Mentorship and Work Experience Program Information
Our new mentorship pilot is now taking applications. Click here to learn more!
There are also national and international programs available to producers and aspiring producers in this province.
Many of these programs are tailored to specific commodities or production methods.
Open to all Commodities and Methods
Programs which are run in Canada:
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Career Focus Program
The Career Focus Program helps fund 80 agricultural internships per year for Canadian graduates. Each internship will last at least four months to a maximum of 12 months. They will be long enough to provide meaningful experience to the employee.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is one of several federal departments participating in the Career Focus Program, thus it can vary in how much agriculture focus participants experience.
More information available here.
FarmLink is an online listing service which matches farmers with other farmers who are seeking mentorship, land to lease, or other business partnerships.
FarmLink's MatchMaker tool brings together new farmers who are looking for land or mentorship with farm owners who have land available or expertise to share.
More information available here.
International Rural Exchange
This program places people on farms in other countries to gain experience in farming and learn about the culture of another country. Going overseas is a great way to expand yourself as a person. It is a grand adventure, and could help you to improve your skills, learn new ways of doing things, and to expand your knowledge of other cultures and language. International Rural Exchange works with partner organizations around the world to provide exchange opportunities for young Canadians who wish to broaden their agricultural experiences.
The organization has partners in several countries, including Australia, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, Austria and Denmark. Types of placements vary by country, but can include crop farming, livestock, mixed farms, equine, oenology, horticulture, landscaping, bee keeping, and in some cases, home management. The minimum placement time is 3 months, the maximum is usually one year. It is sometimes possible to go to more than one country in a year.
In some countries, there is a training seminar shortly after your arrival that introduces you to the country, as well as other trainees. In some places, there is opportunity for organized travel with other trainees. In terms of practical skills, hosts will orient you to life on their farm, and help you to understand local practices and safety measures.
More information (including a handy cost calculator) is available here.
Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, Canada (WWOOF Canada) is part of a worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange thereby helping to build a sustainable global community. The programs aims to provide first-hand experience of organic farming & gardening to participants.
WWOOF is a worldwide network of organizations. WWOOF Canada is part of the Federation of WWOOF Organizations, a worldwide community that promotes awareness of ecological farming practices by providing volunteers with the opportunity to live and learn on organic properties. WWOOF was founded in 1971 in the United Kingdom (UK) and is one of the world’s first voluntourism and ecotourism organizations. From the UK WWOOF spread to Australia, New Zealand, then Canada in 1985, and now exists in 100+ countries (and growing) around the world.
Thus if a local aspiring farmer is interested in gaining experience through WWOOF, the opportunity can be close to home or on the other side of the world. The organization cites approximately 1/3 of program participants in Canada are Canadians.
There are often farms in Newfoundland and Labrador participating in the program. More details available here.
Cattlemen's Young Leaders
The Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Development Program provides formal and informal opportunities for young producers between the ages of 18 and 35 years to participate in industry-specific training and mentorship.
Candidates are selected annually to participate in the CYL Development program. The application process is all online and opens in November. The application deadline for eligible candidates is in late January. At that time semi-finalists are chosen to attend a round table discussion event where final candidates are selected.
Once selected the candidates are matched with a mentor. The CYL youth are all at different stages of their careers and come from different backgrounds in the beef industry. Youth in the program may be interested in learning more about a potential career choice in the beef industry, becoming more knowledgeable and well connected in their current career or want to learn more about what it means to be an industry leader.
The CYL program offers two main categories of mentoring, a Professional Mentorship and an Industry Leader Mentorship.
Program details and application can be found here.
If you are aware of a program that is available but not on this list, please contact us.