Organic Farmer Training Program

The Organic Farmer Training Program is an 8-month intensive training program in year-round organic farming focusing on diversified production of vegetables, flowers, fruits and herbs for local markets. The program emphasizes student learning in hands-on farm management and decision-making as well as development of necessary farming and business skills and knowledge. 

Project Overview

The 15-acre certified organic Student Organic Farm, including its 20,000 sq ft of passive solar greenhouse space, is used as a learning platform for the Organic Farmer Training Program.  The program is taught through a mix of lectures, readings, written assignments, hands-on demonstrations, hands-on activities, farm walks, and visits to other Michigan farms that build participants’ knowledge and understanding of organic farming principles and practices.  The program focuses on the technical knowledge and skills while providing hands-on learning. The OFTP is a robust learning platform for those who are committed to owning their own farm business, managing farm operations, or working with others on their path to food production and sustainable agriculture.  

The program is designed to give participants a strong background and working knowledge of farm production, management, marketing, and business operations necessary to operate a diversified small farm. Visit the Program Goals and Learning Outcomes page to see an extensive list of topics that will be covered throughout the eight-month program.

This training program prepares graduates for careers in organic farming, urban agriculture / community gardening, and other sustainable agriculture related careers. Program participants who satisfactorily complete the program will earn a Certificate from MSU Student Organic Farm, MSU Department of Horticulture and the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems.