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This is such a worthwhile program. Beginning April 1, 2021 Greenagers will offer a 3-person farm crew for hire to local farms.  The total cost to farms is $260/day. (The total, unsubsidized cost per day is $517.26.)

This project is made possible by a grant from Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) - covering 35% of the cost - and private donors.

The crew will comprise one farmer (minimum 3 years experience) and two helpers with farm or conservation on work experience.

At least two crew members will be able to run motorized tools and machinery.
Greenagers is happy to bring additional hand tools as needed.

The crew has approximately 40 days available to work on local farms. It is our goal to work on as many farms as possible in the tri-state Berkshire region.

It is the hope of Greenagers and (BAV) that this program lends a hand when needed on local farms, introduces eager young workers to diverse agricultural enterprises and people, and creates community pathways for youth employment, farm viability, and food sovereignty.

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures’ (BAV) announces a $10,000 grant to Berkshire-based nonprofit, Greenagers. The grant will both support Greenagers’ second year of apprenticeships ($2,800) at their farm at April Hill Conservation and Conservation Center as well as offset the cost of a pilot year of Greenagers Helping Farm Hands project ($7,200).

This grant will help Greenagers apprentices learn how to re-engage the agricultural land at April Hill Farm from pasture and hay production to a diversified farm that will include tree nuts, tree and vine fruits, vegetables, beef, lamb, duck eggs, chicken eggs, conservation nursery stock, pollinator habitat, and honey.

Starting April 1, the Helping Farm Hands project grant would offset the cost of helping with the need for labor on local farms and allow youth crews a diversity of farming experiences. For more information on this program visit https://greenagers.org/april-hill-farm.

Will Conklin, Executive Director of Greenagers said,

"We need more farms and we need more farmers and we need more educated consumers. Helping Hands, by connecting youth with local farms, supports the labor needs of farms--elevating profitability and puts young people on farms. If out of twenty youth that participates, one becomes a farmer and nineteen know more about their agricultural landscape and the power of their food choices, we will be making great strides toward a more resilient and just food system."

Dan Carr of BAV and Will Conklin of Greeagers with Grant C
Dan Carr of BAV and Will Conklin of Greeagers with Grant C

Dan Carr, Outreach & Technical Assistance Coordinator at BAV, added,

"We are happy to be supporting Greenagers training the next generation of farmers through their apprenticeship at April Hil. We also see a big win/win getting young adults working for Greenagers exposed to a variety of farms through the Helping Hands Program, all while giving the farmers the extra hands needed for big projects."

This what Greenagers is all about Through its paid employment programs, internships, and apprenticeships, engages teens and young adults in meaningful work in environmental conservation, sustainable farming, and natural resource management. In the Berkshires and nearby New York State, our trail crews maintain existing trails and build new trails for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Trustees of Reservations, Columbia Land Conservancy, and other conservation organizations.

Courtesy of Greenagers / Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV)
Courtesy of Greenagers / Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV)

Their Farm Apprentices work with local farmers, learning animal husbandry and organic agriculture. Our volunteer teams install front-yard gardens for area families, to encourage home-based food growing.

Greenagers participants learn the value of teamwork, collaboration, initiative, and solid work ethics. They learn about community partnerships through collaborations with area nonprofits, businesses, and organizations that both hire Greenagers and partner with Greenagers’ broader mission of youth and community engagement. They embrace the values of service and stewardship, and we support social and environmental progress in all of our work. For more information on their services, please visit https://greenagers.org

BAV’s mission is dedicated to supporting farm and food business development and viability by offering access to technical assistance and nimble financing including low-interest loans, grants, and other professional resources. BAV brings together collaborative financing programs for farmers and food makers in the region of New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut by using donations from individuals, foundations, and businesses.

For more information about BAV please visit www.berkshireagventures.org or call Glenn Bergman, Interim Director, at 413.645.3594.

For more information on Greenagers visit https://greenagers.org.

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