NIFTI & AgALN Field School

2019 National Field School - NIFTI and AgALN

November 4-6, 2019 | Ithaca, NY
Hotel Ithaca

We held our first ever combined NIFTI & AgALN Field Schools, November 4-6, 2019 in Ithaca, NY. Hosted by New Entry and The Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming the 2019 Field School brought together over 45 organizations from 23 states and Canada to participate in workshops, breakout and open space sessions, goal setting and networking opportunities. Peer-to-peer sharing informed beginning farmer trainers about how they run successful incubator and apprenticeship training programs.  Folks gathered ideas for their farms and programs, and spent time building relationships with people passionate about our collective work.

We host the Field School in a different community every year. In 2018, the 7th Annual NIFTI network Field School was held in Boulder, CO and the 2nd Annual AgALN Annual Gathering was held in Albequerque, NM. We move the annual conferences across the country to create regional equity and to see and honor the land and climates where our networks of apprenticeship and incubator farmers thrive. Stay tuned for an announcement for the 2020 Field School!

View the 2019 Conference Brochure and Workshop Descriptions

2019 Conference Schedule for the National Field School:

Monday, November 4th - Field Trips to Local Projects

8 - 9 am Registration

9 am Buses Arrive

9:30 am - Buses Depart for two Field Trip Offerings

9:30 am - 5 pm Field Trips (Choose a Focus)

Incubator Field Trips: Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming's Incubator Farm, Ithaca, NY and RISE (Refugee and Immigrant Self Empowerment), Syracuse, NY.

Apprenticeship Field Trips: Kingbird Farm, Berkshire, NY and Northland Sheep Dairy, Marathon, NY.

5 pm - Buses return to Hotel Ithaca

6 - 9 pm - Networking Reception in downtown Ithaca


Tuesday, November 5th - Workshops and Sessions

7:30 - 8:30 am Registration

8:30 am Welcoming Remarks

9:00 - 10:30 am - Session I (concurrent workshops)

10:45 - 12:15 pm - Session II (concurrent workshops)

12:15 - 1:15 LUNCH

1:30 - 3 pm - Session III (concurent workshops)

3:30 - 5 pm - Breakout Groups and Report Back

5 pm - Dinner on Own

Wednesday, November 6th - Workshops and Sessions

8 - 9 am Registration


9:00 - 10:30 am - Soul Fire Farm:  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training

10:45 - 12:15 pm - Open Space Workshops

12:15 - 1:15 LUNCH

1:30 - 3 pm - Session IV (concurrent workshops)

3:30 - 5 pm - Session V (concurent workshops)

5 pm - Closing Circle



Travel by Air

The local airport is the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, located four miles from downtown Ithaca.

Currently, these airlines offer direct service at the Ithaca Airport:

    American to/from: Philadelphia International Airport and Charlotte-Douglas International Airport
    Delta to/from: Detroit Metro International Airport
    United to/from: Washington DC-Dulles International Airport

If you cannot arrange a flight into Ithaca, you will find that the Syracuse Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, New York, offers more options (including flights from two New York City-area airports: JF Kennedy on Delta or Jet Blue and Newark on United). Ithaca is 60 miles/100 km (90-minute drive) from Syracuse. Ground transportation can be arranged through a local service, Ithaca Airline Limousine (phone: 1.607.273.3030 or 1.855.349.0084), which offers several scheduled trips each day.  You must call to make a reservation at least 24 hours, and up to 30 days, in advance. You may also arrange transportation to Ithaca through an area taxi or Uber/Lyft service, or by driving a rental car.

Travel by Bus, Car, or Train
By Bus

The following companies provide bus service between New York City and Ithaca (generally a 4.5-to-5-hour trip):

Cornell's Campus-to-Campus Express (phone 1.607.254.8747)
We recommend Cornell’s executive bus, which offers direct service with a convenient curbside stop adjacent to the Statler Hotel, comfortable seating, wireless Internet, power outlets, reading lights, complimentary beverages, and snacks. Advance reservations needed; we suggest you book early. To make a reservation, go to the Campus-to-Campus Bus Service page and follow the “Book Now” link. After you have made your trip selections, you will be taken to a login page. Before you can finalize the reservation, you must create an account by selecting “Sign Up Here.”

ShortLine (phone: 1.845.610.2600 or 1.800.631.8405)

Greyhound (phone: 1.214-849.8100 or 1.800.231.2222)

By Car

If you wish to rent a car, some of the companies that have Ithaca service outlets are:

    Avis (phone 1.607.257.0441 or 1.800.831.2847)
    Enterprise (phone 1.607.275.9000 or 1.800.736.8222)
    Hertz (phone 1.607.257.8677 or 1.800.654.3131)
    National (phone 1.607.272.2575 or 1.888.868.6207)

By Train

Amtrak train service could be an option, however there is no station in Ithaca. The nearest station is in Syracuse, 60 miles/100 km (90-minute drive) to Ithaca. Ithaca Airline Limousine can provide shuttle transportation from the Syracuse train station to Ithaca. You may also arrange transportation to Ithaca through an area taxi or Uber/Lyft service, or by driving a rental car.


The Hotel Ithaca

222 South Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850


For discounted room rates, reference the conference hotel block, “National Field School”

The beautiful, renovated Hotel Ithaca is located in the heart of downtown Ithaca and is less than 1 mile from both Cornell University and Ithaca College.  Hotel Ithaca offers complimentary shuttle service to Tompkins Regional Airport.