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RFN-NJ Mentorship Applications Now Open! Become a Mentor or Mentee for Regenerative Farming in NJ!

Updated: Jan 11

The Regenerative Farm Network (RFN-NJ) is seeking three mentors and three mentees for the first year of the RFN-NJ Mentorship Program. Mentees and mentors may apply individually and we will work to find the best fit for pairs, or they may apply together and request to be paired. Mentees may be new farmers or experienced farmers who are looking to transition to more regenerative practices. 


This is a flexible program that will be tailored to the needs of the mentees and styles of the mentors. 


The 2024 cohort will run for 12 months, starting around early February 2024.


Mentors:

Help shape the future of New Jersey agriculture by stepping into the role of a regenerative ag mentor. Your knowledge can help foster the growth of a new or transitioning regenerative farmer. Mentors should have a minimum of 3 years experience managing a farm. 


  • Mentor Stipend: Mentors will receive up to a $1,500 stipend for their time spent mentoring with 50% being provided at the start of the program and the other 50% at the end of the program. 

  • Time Commitment: Over the course of 12 month mentorship, we expect the mentor to contribute at least 20 hours of time to the mentee.

  • What that time looks like will vary between each pair and what the mentor and mentee agree upon. It may be a mix of phone calls twice a month, text messages, a couple site visits to the mentee or mentor’s farm, or the mentee may be able to shadow the mentor and help out on the farm a handful of times. There should be at least one site visit to the mentor or mentee’s farm.

  • Location: Due to grant funding, priority will be given to qualified mentors who farm in either Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Union, or Warren Counties. However, if there are not qualified mentors who pair well with the needs of the mentees within those counties, we will open it up to other areas. 


Not sure if you have the right skills? Our mentees may be looking for a variety of skills to learn or improve on, from cover cropping, pasture management, social media & marketing, or budgeting. Apply to our RFN-NJ Mentorship Program and share your expertise to grow the regenerative farm community in NJ!


Mentees:

Are you an experienced farmer who wants to transition to more regenerative practices? Or are you a new farmer who has started up a regenerative farm? You may be eligible to apply for the RFN-NJ Mentorship Program.


  • Education Stipend: The selected mentees will receive up to an $1,100 stipend to be used to further their knowledge in regenerative agriculture. The stipend may go towards time and travel attending local ag meetings, fees to attend conferences, trainings, etc. The mentee will develop a personalized learning plan outlining specific areas for investment and growth.

  • Mentorship: How each mentorship pair interacts will be individualized to what the mentor and mentee agree upon. It may be a mix of phone calls twice a month, text messages, a couple site visits to the mentee or mentor’s farm, or the mentee may be able to shadow the mentor and help out on the farm a handful of times. 

  • Time from the mentor: The mentor is anticipated to spend about 20 hours assisting the mentee over the course of the 12 month mentorship. The majority of that time will likely be remote (phone, email, or text) but should include at least one site visit to the mentee or mentor’s farm. 

  • Location: While RFN-NJ is open to everyone, due to funding constraints, mentees must reside or farm in either Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Union, or Warren Counties. 

  • HU Status: Mentees must fall within an NRCS Historically Underserved (HU) category. Learn more about HU here. The HU categories are:

  • Limited Resources Farmer (With direct or indirect gross farm sales not more than the current indexed value in each of the previous two years, and who has a total household income at or below the national poverty level for a family of four, or less than 50 percent of county median household income in each of the previous two years)

  • Beginning Farmer (Has not operated a farm or ranch, or who has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 consecutive years)

  • Socially Disadvantaged Farmer (American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, or Hispanic).

  • Veteran Farmer (Served in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard, including the reserve component thereof; was released from service under conditions other than dishonorable; And has not operated a farm or ranch, or has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 years; Or who first obtained status as a veteran during the most recent 10-year period).


Mentorship Applications:

Apply for the Mentorship program here!

Applications will close on January 21st, 2024. 


*This program is open to RFN-NJ members. Haven’t filled out a membership form yet? It’s easy, just fill out the RFN membership form here.*


Learn more about RFN-NJ here: https://www.northjerseyrcd.org/rfn-nj


If you have any questions, please reach out to Sam at sloscalzo@northjerseyrcd.org

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