I have posted in the past about a great program taking root here in Wisconsin that I hope to see continue to grow throughout our state and hopefully the nation. It's called the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship and here is how it works.
Young people interested in becoming the next generation of dairymen are linked to "Master" Graziers for on the job training and employment. The program consists of 4,000 paid hours of on-farm training over the course of two years - which is the equivalence of a full-time job, plus 288 hours of paid related instruction through the Wisconsin Technical College System and UW system. Apprenticeship works the same model as most skilled-professional programs, with apprentices growing to journeymen. The program recently celebrated it's 2nd anniversary and has "graduated" Journey Dairy Graziers.
The program is always looking for more farmers to step up as Master Graziers and be involved in the apprenticeship process. Not only do you get to pass on your knowledge and expertise to a new generation of farmers, but you also get a motivated apprentice who can learn and grow while helping you! Plus there is some assistance for the Master Grazier for exploring new models of farm investment and expansion, equity building and possible farm transfer.
For more details, read this article from Jane Fyksen, Crops Editor at Agri-View
To find out more about the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship and how you can get involved, visit DairyGrazingApprenticeship.org .