Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) is an independent non-profit organization and a National Apprenticeship under the US Department of Labor. DGA works with government agencies, foundations, businesses, universities, and community organizations to bring the Apprenticeship to current and aspiring dairy farmers in multiple states.
The US Department of Labor aims to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.
ApprenticeshipUSA offers employers in every industry the tools to develop a highly skilled workforce to help grow their business. For workers, ApprenticeshipUSA offers opportunities to earn a salary while learning the skills necessary to succeed in high-demand careers. ApprenticeshipUSA exemplifies high standards, instructional rigor and quality training. Whether you are an employer looking to hire, train or retain a skilled workforce, or a worker looking for a new career in a well-paying occupation, ApprenticeshipUSA will help you achieve your goals.
Farm Service Agency equitably serves all farmers, ranchers, and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs for all Americans. More than 2,346 state and county offices are the primary distributors of FSA programs. Wisconsin is one of the top ten agricultural states in the nation, generating over $59 billion annually in the state's economy. Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship is an approved vendor in the FSA Financial Management Training Program.
Farmer Veteran Coalition cultivates a new generation of farmers and food leaders, and develops viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities. FVC believes that veterans possess the unique skills and character needed to strengthen rural communities and create sustainable food systems. FVC believes that agriculture offers purpose, opportunity, and physical and psychological benefits. DGA and FVC have entered a partnership to increase awareness among current and retired service members about career and business opportunities in dairy farming.
Cabot Creamery Co-operative has been in operation since 1919, making a full line of award-winning cheddar cheese and dairy products. Cabot is owned by 800 dairy farm families throughout New England and New York. A certified B Corp, they are committed to the planet, its people, and returning profits to its farmer owners. Cabot is proud to support DGA’s mission, and the next generation of farmers, with outreach to Veteran Groups and to the farm families who own Cabot, like the Corse Farm in Whitingham, VT.
GrassWorks is a grassroots membership organization that provides leadership and education to farmers and consumers for the advancement of managed grass-based agriculture to benefit present and future generations. It organizes the annual GrassWorks Grazing Conference and provides resources on grass-based management for all types of livestock. GrassWorks was the original industry sponsor for DGA and continues to be a partner in providing education to Mentors and Apprentices.
DGA uses certified HMI instructors to help Apprentices and Mentors reach their farming and career goals. The mission of Holistic Management International is to educate people to manage land for a sustainable future. As a non-profit, we accomplish this by motivating, connecting, supporting and training farmers, ranchers, and land stewards through the practice of Holistic Management, a Whole Farm/Ranch Planning System that addresses and improves environmental health, sustains economic viability, and enhances the quality of life of farm and ranch communities.
Organic Valley is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents nearly 2,000 farmers in 34 U.S. states. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a wide range of organic dairy products including a grass milk line. Organic Valley is proud to support DGA’s Mission and training of the next generation of grazing dairy farmers.
Whole Foods Market is a dynamic leader in the quality food business. We are a mission-driven company that aims to set the standards of excellence for food retailers. We are building a business in which high standards permeate all aspects of our company. Quality is a state of mind at Whole Foods Market. Our vision of a sustainable future means our children and grandchildren will be living in a world that values human creativity, diversity, and individual choice. WFM has provided its customers with an opportunity to support DGA directly through a Dime-at-a-Time program and features high quality pasture based dairy products in its stores.
The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers (WSBDF) is a product of the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. WSBDF provides the opportunity for motivated individuals to educate themselves about pasture-based dairy and livestock farming and offers training through traditional classroom activities, hands-on internships, and farm tours of pasture-based farms managed by successful graduates and mentors. WSBDF helped develop the initial Apprenticeship curriculum and continues to partner with DGA on new farmer development.
The Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards-Department of Workforce Development (BAS-DWD) was instrumental in the creation of DGA as a state-level Apprenticeship in 2010. For more than 100 years, Apprenticeship has trained skilled workers in Wisconsin by combining on-the-job training with related classroom instruction. In 2015, DGA became a National Apprenticeship under the U.S. Department of Labor.