Today, agriculture relies on global trade. As the human population approaches 10 billion people by 2050, agriculture is poised to continue growth to meet the demand for food. Farming creates opportunities to lift people out of poverty in developing nations. Over 60 percent of the world’s working poor works in agriculture. Farming creates more jobs, beginning with farmers, and continuing with farm equipment makers, food processing plants, transportation, infrastructure and manufacturing.
A great way to gain some valuable farming experience while earning a living is obvious, by working on a farm. There are a number of farms across the country in need of farm help. Some even offer programs for future farmers to gain valuable experience.
NYFC Jobs and Apprenticeships Message Board: The National Young Farmers Coalition now has an online forum for jobs and apprenticeships. The message board also allows response posts, letting you put up reviews, comments and more.
ATTRA Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships List: A directory of on-the-job learning opportunities in sustainable and organic agriculture in the U.S. (and some in Canada). Published by the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service since 1989 as a tool to help farmers and apprentices connect with each other. Searching the database is free and accessible to all, posting positions requires a $5 Internship Database Listing Day Pass.
COMFOODSJOBS: Tufts University’s acclaimed announcement service for employment, internships, and similar opportunities across the sustainable food system spectrum. Subscription to the list is free; a daily digest form can be set up to lessen the email flurry.
International Farm Transition Network: A national directory of state-based farm-link programs.
Sustainable Agriculture Jobs, Internships, and Apprenticeships: A Facebook group listing sustainable ag positions, mirroring the offerings on Tufts University’s Comfoodjobs listserve. Other sustainable ag positions can also be posted.
Good Food Jobs: A searchable database of jobs relating to farming, food artisanry, and food policy. Positions are free to search for (requires a free subscription) and $60 to post for 60 days.
Center for Rural Affairs Land Link Service: CFRA’s free land-linking service for connecting retiring farmers with aspiring farmers to work out beneficial arrangements to transfer ownership.
Mother Earth News Land for Sale: A rural properties database by the classic information clearinghouse.
Land and Farm: A nation-wide database of rural land listings.
Rodale Institute’s Farmers Connect: Rodale has rolled its classifieds section and discussion forums into one group, requiring a log-in (via Facebook) to deter spammers.
GrowFood.org: A free listing of a variety of farms looking for volunteers or other work arrangements.
Orion Grassroots Jobsource: A nation-wide network for connecting with green jobs. Including, but not limited to, farming and food-related jobs.
Eager Farmer: A nation-wide listing of job opportunities. Cheap to post positions, free to apply.
AcreValue by Granular: A free website that provides information about the value and productive capacity of agricultural land across the United States. For each individual parcel of land, AcreValue provides the estimated value, soil productivity rating, soil composition and production history, in addition to other information about the property.
Ponic Jobs: This website is dedicated to finding jobs in the emerging hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic industries.
Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA): For young and beginning farmers looking for land and job opportunities, OEFFA operates an apprenticeship program, which helps to link experienced growers with beginning farmers. The organization regularly posts job and land opportunities in their quarterly newsletter, on social media, and on an email listserve; and offers an annual conference and other events that facilitate networking and information-sharing about these opportunities.
Farm Beginnings Nebraska: Farm Beginnings Nebraska is a farmer-led, community based training and support program aimed at getting more farmers on the land farming sustainably. For information email William at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Land Connection: TLC offers a classified section and map of farmland for sale and for farmers looking to buy land, as well as a farmland transition program to support those making that transition. TLC is based in the midwest and covers many states in that area.
MOSES Land Link-Up: The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service has a free online service in an effort to connect those looking for farmland with those looking to rent or sell.
LSP Seeking Farmers – Seeking Land Clearinghouse: An online listing, run by the Land Stewardship Project, for those seeking to rent or purchase land, and vice versa, in the Upper Midwest.
Iowa State University Farm On: An Iowa-based service for connecting beginning farmers to retiring farmers. Not just a list of locations, but provides services throughout the process. There is a fee for non-residents.
Practical Farmers of Iowa Find-A-Farmer: A free service that maps out existing land opportunities and allows beginning farmers to post their land needs. Requires a free registration.
Countryside Conservancy FarmLink: A listing of land opportunities in northeast Ohio. Requires a $10 registration.
Wisconsin Farm Center: A program of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, the Farm Center offers a Land Link program and other resources for beginning farmers.
Minnesota Farm Link: The Minnesota Farm Link program is a web-based tool designed to link farmers and farmland. The MDA’s website also features the Beginning and Transitioning Farmer Information, a clearinghouse of programs and services for all types of farmers, which includes farmers seeking land, financial assistance and loans, farmer education, legal services, multi-cultural programs, networking, mentoring and transitioning, and succession planning.
Southwest Badger RC&D Grazing Broker: The Grazing Broker connects landowners with livestock producers in Southwest Wisconsin. Grazing Broker also offers grazing plan writing; guidance on rental contracts for grassland acres; assistance determining fair market value of grasslands; and workshops on whole farm planning, grazing management, and contract grazing.
Michigan Farmer to Farmer: F2F is a farmlink website serving the Grand Traverse Region in Northwest Lower Michigan that connects farmland owners who wish to sell or lease farmland with farmland seekers looking to buy or lease farmland in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Manistee Counties. The tool also links agricultural employers with job seekers. Farmer to Farmer was developed through a partnership between Leelanau Conservancy, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Michigan State Extension, and Taste the Local Difference.
New England Farmland Finder: A free database for farmland seekers and property holders managed by a consortium of New England farm service providers and non-profits. Designed to make it easy for farm properties to be posted, and for farm seekers to search through them.
New England LandLink: Run by the New England Small Farm Institute, NELL is a web-based listing of farm properties in New England and New York. Requires a $10 annual fee to use.
NESAWG Jobs listing: The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group maintains a free listing of farming job openings in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project Farmland Matching Service: NESFP provides resources for landowners working to develop leases, and also provides a matching service for connecting farmers and landowners in Massachusetts and surrounding areas. From the main NESFP website, click “Farmland” on the top menu bar.
Beginning Farmers Network of Massachusetts: BFN/Mass is a collaborative network of farmers and farm service providers that includes a free jobs and internships directory, as well as other helpful information.
Land Jobs Stuff: A Google Group bulletin board for land, jobs, and agricultural stuff in Southern New England.
Maine FarmLink: A program of Maine Farmland Trust that helps connect people who are seeking farmland, with farmland owners who are looking to sell, lease or work out non-traditional tenure arrangements, based on their respective interests, needs and goals.
Land for Good: A non-profit organization offering education and assistance to owners and managers of working lands, entering farmers, and other-land use decision-makers in the six New England states.
Center for Rural Affairs: CFRA offers a treasure trove of information on transferring ownership of land, in terms of finding the right opportunity, financing advice, and successful strategies.
BeginningFarmers.org: Beginning Farmers has an additional list of resources available to the farmland seeker.