Farm Apprenticeship Program
Grow It Green Morristown implemented our pilot year of our paid apprenticeship program in 2021 to create opportunities for underrepresented populations to pursue a career in agriculture and its associated pathways. Vocational education opportunities in agriculture in urban areas are vital to create just and sustainable food systems by increasing self-sufficiency elevating a community's ability to increase fresh food sources. The practice is adding to tools to improve community health by boosting the resilience of fresh fruit and vegetable supplies, improving the health of residents and helping lead to more sustainable lifestyles. helping support a more diverse and inclusive pipeline for tomorrow’s innovators in the food system.
The Urban Farm apprentice program was developed to address racial disparities in farming particularly pointing to the information gap in agricultural studies. By providing a low requirement entry, we are opening a means to attract talent to the economic, entrepreneurial and environmental opportunities of farming. This apprenticeship can expose candidates to a pathway that allows them to access the increase in available funding in education and land access programs. Thanks to two sequential years of funding from the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, 2021-2022 apprentices were able to complete a full season on the farm. This important program can only be possible due to individual donors, foundations, or corporate support.
Meet our prior year apprentices below and we are excited to be offering a farm apprentice opportunity for 2023. If you are interested in learning more about being part of this program or helping to fund it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details about the position and to apply, click here.
Emmanuel Vasquez, Farm Apprentice (he/him/his)
From Dover, NJ, Emanuel is a grower, steward of the land, and advocate of food justice and resiliency in his community. He is always finding ways to give more to the earth than he can take, and through gardening, he found just that. He has worked for many nonprofit farms, such as Newark Science & Sustainability, and wants to one day have access to land so that he can grow fresh organic produce for, and with, his community. Emanuel is a student at Montclair State University studying sustainability and is currently a Power in Land, Agriculture, Climate, and Equity (PLACE) Fellow for the National Young Farmers Coalition.
Chris Rodriguez, Farm Apprentice (he/him/his)
Chris is a New Jersey-based musician and educator. He served as a high school English teacher for six years, advocating for culturally-responsive education for his students. In collaboration with his students, he created poetry and music clubs that served as spaces of care, exploration, artistry, and community. He also facilitates weekly Afro-Puerto Rican drumming circles (bateys) in Jersey City to foster healing and strengthen his community ties.
Chris comes to farming with the same intentions: to build relationships, this time with the land. Guided by the marvelous decolonization work of indigenous activists, Chris has taken time to honor and heal his own complicated history as a descendent of Puerto Rican and Cuban farmers. He worked with Grow It Green not only to return to his roots, but also to reimagine and recreate healthier, more balanced relationships between his communities and the Earth.
Chris returns to the Urban Farm in the summer of 2022 leading Bomba-inspired drumming sessions for teens 13-18 years old. Sign up for the newsletter to stay updated on all of our programs.
Grace Bambilla, Farm Apprentice
Grace is a lover of the outdoors, having grown up playing in the mud, taking walks through the quiet suburbs of Livingston, and going camping and fishing during the summers with her family, who taught her to work with her hands. She loves caring for animals and enjoys bee-watching.
She is currently a student at NJIT studying environmental science and sustainability, feeding her passion for sustainable agriculture and lifestyle while also protecting the Earth's fragile ecosystems from abrasive farming tactics. Her interest in environmental science and sustainability stemmed from a middle school gardening club where she learned how to take care of her first crop and why growing food locally is important for the environment.
Grace was an integral part of the team putting her passion and skills to use in promoting sustainable farming and eating!