Open for Applications: Silverbrook Manor's Collaborative Farming and Apprenticeship Program

Open for Applications: Silverbrook Manor's Collaborative Farming and Apprenticeship Program


To empower aspiring farmers with a comprehensive, hands-on learning experience, fostering a community of innovation and collaboration in sustainable agriculture at Silverbrook Manor as a Collective.

Duration and Cost

  • Season Duration: April through September.
  • Commitment Option: Participants can opt to contribute a minimum number of flexible hours for the season in place of payment.
  • Membership Due: $2,500 [per share/“designated plot”] for participants unable to commit to the hourly requirement for the season.

Grower’s Collective

  • Hours Requirement: Members of the Collective must fulfill a minimum of 500 hours for the season. This time includes learning workshops, presentations, market days, and meetings with the team.
  • Fee for Unmet Hours: A fee of $15 per unmet hour will be charged if the hourly commitment is not met.

Program Structure

  • Land Allocation: Each Member will be assigned a plot of land to implement and manage their agricultural vision.

Yield and Revenue:

Each member retains the majority of their yield to sell, fostering training and practice in entrepreneurship and financial sustainability.

Education and Training:

  • Hands-on work: Direct farming experience on assigned land.
  • Peer-to-peer education: Members must share knowledge and skills with one another.
  • Training sessions: The owner, peers, and Experts will cover sustainable farming practices, crop management, etc. throughout the season over breakfast, lunch or sunset breakout sessions.
  • Mentoring: Guidance from the owner, peer farmers, and experts in various agricultural disciplines.

Content Creation:

  • Members will learn to document their journey, techniques, and lessons learned to create evergreen educational content for future cohorts and the broader community.

Branding and Marketing:

  • Training on developing business plans, strategic products, branding, packaging, social media, and accessing open market outlets to sell.

Application Process:

  • Open through March, with the season starting mid-April and concludes in September.

Support System 

Program Structure

  • Land and Resources: Silverbrook provides access to land with farming plans subject to approval based on regenerative farming principles.
  • Yield and Revenue: EACH Member will retain 75% of their yield for sale.
  • Education and Mentorship: Includes mandatory workshops, peer teaching presentations, and bi-monthly farm meetings.
  • Marketing and Branding: Training on brand development and market access is included.
  • Perk: Complimentary annual membership to [$300 value]
  • Participants are responsible for their own transportation.
  • Adherence to Silverbrook's bioecology and regenerative farming principles is mandatory.

Goals and Outcomes

  • Empower aspiring farmers with the knowledge, skills, and resources to start their own sustainable farming or homestead operations.
  • Create a decentralized and collaborative farming model that can be replicated in other communities.
  • Build a rich library of agricultural knowledge, practices, and seeds through participant-generated content.
  • Establish successful farming brands for each participant, contributing to the local economy, addressing food insecurity, and sustainable agriculture movement.


    • Participant adherence to the hour or payment commitment, effective land management, educational contribution, and market success.

    Success hinges on Members’ fulfilling their hourly or financial commitments, demonstrating efficient stewardship of their allocated land, contributing educational insights, and achieving market achievements:

    • Participants must effectively manage their plots and produce a viable yield.
    • The quality and impact of peer-to-peer education and created content, and the establishment of successful participant brands and market presence will be evaluated.

      This program aims not only to educate and empower a new generation of farmers but also to innovate the traditional apprenticeship model, creating a self-sustaining ecosystem of knowledge sharing, entrepreneurship, and community in agriculture at Silverbrook Manor.

      Silverbrook Manor is located in Millbrook, NY, directly across the street from the Dutchess County Farm Offices and the Cornell Extension. Access is private, by appointment only.


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