Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) is an independent non-profit organization and a National Apprenticeship under the US Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration. It was created with funding from the USDA-NIFA's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.

DGA's partners are crucial to the success and sustainability of this innovative program.
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Funding Partners Education Partners Administrative Partners

Since 2002, the Cornell Small Farms Program (CSFP) has been a visionary leader in fostering programs that support and encourage the sustainability of diverse, thriving small farms that contribute to food security, healthy rural communities, and the environment. The Program is housed within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) on the Cornell University Campus in Ithaca, NY. Program staff work collaboratively with a network of CALS faculty and staff, Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and other small farm advocates throughout New York to generate innovative research and extension initiatives that enhance small farm viability. The DGA allows The Small Farms Program to expand its new farmer training efforts to include new dairy producers under its flagship program, the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project. By adopting Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship as one of its projects, the Cornell Small Farms Program will play a significant role in expanding the program in New York State.

Since 1992, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) has worked to promote profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while protecting the natural environment. Through the SOIL Institute , PASA is advancing agricultural education in Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic region with programs in Farmer Training and Development, Farm-Based Research, and Farmer-to-Farmer Exchange. Pennsylvania has a demonstrable need for the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, and growing the DGA program in Pennsylvania and parts of neighboring states will be a cornerstone of the Farmer Training and Development activities at the SOIL Institute.

The Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota is a grassroots membership organization dedicated to sustainable production of our food and fiber that works to restore soil health and protect our air, land and water. Founded as a farmer network in 1989, SFA also promotes the production and distribution of safe, healthy, nutritious food, supporting consumers, family farmers and the communities dependent upon them. From urban farmers to rural grain and livestock producers, SFA promotes soil health and sustainable techniques that boost farmer profitability and local food availability. Growing the DGA program in Minnesota aligns perfectly with SFA's mission and we are proud to build this partnership.

The University of Missouri Pasture-Based Dairy Program had its beginning in the 1990’s. The program grew out of the need and desire on the part of Missouri dairy producers to develop a more sustainable system of milk production. In response to this need, the Missouri Pasture-Based Dairy Team developed educational programs and models to assist dairy producers in developing farming systems that were profitable, environmentally friendly, socially acceptable, and that provided a desirable quality of life. The Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program is a natural next step toward training future generations of Missouri dairy producers and sustaining the state’s dairy industry. University of Missouri Extension sees the alliance with DGA to be of mutual benefit to both organizations as well as Missouri’s dairy community.

A pioneer in sustainable agriculture since the 1960’s, Wolfe’s Neck Farm is a nonprofit educational farm dedicated to promoting sustainable agriculture, farm-based education and outdoor recreation while preserving 626 oceanfront acres of farmland, forest and historic buildings. Its new Organic Dairy Farmer Training Program incorporates DGA National Apprenticeship curriculum to provide a hands-on, residential training to allow Apprentices to learn all aspects of operation and management, preparing them to run their own organic dairy farm. Apprentices are provided with expert support in training, business planning, securing financing, locating land, and continued guidance through the first few years of independent production. Learn more at Wolfe’s Neck Farm dairy page