Come grow with us!
We're ready to cultivate a new crop of regenerative hemp farmers. From breeding and seedling to cultivation, harvest, and extraction, our growers will receive the education and experience they need to advance in in sustainable, diversified hemp farming careers. Here's how it works:
The Chimney Rock Organic Hemp Farm School works to give its students a holistic perspective on what it takes to successfully start and manage an organic diversified hemp farm. From conceptual foundations of plant/soil sciences and agroecology to farm research to field tasks and greenhouse operations to management functions, the Chimney Rock Organic Hemp Farm School has programs for all levels of aspiring farmers. Each of these programs feature weekly classes, labs, book discussions, and plenty of hands-on experience, including independent projects. Chimney Rock Organic Hemp Farm School has a variety of living laboratories for learning and research, including two large passive solar greenhouses, a permaculture orchard, a small herd of heritage breed sheep, high tunnels, over 20 acres of crop fields, a science laboratory, and more.
The Chimney Rock Organic Hemp Farm School has programs for every skill level:
The Farm School's two 9-week certificate programs are designed for beginners. These programs introduce students to the conceptual foundations of plant and soil sciences and sustainable agriculture while introducing students to the day-to-day activities of life on a diversified, organic hemp farm. This program offers certificates in sustainable horticulture and agriculture for up to 20 students each year. Students are housed in a bunkhouse on the farm.
Each week, students should expect to spend 25-30+ hours learning by working and managing the diversified hemp farm. In addition to the hemp crop, the farm conducts variety trials on numerous hemp varieties, conducts breeding work with hemp and other crops, produces small grains and legumes, and manages a variety of cover crops, pasture, and livestock. Students will be guided in group sessions and/or individually by our farm leadership team as needed, and students work both cooperatively and individually to accomplish the farm tasks. Farm responsibilities are rotated within the group to ensure that each participant has an opportunity to experience all aspects of the farm. Each student will also be expected to design, plan, and implement an independent project of use to the farm. Please note: accomplishing farm work is a physical activity that requires participants to be physically active and outdoors on a daily basis for eight months. Before applying, please consider your ability to perform this level of activity.
Students will also spend 10+ hours per week in the classroom and laboratory lecture/discussion sessions, reading assignments, and preparation of reports. Students will also participate in weekly book discussions
The 5 1/2 mongh long Apprenticeship program, designed for students with undergraduate degrees in plant or agricultural sciences and some experience with commercial farming, focuses on hemp cultivation, breeding, and regulations within the broader context of diversified, regenerative agriculture. This program provides advanced education in sustainable hemp production and provides teaching and research opportunities to develop the student professionally and intellectually for first-level management positions on diversified hemp farms. Up to five Apprenticeship positions are available each year.
Apprentices will be trained by our farm manager to form the farm's leadership team. Apprentices will lead different work crews/departments ranging from greenhouse/nursery management, breeding/research, IPM/plant health, field/irrigation managment, and livestock/pasture managment to PR/social media, grounds maintenance, and inventory managment. Apprentices will be trained in each of these departments and will be expected to lead crews of up to 4 students, depending on farm needs. Apprentices should expect to spend 30+ hours/week in these roles.
Apprentices will also spend 10+ hours per week in classroom lecture/discussion sessions, laboratories and hemp research seminars, with reading assignments, and project reports. Apprentices will also be expected to develop and implement an independent research project with guidance from the Farm Manager and/or Journeyperson. Additionally, apprentices will lead certificate classes once or twice per month and will assist with certificate labs once per month.
The year-long Journeyperson position, designed for Apprenticeship graduates and/or individuals with advanced agricultural education and commercial farming experience, is the capstone to the Farm School's educational programs. This full-time position focuses on developing professional skills and managment qualifications needed for graduates to start their own sustainable farming enterprise and/or advance to upper management positions on diversified organic farms. Contact the farm manager for more inforemation about the Journeyperson position.
The Farm School features several guest speakers from the hemp industry, sustainable agriculture community, and more. Guest presentations are generally held on Saturday evenings, following a feast of farm-raised and other local foods. For a complete schedule of guest speakers in 2018 click here. If you'd like to be a guest speaker with our program, email us at email@example.com.
Sustainable Horticulture Certificate: June 1 - August 3, 2018
Sustainable Agriculture Certificate: August 6 - October 5, 2018
The objective of the CRF certificate programs is to expose students to various facets of sustainable horticulture and agriculture techniques, with an emphasis on hemp production. We aim to provide interns with the skills experience, and knowledge needed to advance to entry-level employment on diversified organic hemp, produce, and livestock farms. Certificate program students will attend two lecture sessions per week, one lab session per week, participate in research projects as needed, attend weekly book discussions, and will gain at least hours per week of valuable hands-on experience . Interns will also develop and complete an independent project. The link below provides a complete overview of both certificate programs:
Certificate Programs Overview
Certiificate Programs Application Form
Tuition for each certificate program costs $2500 or both together for $4500. Tuition covers housing in a bunkhouse on the farm along with class and lab fees. A limited number of $500 scholarships are available for students with key qualifications to reduce the financial burden of these programs for those in need. Additionally, a Resident Assistant (RA) position is available for one student with demonstrated leadership qualities. See below for scholarship and RA applications
Resident Assistant Application
May 6 - October 19, 2018
The objective of the CROHFS Apprenticeship program is to immerse students with some experience with commercial agriculture/horticulture and a background in biological science in all aspects of sustainable hemp production and develop leadership skills to prepare students to be able to produce hemp successfully and/or advance to first-level management positions on diversified organic hemp farms.
Each week, apprentices will attend an advanced lecture session, lead or assist one introductory lecture session, attend one advanced lab session or hemp research seminar, and participate in weekly book discussions. Apprentices will also develop an independent research project in collaboration with the Farm Manager and/or Journeyman farmer. Apprentices will also assist at least one introductory lab session per month.
Apprentices accepted into the program are awarded a fellowship that covers tuition, shared housing, and provides a weekly nutritional stipend. For a complete overview of the program, click the link below:
Apprenticeship Program Overview
The journeyperson position is a paid supervisory position requiring 40+ hours of work per week. In addition, the journeyman will attend weekly one on one educational sessions with the Farm Manager. Journeyperson farmers may attend apprenticeship lecture sessions. and will be asked to lead or assist these sessions from time to time as their experience and knowledge allows. The journeyperson will also serve as the lab assistant for all intern and apprenticeship labs and research projects. In addition, journeymen will be given leadership roles in hand-on projects.
The Journeyperson position comes with a $1000/month salary, housing in a private room , paid time off and sick leave, and other benefits. We strive to hire the Journeyperson from the most recent pool of Apprenticeship graduates. Journeypersons that complete the program successfully may also be eligible to stay on as the farm's assistant manager as this position becomes available. For a compete overview of the Journeyperson curriculum, click the link below:
Journeyperson Position Overview
Recreation and Community Events
Our farm is located on the Piedra River, right in between Durango and Pagosa Springs. There is National Forest access right across the highway and endless recreational and entertainment opportunities in the area, including:
Requirements for all programs
Submit a by to be considered for the 2018 certificate programs. Deadline for the Sustainable Horticulture Certificate Program is May 15, 2018. Deadline for the Sustainable Agriculture Certificate Program is July 15, 2018.