Situating On-farm Apprenticeships within the Alternative Agrifood Movement: Labor and Social Justice Implications

  • MacAuley L
  • Niewolny K
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Abstract

The beginning farmer phenomenon offers an array of possibilities for facilitating social, economic, and political changes in the agrifood system. Appren-ticeships within both formal and informal institu-tions are increasingly important in the education and social connectivity of beginning farmers. Although apprenticeship opportunities are popular for " new farmers, " " aspiring farmers, " and their on-farm hosts for a number of reasons, a critical approach is necessary in the design and nature of these experiences, in light of inequitable structural conditions that may reproduce potentially insurmountable barriers to new farm entry and sustainability. Drawing upon alternative agrifood movement discourse and social reproduction at work within critical traditions of sociocultural learning, we illustrate on-farm apprenticeship learning from a critical perspective in order to better describe and understand this form of beginning farmer education. We share findings from a mixed-methods empirical study of on-farm apprenticeship learning in Virginia, where we focus on the practices, structures, and institutional activity that inform on-farm apprenticeship experiences. This study sought to answer the questions: what kinds of on-farm apprenticeships

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MacAuley, L., & Niewolny, K. (2016). Situating On-farm Apprenticeships within the Alternative Agrifood Movement: Labor and Social Justice Implications. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 195–223. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2016.062.024

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