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 FarmsNext 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 has created a model that will ensure the continuity of on-farm internships in Oregon.
In 2012, RFC began collaborating with a group of farmers and farm advocates in the Southern Willamette Valley who were interested in creating a farm internship program in their community. Together, we launched the Southern Willamette Chapter of RFC, which will host its first on-farm internships in the 2014 growing season.