Humane Farming Mentorship

FACT’s new mentorship program is for beginning livestock and poultry farmers seeking personalized guidance from an experienced farmer on business strategies and animal management practices. It is designed for family farmers who wish to raise their animals on pasture using sustainable, humane methods.

The program requires a one-year commitment and runs from the end of February 2018 to February 2019. The cost to be mentored is $200. Farmers who serve as mentors will be compensated $250, in addition to receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.

This program is open to farmers in the continental United States. Apply below by January 31, 2018 to participate.

Mentees Who is eligible to be mentored? Farmers who currently raise animals and have at least one year of farming experience are eligible to participate as mentees. Upon acceptance into the program, mentees will be asked to pay $200 to participate. Mentees are expected to be able to commit to regular phone calls and emails with their mentor, and possible farm visits. Expectations for the program, such as frequency of communication, will be determined by the mentor and the mentee. What will mentees receive from the program? Experienced mentors can provide guidance on obtaining humane certification, farming techniques, or business practices, as well as acting as a general reference and source support. The program is flexible, and can be tailored to meet individual goals and needs. Both mentors and mentees will receive first preference for receiving FACT conference and workshop scholarships. FACT will also promote participating farmers on social media and other channels to increase visibility of their farm businesses among consumers.

Mentees

Who is eligible to be mentored?

Farmers who currently raise animals and have at least one year of farming experience are eligible to participate as mentees.

Upon acceptance into the program, mentees will be asked to pay $200 to participate.

Mentees are expected to be able to commit to regular phone calls and emails with their mentor, and possible farm visits. Expectations for the program, such as frequency of communication, will be determined by the mentor and the mentee.

What will mentees receive from the program?

Experienced mentors can provide guidance on obtaining humane certification, farming techniques, or business practices, as well as acting as a general reference and source support. The program is flexible, and can be tailored to meet individual goals and needs.

Both mentors and mentees will receive first preference for receiving FACT conference and workshop scholarships. FACT will also promote participating farmers on social media and other channels to increase visibility of their farm businesses among consumers.

Mentors Who is eligible to be a mentor? We are looking for mentors able to commit the time needed to participate in the program, including regular phone calls and emails with their mentee, and possible farm visits. Ideally, a mentor will have 10 years of experience or more raising animals. At minimum they must have five years of experience more than the mentee they are paired with. Some experience in a teaching or mentor role, either formal or informal is preferred. Mentors must use humane animal management practices (evaluated by humane certification, or other documentation/website/photos.) What will mentors receive from the program? Mentors are compensated $250 for participating. An additional travel stipend of $300 is available from FACT for mentors who visit their mentee’s farms. Both mentors and mentees will receive first preference for receiving FACT conference and workshop scholarships. FACT will also promote participating farmers on social media and other channels to increase visibility of their farm businesses among consumers.

Mentors

Who is eligible to be a mentor?

We are looking for mentors able to commit the time needed to participate in the program, including regular phone calls and emails with their mentee, and possible farm visits.

Ideally, a mentor will have 10 years of experience or more raising animals. At minimum they must have five years of experience more than the mentee they are paired with. Some experience in a teaching or mentor role, either formal or informal is preferred.

Mentors must use humane animal management practices (evaluated by humane certification, or other documentation/website/photos.)

What will mentors receive from the program?

Mentors are compensated $250 for participating. An additional travel stipend of $300 is available from FACT for mentors who visit their mentee’s farms.

Both mentors and mentees will receive first preference for receiving FACT conference and workshop scholarships. FACT will also promote participating farmers on social media and other channels to increase visibility of their farm businesses among consumers.

How does the program work?

Farmers who are interested in participating in the program as either a mentor or mentee should complete a brief online application (due by January 31, 2018). FACT staff members will review the submitted applications to determine eligibility. 

We will contact farmers who are interested in becoming mentees to discuss their goals for the program. We will also speak with farmers interested in serving as mentors about their experience and expectations. Mentees will then be paired with a possible mentor based on type of animal raised, geographical location, and certification (as applicable). Please note, FACT may not be able to accept or pair all applicants.

Mentors and mentees will first meet over an initial phone screening, during which both parties decide on expectations before committing to the program. At that point, if both parties agree to the match, fees will be collected from the mentee and distributed to the mentor.

The mentoring itself is based on consistent phone and email communication, but farm visits and workshop attendance are highly encouraged. FACT will check in regularly with program participants to provide support.

At the conclusion of the 12-month term, all participants will be asked evaluate their experience in the program.

Why a humane farming mentorship program?

To provide beginning farmers who want to raise their animals humanely with technical guidance, encourage them to successfully use humane practices and pursue humane certification, and foster a sense of community.

FACT’s mentorship program is unique in that it (1) serves farmers across the country; (2) specifically benefits welfare oriented livestock and poultry farmers; and (3) includes farmers seeking one of six certifications, as well as those who are not necessarily pursuing certification (many programs are limited to one certification, often USDA Certified Organic).

Contact cparraga@foodanimalconcerns.org with any questions.