Laura Paine DGA-National Program Director, Master Grazier Leon Corse and his daughter Abbie, Mary Ellen Franklin VT DGA Educational Coordinator, and Apprentice Coty Fisher at the Corse Farm in Whitingham, Vermont


In August 2018, in partnership with the Vermont Farm to Plate Network, the Center for Sustainable Ag.’s Pasture Program was delighted to welcome Mary Ellen Franklin to the team.  Mary Ellen is the Education Coordinator for Vermont’s Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program, and she’s been working hard to support farmers and aspiring farmers in the region. 

Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship is the only accredited apprenticeship for farming in the country. Its mission is to provide a guided pathway to independent farm ownership, to develop grazing careers, and to strengthen the economic and environmental well- being of rural communities and the dairy industry.

The apprenticeship is an “earn while you learn” opportunity. It is composed of 4,000 hours of paid employment and training over two years. Of those hours 3,712 are on the farm under the guidance of an approved Master Grazer. The 288 balance of hours is comprised of courses in farm and pasture management, herd health, milk quality, soils, holistic management, and peer discussion groups, pasture walks, and farming conferences and networking opportunities.

The National Program

Changing the Timing of Supplementation Can Dramatically Increase Dairy Cows' Productivity


Interested in knowing more about the Center's work or do you have a question we haven't answered here?  Contact us via email  or 802-656-5459 and we'll do our best to help.

Woodcut of a farm with people gathering produce and cows grazing


  • Help with a plan for grazing your livestock:  Kimberly Hagen at  802-656-3834
  • General inquiries and potential partnerships: Jenn Colby at 802-535-7606 or
  • Vermont Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program Education Coordinator Mary Ellen Franklin at
  • Pasture walks and other upcoming events: Colene Reed at
  • Help with your Connecticut River watershed farm, including nutrient management and other water quality-related issues: Laura Johnson at
  • Research questions or ideas: Juan Alvez at 802-656-6116 or
  • Include pasture-related events in online or email Pasture Calendars: Cheryl Herrick at

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