Feb. 26, 2024

A new grant opportunity is designed to help more Pennsylvanians chart their own course in the organic agriculture industry. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is inviting organizations to apply for grants up to $350,000 for earn-as-you-learn apprenticeship opportunities for those interested in agricultural occupations, including certified organic farmers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture ranks Pennsylvania third in the nation for organic commodity sales – which exceeded $60 billion in 2022, according to a study by the Organic Trade Association.

The Department of Labor & Industry has partnered with the Department of Agriculture to create more apprenticeship opportunities and training programs within Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry. This work builds on the investment in organic agriculture through the Center for Organic Excellence, which was created in the 2023-24 state budget. This first-of-its-kind Center empowers and supports organic farmers and businesses. As part of this initiative, workforce challenges were identified as a top priority for the industry to ensure continued growth and success.

About $700,000 in funding has been allocated to the PAsmart Supporting Pennsylvania’s Organic Agriculture through Registered Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeships Grant Program. Applications are due March 21, 2024. Learn more here.