Rogue Farm Corps was founded in 2003 by a community of Southern Oregon farmers that recognized the need for beginning farmer training and shared a commitment to mentoring the next generation. In 2006, RFC received a federal grant to develop an innovative curriculum that is the basis of our Farms Next Internship Program. RFC is the only organization in Oregon with a structured, entry-level education and training program for beginning farmers.
In 2010, RFC took a leadership role in establishing a legal framework for on-farm internships, in response to discussions in Salem with state agencies and concerned farmers about the current quasi-legal status of informal internships. As a result, RFC launched negotiations with Rogue Community College (RCC) in late 2010 to establish a pilot program for legal on-farm internships. With guidance from the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Bureau of Labor & Industry (BOLI), RFC is poised to create a model of accreditation that will ensure the continuity of on-farm internships in Oregon.
Currently, our Farms Next Internship Program serves beginning farmers and established producers in our community. In 2011, the program served 25 interns on 13 host farms in the Rogue Valley.