Mary Ogno, Operations Coordinator
East End Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) is a cooperative effort of local farms organized to enhance educational opportunities for farm apprentices. Apprentices on farms that participate in the CRAFT program experience a diversity of successful farm models and join a community of fellow apprentices and farmers.
East End CRAFT continues to enrich and support education and community building through farm tours, workshops, and social events. Every season, people of all ages and backgrounds come to the East End to gain farming skills by apprenticing on local farms.
East End Food Institute collaborates with farm members to organize a series of bi-weekly tours and workshops for these apprentices that runs from April through October. The tours and workshops give them a chance to broaden their knowledge by exploring other farming models than the ones they're associated with. They also get to see a diversity of food producing ventures unique to the East End, such as vineyards, orchards, fish and shellfish hatcheries, and more. Local experts add to the experience through lectures and demonstrations. The CRAFT program also gives apprentices a chance to network and socialize with members of the farming community and people of similar interests.
East End Food Institute’s Apprentice Matching service offers the opportunity to apply to multiple farms and food businesses on Long Island through one application. We connect individuals who are interested in working in sustainable food businesses with those who want to share their expertise. Our mentors include a wide variety of food businesses, including bakers, beverage makers, farmers, fisherman, and more. Each operation offers unique opportunities for hands-on training. Some provide housing and some offer access to additional benefits such as free food.