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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Specialty Crop Growers Apprenticeship Program - Pilot





Mission:  The mission of the program is to improve the economic conditions and personal health of communities through growing new growers

Vision: Growing new growers will be accomplished through developing regional comprehensive full-time training programs, sustainable incubator farms, business cooperatives/networks, community support systems, and apprenticeship/mentor training programs. These regional efforts will be local near distressed communities to serve the unemployed/underemployed, food deserts, part-time growers, and local consumers.


  • Increase profits for small growers
  • Reduce small growers’ time/effort needed to successfully market
  • Provide jobs and start-up businesses for the under and unemployed
  • Provide more locally grown, fresh, safe food to Ohio’s distressed communities
  • Improve healthy eating of distressed community members

Major Components:

  • 900 hour, Full-Time, Pell eligible training program
  • Work experience on a 25-50 acre incubator farm for a full growing season
  • A growers’ cooperative for marketing, purchasing, networking, in-service, etc. supported by an Extension Educator and other community resources
  • State-wide support for training/business development work group, OSU and WVU Extension, OEOC, and OCDC
  • OPTIONAL BLENDED APPRENDICESHIP PROGRAM: ODOD/DOL approved 2,000 or 4,000 hour OJT/336 or 636 hour classroom/lab registered apprenticeship or formal mentor training programs (Growing only or growing-management)


One-Year Apprenticeship Program Brochure

Two-Year Apprenticeship Program Brochure

LCCC Certificate Program Flyer