Farm School Application


We are excited to introduce a brand new opportunity to engage and learn on the farm. We call it Farm School.  Farm School replaces our former piece rate program to create a more in-depth and transformative experience with employment on the farm.  

Farm school is designed to be a positive, life impacting experience, not as a means to a financial end, but to provide unique experience, training, and personal development not found in most employment opportunities, especially for teens. Think of Farm School along the lines of a sports team, or a summer camp commitment with the added benefit of being a part of a real working farm, where our efforts support local food production and return to us tangible and intangible benefits we all seek.

We created Farm School so the youth of our community can have a more fulfilling experience while working at the farm.  Here is how it works.

    1. Cost: Price to attend Farm School is $420, paid in advance.  That works out to be $35 per week. Total payment is due on June 29, 2019.
    2. Compensation: Farm school will teach students to value time, labor and financial management in a simple but almost forgotten way.  Part of this process includes compensating participants by the pound for the produce they pick. Our main focus will be green beans and cherry tomatoes. The more you pick the more you get paid. The rate we pay for green beans is $0.75 per pound and tomatoes is $1.00 per pound. (*Note: these rates are nearly double industry average).  Weekly compensation can vary widely based on the intent of the participant.
    3. Applications: Interested individuals are required to fill out an application for Farm School. Applications are due on Saturday June 15, 11:59 pm. Space is extremely limited. Only six participants for the 2019 farm season will be accepted. Do not delay, in years past we have received over one hundred applicants for these limited positions.
    4. Interview Process: Applications will be reviewed and we will interview selected applicants on the week of June 17.   We will make our decisions and notify the twelve finalists  to participate in Farm School by email on Wed,  June 19. There will be six participants and six alternates.
    5. Duration: Farm School will run for approximately 12 weeks beginning Saturday July 13. The last day is Sept 28.  A firm commitment is required for all 12 weeks.
    6. Orientation Meeting: A mandatory orientation meeting will be held Saturday June 29 for students and their parents.
    7. Time of day: Farm school will be held three days a week: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, 7am to 10 am until school starts and then it will be 4pm to 7pm Tuesday and Thursday…. Saturday will remain in the morning 7am to 10 am.
    8. Class description: Farm School is designed to be a holistic experience enhancing the intellect, body, social experience, skill training, and connection to the natural world.  The curriculum will consist of structured instruction time for 30 minutes each Saturday morning. A broad range of subjects will be presented, including farming, gardening, marketing, labor, art, literature, the agricultural history of civilization, and agriculture in the modern world, including the contribution of small local farms.  We will ask thought provoking questions and discuss answers about the value of gardens, farms, food, farm experiences, and if farms have value beyond the production of food. We expect these discussions to provide context and fodder for continued interaction out in the fields where we will spend the majority of our time, interacting with nature and working on the farm picking green beans and cherry tomatoes. In past years this picking was the center of our program and largely production focused.  We hope to improve the quality of this experience by first providing the structured content and then working with the participants to teach, mentor, discuss, and grow together.
    9. Journals: Farm school will provide a Journal for each student. At the end of each day, the students will be required to capture their thoughts, feelings, light bulb moments, draw pictures, and record significant happenings as they document their summer on the farm.
    10. Written Summary: Farm school will require a written summary of your experience at the end of the program. Your daily Journaling will help you remember the experiences you have and make the Summary easy.  This will remain as a record of your summer. We ask that participants share this writing with Petersen Family Farms to be used in developing further opportunities for public engagement on the farm.  
    11. Expectations: Farm School requires a firm commitment accompanied by an investment of $35 per week, per participant. When planning to make the commitment to participate, be aware that missing more than two Saturdays and/or more than 4 total work days will disqualify you from the program. The farm is counting on you to be here and to follow through. If you miss a day you will miss valuable information and experience, there will NOT be a make up day.  You know your summer schedule. If you will not be able to make this commitment then this will not be a good fit for you. We will work to be flexible and sympathetic to emergencies and illness.
    12. Parents Involvement: Parents are welcome and encouraged to participate with their child in any activity of Farm School.
    13. Contract: Farm school is a serious commitment and all students will sign a contract to honor this agreement between the Farm School and the student.
    14. For Questions: Contact William DeMille (Text is quickest response) 435-233-6126 or email
    15. Saturday Curriculum outline:
        • Farm safety/Time management skills/Prioritization of labor/Creating quality products
        • Context: Art, Literature, History, culture of farming
        • Team work: meeting group goals
        • Independent work: meeting individual goals
        • Ecology, system maintenance, broader impact
        • Small business economics
        • Gardening skills
        • Introduction to entrepreneurial skills
        • Urban Farm/community awareness
        • Introduction to integrated food systems
        • Value added products
        • Review of classes and summary

      Apply now!

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