Mentorship Program

The Fox Demo Farms Mentor Program is designed to keep experienced farmers engaged in the Demo Farms program, while amplifying the knowledge they have gained and provide new farmers with the technical support needed to adopt conservation practices. Farmer teams can design the program to meet their needs and decide how the program can work best for their team.

What makes a good mentor?

  • Your experience and willingness to share what you’ve learned with your mentee!
  • Be available to answer your mentee’s questions.
  • Don’t have all the answers! That’s okay! No one expects mentors to have every single answer. If you don’t know how to answer something, tap into the Fox Demo Farms staff or the mentor network built through this program.

What makes a good mentee?

  • Willingness to change! This program is not designed to convince you to try conservation practices.
  • Ask questions and try new things! Your mentor is there to give you their advice and share their experiences, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to make the changes on your farm.

Role of the Fox Demo Farms

  • Initial meeting: We’re there to get your team started on the right foot. We’ll plan an initial team meeting to discuss conservation goals and what you want to get out of the program.
  • Annual check-ins: During winter months, we’ll ask for each team to meet the Demo Farms staff to talk about the previous season. What worked well? What didn’t work? How to keep improving?
  • Keep in touch: We’re there if you need us. If your team is not working out, let us know! We want to set farmers up for success, so if something isn’t working for your team, we want to help.

How are teams selected?

There are two approaches to selecting teams.

  1. Existing relationship: Mentor and mentee have an existing relationship. Have a neighbor or friend who you’d like to work with? Let us know and we’ll work with your team to figure out the details and make sure it’ll be a good fit.
  2. Recommendation from Demo Farm staff: We’ll help you find a mentor based off conservation goals, mentor experience, and farm type. Tell us more about your farm and your conservation goals by filling out this Google Form. We’ll need to know your farm location (so we can find a mentor near you), type of farm, conservation goals, specific challenges, and preferred method of communication.

Testimonials from Pilot Program

“[I’m] a lot more confident now. I feel even more confident to do some multi species, where before I probably wouldn’t have. But now it’s like it’s easy. Even no-tilling into [covers], I was nervous, but I just started asking questions to [my mentor].”

“Don’t be afraid to ask about the little things. The little minor details are what make a lot of what we do successful. All those little details really add up to the success in the end.”

“If he had questions, he felt free to call or text. It was an open line of communication.”

Click here for full report: Pilot mentorship evaluation