NIFTI & AgALN Field School

2020 National FIELD School - NIFTI and AgALN

November 4-8, 2020 | Thanks for a successful FIELD School - Held Virtually!

 

2020 was a challenging year.  Though we had planned to host the 2020 National FIELD School in Washington (state), COVID-19 had other plans for us!  But, it all worked out - our 2020 National FIELD School was held virtually in partnership with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association's 35th annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference.  We were thrilled to partner with CFSA's SAC offered our NIFTI and AgALN partners even more conference content, workshops, featured speakers (such as K. Rashid Nuri, Chef Njathi Kabui, Nancy Hayden, Julius Tillery, and Germaine Jenkins), a tradeshow, and interactive offerings to select from! 

The National FIELD School “Track” included an informative lineup of incubator and apprenticeship training program-focused workshops throughout the multi-day conference for participants.  We also hosted “meetups”, facilitated discussion sessions, virtual farm tours, and staffed a virtual “trade show” table where participants learned more about the newly emerging FIELD Network (the combination of our NIFTI and AgALN national networks)!  See the schedule below.  Over 250 unique participants attend the National FIELD School in 2020, the virtual format allowed even more participants to attend, learn from one another, and share best practices to improve land-based, experiential farmer/rancher training programs!

We will be posting the recordings from the FIELD School sessions soon, check back to benefit from the wisdom shared at the FIELD School!

Special thanks to our 2020 National FIELD School planning team:  Beth LaShell, Ft. Lewis College; Matt Gordon, Rogue Farm Corps, Clare Reisman, UCSC CASFS Agroecology Apprenticeship Program; Leah Ricci, Quivira Coalition, and Aaron Newton, Steward.

THANK YOU to our 2020 National FIELD School Conference Track Sponsor, Farm Credit Council:

Prior National FIELD Schools

We host the National Field School in a different community each year.  We move the annual conferences across the country to create regional equity and to experience and honor the land and climates where our networks of apprenticeship and incubator farmers thrive.  We annually bring together over 45-60 organizations from almost every US state (and Canada) to participate in workshops, breakout and open space sessions, goal setting and networking opportunities. Peer-to-peer sharing informs beginning farmer trainers about how they run successful incubator and apprenticeship training programs.  Folks gather ideas for their farms and programs, and spent time building relationships with people passionate about our collective work.  We also host field trips to local incubator and apprenticeship projects to see programs' land-based facilities, farm/ranch operations, and to learn together how each incubator farm and apprenticeship training program is unique.  We often hear from farmer participants during these tours to get a holistic perspective on participants' involvement in the programs.

2019:  We held our 8th annual and first ever combined NIFTI & AgALN Field Schools in Ithaca, NY, hosted by New Entry and The Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming.  We held two conference tracks:  one for incubator farm programs and one for apprenticeship training programs.  Incubator programs visited Groundswell Center's Incubator Farm in Ithaca, NY and RISE (Refugee and Immigrant Self Empowerment) SYRAP program in Syracuse, NY.  The Apprenticeship Programs visited Kingbird Farm and Northland Sheep Dairy.   View the 2019 Conference Brochure and Workshop Descriptions.

2018: The 7th annual NIFTI network Field School was held in Boulder, CO hosted by Denver Botanic Gardens and Ft. Lewis College (Old Fort at Hesperus Incubator Program) with site visits to Poudre Valley Community Farms, 5 Fridges Farm, Denver Green School, and The GrowHaus.

The 2nd Annual AgALN Annual Gathering was held in Albequerque, NM hosted by Quivira Coalition with site visits to Grow the Growers and Chispas Farm

2017:  The 6th annual NIFTI Field School was held in CA at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Center in Pacific Grove, CA with a site visit to ALBA (Association of Land-Based Training) in Salinas, CA.

The 1st annual AgALN Annual Gathering was held in Boston, MA hosted by New Entry Sustainable Farming Project as a pre-conference to our first national Community Food Systems Conference.  We also hosted a launch meeting for the AgALN Network at Paicines Ranch in CA earlier in the year.

2016:  The 5th annual NIFTI Field School was held in Ann Arbor, MI with site visits to Tillian Farm Development Center and Lansing Roots.

2015: The 4th annual NIFTI Field School was held in Chapel Hill, NC hosted by MDC, Inc. with site visits to Transplanting Traditions and Breeze Incubator Farm.

2014: The 3rd annual NIFTI Field School was held in Portland, OR hosted by EcoTrust with site visits to Headwaters Farm Incubator Program and Refugee Gardens (Mercy Corps NW).

2013: The 2nd annual NIFTI Field School was held at The Forest in Marine on St. Croix, MN hosted by The Food Group (formerly The Minnesota Food Association) with a site visit to Big River Farms.

2012: The 1st annual NIFTI Field School was held in Lowell, MA hosted by New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, with site visits to New Entry and the Intervale Center in Burlington, VT