University of Vermont

Grow with us

The Youth Agriculture Project helps young people build life and job skills through hands-on learning about food, nutrition, and agriculture.

Youth Agriculture Project


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The Youth Agriculture Project is part of the University of Vermont Extension Service's 4-H program. Our mission is to help young people build life and job skills through hands-on learning about food, nutrition and agriculture.

Youth Ag was established in 2001 to serve non-traditional / underserved 4-H audiences, such as older teens, low-income youth, youth identified as "at risk," and kids with behavioral and developmental challenges. Since its start in 2001, the Youth Agriculture Project has served almost 6,500 youth, who together have grown over 35,000 pounds of organic produce. Farmers' market and direct sales have brought in close to $15,000 to support on-farm education, and over 21,000 pounds of fresh food have been donated to local hunger relief programs and schools.


Growing Skills Program

Boy with "Don't Panic, We're Organic" shirt

The Youth Agriculture Project's longest-running program is Growing Skills, an on-the-job training program for young adults. Participants work part-time on farms and gather together for workshops about topics like interview skills, food justice, or pest identification. Along the way, they develop transferable employment skills like teamwork, customer service, event planning, direct sales, and public speaking.

For many, this is their first job, and we offer a paid work experience with lots of built-in time and attention to basic job skills such as team work and communication. Youth crews take increasing responsibility for the quality of their work over the course of the summer. Along with job skills, participants build emotional resilience, self-management skills, and genuine, lasting connections with each other and the community.

Develop a Growing Skills program in your location! Contact Liz Kenton | Brattleboro Office | (802) 257-7967 x308.



Tractor Safety

Training youth in safer tractor operation is a high priority in Vermont. Our young people living and working on farms operate a variety of agricultural equipment, including tractors. Youth Tractor Safety Certification >>

Boy and girl in the woods


Your contribution can help us continue to offer job training for under-served teens, plus nutritional and gardening educational programming for younger children, and support for community gardens and other food security projects. Visit to provide program support.