Organic Growers Ireland’s (OGI) Organic Farming Internship Programme is now entering it’s ninth year. The OGI have had almost 60 interns go through the process to date.
Funded by the Department of Agriculture, the programme was designed to provide on-the-job training to those interested in a career in organic farming.
Graduating from the internship prepares candidates for the workforce.
“It’s a completely unique programme – we have interest from all over the country,” says Jennifer Byrne, co-ordinator of the organic farming internship programme in horticulture.
“The criteria is set at a minimum of a Level 5 in horticulture, or one year’s experience as a grower or on a farm – that means that you know your way around a grow site or a farm.”
The application form is very straightforward, just fill it out and send it in. All the farms which provide internships are listed on the OGI website.
Applicants are encouraged to research the farms thoroughly to get a better sense of what they would like to gain from the programme, and area of organic horticulture they would ideally like to work in.
“I would say to anyone who is thinking of applying to go online and find as much information as you can about the farms so you can make an informed decision – you don’t want to end up on a farm which doesn’t suit you,” Jennifer explains.
“We’re kind of a liaison, really, between the applicants and the farms – we help organise the interviews,” she says. “Applicants specify three farms they would prefer and then we liaise with those farms to try and make it all happen.”
The programme runs for a minimum of six months and interns will be required to work a minimum of 30 hours a week to meet the criteria of the internship.
“Built into that we have a training programme as well - there is 10 days off farm,” she adds.
The learning outcomes of the programme, which awards you with a Level 5 component award in organic horticultural principles, are:
“You actually end up with a lovely network of friends. And they’re all going to go somewhere in organic horticulture, so you have that network going forward which, in a small community, is really valuable,” she adds.
If you would like to learn more about the internship programme, visit organicgrowersireland.ie or email Jennifer at email@example.com.
Applications close 28 January 2022.