The Center for Environmental Farming Systems, EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems Food and Farm Apprenticeship Program, is seeking highly motivated individuals from a variety of different backgrounds to participate in a hands-on work and study apprenticeship program.

The apprenticeship program trains participants in many aspects of sustainable agriculture, value-added production, and local food and beverage small business expansion, marketing and business support. Apprenticeship appointments are for eight to 12 weeks and are located in Western North Carolina including Jackson County and the Qualla Boundary of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. All positions require an on-site presence.

Eligible students include:

• Students enrolled in Southwestern Community College, Tri County Community College, or Western Carolina University.

• Students enrolled in any secondary institution and living in the program region during the apprenticeship period.

Apprentices are paid through the N.C. State payroll system at a rate of $12 per hour.

During the eight to 12 weeks, apprentices will have the opportunity to:

• Immerse themselves in agricultural and value-added production, spending up to 20 hours a week as an integral part of a team.

• Assist businesses and nonprofits with expanding their marketing and outreach.

• Interact with other apprentices at the various mentor sites.

• Develop production and marketing skills.

For additional information about the EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems Food & Farm Apprenticeship Program visit