Educational Program

Program Contact: Kellie Henwood, Regional Small Farms Program
(360) 379.5610 x 201 • or

Individual Learning Plan

Each FIELD intern works with Jefferson County Extension staff and their farm mentor to develop an individual learning plan that guides their course of study during the FIELD program.

All individual learning plans include:

  • Daily hands-on farm work reinforcing farming newly learned farming practices. This guided farm work places emphasize on the practices of sustainable agriculture, including business planning, integration of annual and perennial crops, animal production, soil health, annual and perennial crop production, weed and pest control, and harvesting, processing, and marketing.

Group instruction periods taught by teams of farmers, WSU staff and faculty, community resource speakers, and subject specialists focusing on seasonal and farm specific competencies. Instruction sessions are followed by opportunities to observe, practice, and internalize the material in the farm or field setting.

  • Independent readings, group discussions, multi-media presentations, community learning opportunities and personal reflections.
  • An on-the-farm research or applied independent project. The choice of on-farm research or applied project is up to the intern and farm mentor and should be appropriate to the interns learning goals. Host farms may have several possible projects that interns may select from according to their interests and length of stay.

Units of Study

  • Integrated farm production systems
  • Soils and nutrition
  • Crop production
  • Livestock production
  • Adding value in farm production systems
  • Marketing and business planning
  • Food systems
  • Farm infrastructure systems

Weekly Schedule

While schedules may change throughout the semester and vary between host farms, interns may expect to have two days off a week (typically Monday & Tuesday) and formal instructional workshops approximately twice per month (typically Thursday).

Example schedule:

Academic & Continuing Education Credit

Interns may receive up to 30 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or 3 Washington State University academic credits for each trimester completed (maximum 9 credits for a season.) CEUs are appropriate for interns who are not, and do not plan to be, enrolled in a degree program. Academic credits may be more desirable for those currently enrolled in a degree program. Interns are responsible for determining if credits are transferable to their home institution.