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

Growing Skills program

The Youth Agriculture Project's longest-running program is Growing Skills, an eight-week, part-time, on-the-job training program for young adults ages 16-21. Over the course of the summer, participants use agriculture as a vehicle to 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 program in your location - contact us!

Liz Kenton | Brattleboro Office | (802) 257-7967 x308


Here's what we did Brattleboro in 2014

End of March: job descriptions and application materials available online and from case managers and schools
April: Department of Labor case manager reviews applications for eligibility and DOL/Youth Ag begin interviews
May: funding awards announced. NOTE: As a grant-funded program, the possibility exists that the scope or timeline of the program may be affected by unexpected outcomes at this point.
June: staff training with personnel from partner sites
July-August: youth are employed @ 20 hrs/week
September: possibility for summer superstars to continue employment

Youth Crew Members

Youth Crew Job Description

Teens employed in the summer "Growing Skills" program will work on area farms in pairs, where they will participate in growing and marketing organic produce. Youth will be matched with farm hosts based on interviews to determine the interests, temperament, and capacity of all involved. Youth will also participate in weekly skill-building workshops, engage in community service, and mentor younger children in garden and kitchen activities.

Youth Crew Job Application

A Note on Eligibility: The Growing Skills youth crew's wages are supported by a Summer Employment Opportunities (SEO) grant from the Vermont Department of Labor (VDOL). To qualify for VDOL funding, youth MUST be (a) a low-income individual and (b) fit one or more of the following categories: School dropout; Homeless, runaway, or foster child; Pregnant or parenting; and/or Offender or child of an incarcerated parent. SEO serves youth 14-21 with a focus on those 16 and older.

Interested youth or their support team may contact our local Vermont Department of Labor's youth case manager to begin determining eligibility: Diana Miles at or OFFICE (802)-855-1422, Cell (802) 356-0427.

Last modified March 31 2016 01:34 PM