What if you had the chance to spend six months on top of a mountain, learning how to grow food for yourself and your community? What if you could get paid to spend a year sharing the power of growing and eating real, fresh food? This, in a nutshell, is our 18 month Farm and Food Fellowship.
Now in its ninth year, Allegheny Mountain Institute’s fully sponsored 18-month Fellowship prepares and empowers individuals to become teachers and ambassadors for a more vibrant and accessible local food system. Selected Fellows spend six months in immersive training on our mountain farm campus (Phase I), and one year in service work with food-related non-profit partner organizations (Phase II). AMI is an educational non-profit organization with the mission to cultivate healthy communities through food and education.
Phase I – Farm Study (May 11 – October 28, 2020)
-Gain hands-on experience in sustainable fruit and vegetable production, poultry and animal husbandry, beekeeping, homesteading skills, and more on our Allegheny Farm Campus in Highland County, VA.
-Study regenerative farming, nutrition and wellness, herbalism, permaculture design, and community development through expert guest instructors, field trips, and educational sessions.
-Explore local food system leadership opportunities through participation with school garden activities, a weekly farmers market, farm stay programming, and more.
-Experience living in a deciduous rain forest on the Eastern Continental Divide, reside in handcrafted cabins, and share farm-fresh meals supplemented with whole food staples.
- Phase I Fellows receive $1,000 stipend upon signature and commitment to the Phase II contract. Additional benefits include: room and board, time off.
Phase II – Service Work (January 4 - December 17, 2021)
- Apply Phase I training and work with AMI and partner organizations to help build healthy communities through food and education in Highland and Augusta Counties, Virginia.
-Contribute to projects such as: growing food and increasing food access, developing local food system infrastructure, and creating and teaching site-based garden curriculum.
-Build farming and leadership skills through monthly continuing education opportunities, field trips and workshops.
-Grow through monthly mentorship and support by AMI staff.
- Earn $10 per hour (less payroll taxes, paid bi-weekly). Additional benefits include: workers compensation coverage, paid time off, and health leave.
Applicants must be physically fit, able to lift 50 pounds, walk distances up and down steep hills, work outdoors for extended periods of the day, and be comfortable living and working communally as a team in a remote, mountain setting. At AMI's discretion, Fellows may be asked to repay the costs of Phase I of the Fellowship if they voluntarily leave the program early or fail to commit to or complete Phase II. Applicants invited to participate in the Fellowship must clear a background check.