In March, we announced a partnership with Gordon Food Service to bring our farms and training program to their distribution centers across the continent. Consumers want fresh, local food, and together, we are uniquely positioned to meet this changing demand head on.
This September, Square Roots launches the first season of our Next-Gen Farmer Training Program at our Michigan farm campus in Grand Rapids, located on the Gordon Food Service headquarters. We’re looking for ten passionate and dedicated future farmers to join our team. No farming experience is necessary—just the dedication and excitement to jump in and start learning.
During the year-long program, similar to traditional farmer apprenticeships, farmers learn skills through curriculum focused on plant science, controlled environment agriculture, business, and leadership, as well as hands-on learning-by-doing. As full-time employees of Square Roots, Next-Gen Farmers are central to our seed-to-sales business operations. After initial training in our modular, hydroponic growing systems, farmers are responsible for growing quality food on a consistent basis to meet customer demand—with the guidance of our expert Farm Management Team. Farmers are also integral to customer-focused marketing and community events, as we work with Gordon Food Service to bring tasty food to their local customers all year round.
Our Next-Gen Farmer Training Program provides unique insight into the many roles for new leaders in urban farming and serves as a launchpad to kickstart careers. Over the past three years, alumnae/i have gone on to start their own urban farms, join forward-thinking companies in urban agriculture, and move into permanent positions on the Square Roots team.