Farm & Food


Allegheny Mountain Institute believes in the power of food to build vibrant, healthy communities. That's why AMI fully sponsors, trains and empowers Fellows to gain the skills they need to dig in and transform the food system. Learn more.

The 2020-2021 Fellowship application cycle has closed, but the 2021-2022 Fellowship application will open November 2020. Until then, stay in touch via our mailing list or social media and send us an email to get a personalized notification when the application opens!

Farm Work & Study

Spend six months learning to grow, preserve and prepare your own food high in the Allegheny Mountains - for free. 

Year of Service

Get paid to give back to Appalachian communities through a year of farm or food-based non-profit service. 

Change the World

Become part of a network of AMI alumni working to build a more vibrant and accessible local food system.

About the Fellowship

Allegheny Mountain Institute’s fully sponsored 18-month Fellowship prepares and empowers individuals to become teachers and ambassadors for a more vibrant and accessible local food system. AMI Fellows spend six months in immersive, residential training on the Allegheny Farm Campus (Phase I) and one year in service work in the region with AMI and food-related non-profit partner organizations (Phase II). The AMI Fellowship builds strong leaders who successfully work to build more cohesive community food systems. Alumni go on to work as farmers, local food coordinators, school garden educators, and advocates for sustainable food systems. 2021-2022 applications open November 2020.

Fellowship Goals

Grow Food

Learn to grow and preserve food using  regenerative methods.

Practice Wellness

Develop personal wellness strategies and reflection practices.

Prepare to Lead

Explore and address food system issues and opportunities.

Connect to Nature

Study natural systems and  work with nature to enhance food system sustainbility. 

Build Community

Become part of close-knit cohort & lay foundations for a network in the region.


Learn more about AMI's Farm and Food Fellowship from the eyes of a Fellow.


Phase I

From May to October, AMI fully sponsors a cohort of passionate individuals committed to revitalizing our foodshed to live, work, and study together on AMI’s Allegheny Farm in Highland County, VA. On the farm, Fellows gain a full-season of hands-on experience in sustainable growing methods, small animal husbandry, rotational grazing, and homesteading skills.  


On top of this hands-on experience, Fellows participate in a diverse array of weekly workshops taught by regional experts, farm field trips, and AMI staff-led educational sessions. Fellows explore and gain experience with multiple aspects of the food system including teaching in a school garden, selling at a Farmers Market, and supporting a Farm Stay program. Phase I culminates in a Capstone Project, that provides Fellows with the opportunity to hone and explore their own skills and interests.


During Phase I, Fellows are provided with free room and board in shared cabins with spacious communal areas. Phase I Fellows spend approximately 40-50 hours per week learning, studying and working on the farm, with occasional evening and weekend commitments for chores and AMI events. Fellows are granted personal days and holidays. AMI provides accident insurance coverage. Upon successful completion of Phase I, AMI Fellows receive a $1,000 stipend. 


The AMI Fellowship is an 18-month program, and AMI expects all Phase I Fellows to commit to Phase II, the following year of service. AMI provides all successful Phase I Fellows with Phase II service placements .

Questions? Check out our FAQ's

Phase II 


AMI and its partner non-profit organizations in Highland and Augusta Counties are working to grow the local food system, support local farmers, increase access to healthy foods, and promote health and wellness through healthy eating. 


In Phase II, Fellows give back and apply their Phase I training in a year of service in the region (January - December). Working with AMI and like-minded non-profit partner organizations, Phase II Fellows lead and contribute to a wide variety of projects. Depending on their placement, Phase II Fellows will be involved with growing food on a market-style farm, creating infrastructure for local food systems, teaching gardening and cooking skills and developing school gardens and site-based curriculum. In every position, Fellows participate in at least one full day's worth of farm or garden work per week to gain a second season of farm experience. 

Each month, Phase II Fellows meet for peer support and professional development, participate in a workshop or field trip, and join forces for workdays rotating between each of the Phase II placement organizations. All Phase II Fellows are supported with monthly one-on-one mentoring. As Phase II draws to a close, Fellows work to develop and prepare for post-Fellowship goals.

Phase II Fellows are paid an hourly wage of $10 per hour (subject to payroll taxes) and are paid bi-weekly. Fellows work 40 hours per week and occasional evening and weekend commitments are required. Phase II Fellows are provided with basic benefits, including Workers’ Compensation, paid time off and sick leave.

Questions? Check out our FAQ's.

Meet Our Phase II Possibilities

Interested in hosting a Fellow at a non-profit? Click here to learn more about becoming a partner!

Highland School Garden

Allegheny Farm

Highland Children's House

Project Grows

Staunton City Schools

Allegheny Mountain Institute

PO Box 542,

Staunton, VA 24402 


AMI at Augusta Health


Fishersville, VA

Allegheny Farm Campus 


Hightown, VA