California: New or Beginning Farmers Given Educational Opportunity in Salinas

Agricultural Land Based Training Association in Salinas, California. Photo: USDA Equirectangular Panorama Aerial Photo by Lance Cheung

New and beginning farmers are able to receive education, experience and support from the Agricultural Land Based Training Association (ALBA). Graduates of the Farmer Education Course (PEPA) can then move on to agricultural related careers or continue a farming association for up to 5 incubator years where they can rent farm land, at the 100-acre facility in Salinas, California. 

ALBA is a training program that helps low income farm workers and others learn how to become farmers. New farmers begin with a series of classroom courses and on-hands training, and graduate to farming their own piece of land on the farm. Eventually these new graduates hope to become successful farmers.

The ALBA Farmer Education and Enterprise Development (FEED) Program educates and trains new farmer-entrepreneurs to plan, launch, and establish viable organic farm businesses or advance their careers. To accomplish this, ALBA has 100 acres of organic land, an experienced team with diverse expertise, and a hands-on, 5-year farmer development program. FEED is comprised of three main components:

  1.  The Farmer Education Course (PEPA) is a one year, bilingual, 300-hour curriculum featuring classroom instruction and field-based training, readying participants to launch an organic farm business.
  2. The Organic Farm Incubator allows course graduates to launch their farm on ALBA land. Starting with half an acre, farmers gradually scale up to 5 acres over 4 years under ALBA supervision before transitioning to fully independent farming.
  3. ALBA Organics, aggregates, markets and ships participant products to growing markets around California. Doing so gives farmers access to clients that would otherwise be out of reach and allows them to focus on growing and business management in their initial years.

For more information about PEPA click here.

 


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