Extension and advisory services are crucial in keeping current farmers and future farmers interested in producing food and contributing to food security. However, extension and advisory agents face similar challenges to young farmers in entering and staying in the sector, including access to opportunities, credibility, and support.
To tackle the problem and its root causes, YPARD has partnered up with EUFRAS (European Forum for Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services) to bring forth the YEUFRAS-YPARD Young Advisors Mentorship and Training Program which aims to encourage youth towards a career in extension services and more specifically, to understand the value of being in RAS and their contribution to food security.
This program, which will launch in September 2022, will offer training and mentoring to young advisors in the European region with a focus on sustainable and just food systems. The ten month long program will provide both technical and practical activities that will be divided into 39 weeks in a hybrid format.
One of the most important parts of our program are the in-person training sessions, as they will give practical training and reinforcement of skills that employers find as a weak point of formal higher education. And we know that youth will benefit directly by improving their competitiveness in the job market.
The in-person training, as well as the online activities will be imparted by experienced trainers. Moreover, participants will be paired with experienced mentors, who will have an individual approach with each participant, ensuring the professional and practical growth of the mentees.
The benefits of the program include the opportunity to practice hard and soft skills that can offer young extensionist agents the tools to have an effective and rewarding career in extension and advisory services. Additionally, participants will receive the CECRA (Certificate for European Consultants in Rural Areas) basic certificate.
Both YPARD and EUFRAS are thrilled to embark on this collaborative project to ensure that young professionals have the tools they need to thrive in today’s competitive market.