Ready... Set... Grow!
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 best online education experience available and be eligible to participate in our hands-on Capstone Internship Program at Colorado's Premiere Industrial Hemp Research and Development Farm. Here's how it works:
The Chimney Rock Online Hemp Farm School allow students to learn how to start and manage a diversified , organic hemp farm from the comfort of their home anywhere in the world!. From conceptual foundations of plant/soil sciences and agroecology to business school level deep dives into the economics of hemp farming the Chimney Rock Online Hemp Farm School has courses for all levels of aspiring farmers.
Fifteen courses will be available late Spring 2019. Students will learn at their own pace key agronomic principles that lay the foundation of a successful hemp farming operation. Graduates completing 10 or more core courses can apply for the Spring and Fall Capstone program held at the Chimney Rock Research center. On-site field and laboratory work include book discussions, and plenty of hands-on experience. Chimney Rock Online 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 Farm School Program
The Farm School's two - three week work-study programs are designed for beginners to experienced growers who have completed the Chimney Rock Online program successfully. Taken together, these programs provide a comprehensive overview of hemp breeding, cultivation, horticulture, agronomy, testing, processing, and regulations. The spring intern program (from mid May to June) focuses on hemp horticulture, greenhouse and nursery production, fertilizers and plant nutrition, field prep, planting, and cultivation. The fall program (from mid August through September focuses on hemp agronomy, agroecology, economics, harvest, post-harvest handling, and processing into industrial and value-added products. Completion of these programs
In addition, the program offers an optional on-site tutorial to introduce students to the conceptual foundations of plant and soil sciences as well as sustainable agriculture. This tutorial is designed to provide the background necessary to fully understand the theoretical concepts and applied scientific background that underlie those discussed in the week's hemp-specific lecture session.
Students should also expect to spend 8-10 hours per week learning by working with hemp. 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 hemp-related farm tasks.
The Internship Program
The Chimney Rock Farm Internship program is designed to immerse participants in the day-to-day activities of life on a diversified, organic hemp farm. The internship program provides housing in a bunkhouse on the farm in addition to the entire Farm School program in exchange for an additional 15-20 hours of work - on average - per week. Interns should expect to participate with various farm activities which may or may not directly involve work with industrial hemp. In addition to our hemp crop(s), the farm also maintains a small flock of Navajo Churro sheep, pasture-raised poultry, a vegetable garden, various cover crops and field crops, and more. Farm responsibilities are rotated within the group to ensure that each participant experiences all aspects of the farm. Accomplishing farm work is a physically demanding activity that requires participants to be physically active and outdoors on a daily basis for the duration of the program. Before applying, please consider your ability to perform this level of activity.
Up to three selected erudite interns committed to participation in either of the two Capstone Internships who exhibit an aptitude for leadership and a strong work ethic may be appointed as Apprentices. Apprentices are given the opportunity to manage key projects and/or departments on the farm - depending on farm needs and student interests - ranging from greenhouse/nursery management, breeding/research, IPM/plant health, field/irrigation management, and livestock/pasture management to PR/social media, grounds maintenance, and inventory management.
Apprentices should expect to work up to an additional 5 hours per week, on average, in these roles. In exchange, apprentices share housing in the farmhouse at the center of the farm and receive a weekly nutritional stipend, depending on financial need. Continuity of apprentice responsibilities and benefits are contingent on the apprentice maintaining good standing in the program.
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 management qualifications needed for graduates to start their own sustainable farming enterprise and/or advance to upper management positions on diversified organic hemp farms.
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 and will be expected to complete a whole-farm business plan for a diversified hemp farm. Journeyperson farmers will be expected to lead or assist lecture sessions from time to time as their experience and knowledge allows. The journeyperson will also serve as the lab assistant for all farm school labs and research 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 apprentice 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
Tuition and Fees
Online Tuition for each course costs $150 or $1000 for a bundle of ten core classes. Students who complete at least 10 classes successfully are eligible to apply for the Spring or Fall Capstone Internship Program at the Research Center. Tuition for the Capstone Program is $2,000 for 3-4 weeks of work-study and covers the complete educational program, room and board plus activity and lab fees.
Tuition refund policy
Tuition is non-refundable after the program starts. Tuition is 50% refundable prior to the program start date.
A non-refundable $500 housing deposit is required for all interns living on-site and is due four weeks prior to the program start date to hold a housing reservation. The housing deposit will be credit against the tuition fee at registration. No refunds are possible once the student starts the Capstone Program.
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:
Growers who graduate our program will be invited to come back at the end of the season for our Alumni Harvest Party.
Requirements for all programs
Submit an application by to be considered for the 2018 certificate programs. Deadline for the Capstone Program is May 1, 2019.