Mentorship Program

Bought or buying land?  Looking for further educational resources and community support in establishing your own farm?

Want to pass on valuable farming wisdom and support the next generation of organic producers in Atlantic Canada?  

Program Details:

ACORN’s Grow A Farmer Mentorship Program serves to pair beginner farmers with local experienced organic farmers based on educational goals and areas of agricultural expertise, in order to facilitate the smooth and successful establishment of new organic farms in Atlantic Canada. ACORN’s Mentor Farmers work one-on-one to help ease the transition for new, transitioning and aspiring farm-owners, and help build the skills, network and community so necessary for new entrant success. Through this match-making process, ACORN seeks to foster long-standing relationships that will build the sector of organic and ecological growers in Atlantic Canada.

Mentees are expected to have some level of agricultural training and either have their own farm or be in the development phase of their own operation. Most support will be offered remotely and mentees will not participate daily on the Mentor’s Farm, unless some occasional work would be proven beneficial for the Mentee’s skill development (to be determined by the mentor and mentee).

How it Works:

  • Potential Mentees (beginner farmers) will download and submit their application form to ACORN and provide information about their needs and areas of skill development;
  • ACORN will determine whether the applicant is eligible (all applicants must be ACORN members);
  • ACORN will enter the Mentee into a database and will send information about any available Mentors that match well to the Mentee’s educational goals;
  • The Mentee will make their top choice and then receive those Mentors’ full contact information to discuss whether the mentorship is an appropriate fit;
  • Once a match is made, the Mentee/Mentor will notify ACORN of confirmed mentorship;
  • The Mentor farm will communicate regularly with the Mentee, offering suggestions, advice and their farming expertise;
  • The Mentor farm will also help organize farm visits (1-2 per season)* to address specific issues and make on-site recommendations;
  • Through these partnerships, ACORN will meet regularly with Mentors and Mentees for feedback and evaluation of key issues; to identify opportunities; and to promote the successful adoption of organic methods and new production strategies.

Office-time is an important part of organic farming! With proper mentorship, learn the ropes with how to properly keep records, design crop plans, make efficient seed orders and more!

What’s involved?

  • Expert Mentor Training from long-standing members of Maritime organic farming community.
  • Regular communications between Mentor farmers/Mentees, via phone calls, email, and farm visits
  • Regular opportunities for communications and networking with members of the Atlantic Canada organic sector.
  • ACORN will review applications and facilitate these mentorship partnerships for the 2017 growing season (approx. April-November). There is no official deadline for application, but as these mentorships are limited, applying early is encouraged!

*Please note that the number of farm visits will depend on the Mentor’s proximity to the Mentee. On average, the Mentee should expect 1-2 visits/season.

To participate in ACORN’s Grow A Farmer Mentorship Program, either as a mentor or mentee, you must be a current member of ACORN.


ATTENTION NEW BRUNSWICK BEGINNER FARMERS: The Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick administers a Mentorship Program in collaboration with ACORN. If you are a New Brunswick resident, apply through their program.

Interested in being a Grow A Farmer Mentor? Sign up here!

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