new JAFSCD viewpoint article, authors Laura Schreiner, Charles Z. Levkoe, and Theresa Schumilas present initial findings from an exploratory community-campus partnership research study that aimed to explore, document, and categorize existing and emergent models of practical farmer training in North America.


After reviewing practical farmer training programs across North America, the authors propose a typology of five categories:

  1. Informal farm internship associations
  2. Centralized internship programs
  3. Private, nonprofit course-based programs
  4. Formal academic programs
  5. Independent and self-directed learning

This typology can serve as a springboard to support future research—and to better support the development of new practical farmer training programs.


Based on: “Categorizing Practical Training Programs for New Farmers: A North American Scan” in JAFSCD volume, issue (summer 2018), advance online publication

Date published: June 28, 2018

Authors: Laura Schreiner, Charles Z. Levkoe, and Theresa Schumilas

Affiliation: Wilfrid Laurier University (Laura Schreiner), Lakehead University (Charles Z. Levkoe), Wilfrid Laurier University (Theresa Schumilas)

Author contact: Charles Z. Levkoe: clevkoe@lakeheadu.ca

Keywords: Community-Campus Collaboration; Farmer-to-Farmer Education; Farmer Training; Beginning Farmers; New Farmers; North America

Permanent link to abstract and full PDF:https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2018.082.012

Publisher:Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems, Ithaca, NY

To comment on this paper: JAFSCD Facebook page



  • Given the stronginterest encountered from farmers, researchers, and other practitioners, more research in this area is warranted.
  • A more completecensus and further documentation and analysis of farmer training programs isneeded, both within and beyond North America, to flesh out and evaluate the initial typology the authors developed.
  • A recurring census would help to assess the distribution of the five program categories and track changes over time.
  • Important topics for future research include:
    • prospective training models
    • connectionbetween farmer training and formalized education
    • paths to becoming a farmer
    • funding and institutional support structures for all farmer training programs


This research emerged out of a recognition of the limited information on practical training for new farmers. The research was guided by an advisory committee made up of farmers and farmer-led non-profit organizations that met regularly to discuss the design and implementation of the research and to evaluate and provide feedback on the findings. The intention of the study was to scan a diverse sample of farmer training programs in order to develop a preliminary typology for the benefit of academics, farmers, agriculture associations and non-profit organizationsthat hoped to develop a better understanding of the kinds of programs being run elsewhere. The analysis was conducted based on a thorough review of all the information collected to identify emergent patterns and create the categories. This analysis was led by the authors, and the research team verified the findings through reviews of various drafts of the proposed categories and conclusions.

Suggested Facebook post:

Without skilled individuals willing and able to take up farming as a career, our domestic food production could be in jeopardy. A new @JAFSCD article explores existing and emergent models of practical #FarmerTraining in North Americafrom an exploratory community-campus partnership research study.https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2018.082.012

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If we don’t train enough new farmers, domestic food production is in jeopardy! New @JAFSCD article explores existing and emergent models of practical #FarmerTraining in North America. #NewFarmershttps://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2018.082.012