Volunteer Opportunities

Farm Based Volunteer Opportunities & More

Farm Based Volunteer Opportunities

Rodale Institute:

Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to growing the organic movement through rigorous research, farmer training, and consumer education. Widely recognized as a founder of the modern organic movement, Rodale Institute has been a global leader in regenerative organic agriculture for over 70 years.

Year-round volunteers to help with the farm’s many projects are welcome. This could mean gardening, working events, assisting at the Garden Store and Visitor Center… but our opportunities range far and wide. Did you know that volunteers can lead cooking demonstrations at farmers’ markets? Or help with work in our Communications, Development, and Administration departments?
Located in Kutztown, PA, our farm is 333-acres in the bucolic countryside of east Pennsylvania, our farm is a living example of the power of regenerative organic agriculture to heal the land and support thriving community.

The Seed Farm:

The Seed Farm provides new farmers with valuable, practical experience and skills on our training farm as well as the opportunity to launch sustainable farm businesses on our site in Emmaus, PA (Lehigh County).

April – May: volunteers are needed to help prepare for and execute our annual Plant Sale. Opportunities include potting up seedlings in the greenhouse, tagging plants, setting up the site for the event, and general help during the plant sale itself.

June: our annual Farm to Fork event is our biggest fundraiser of the year. Volunteers are needed to serve on the event planning committee, auction committee, and to provide general set up/breakdown assistance during the weekend of the event.

Corporate and school groups are invited to set up half-day volunteer projects at the farm. Projects could involve landscaping, basic site maintenance, gleaning, installing signage, etc.

Penn State Extension Master Gardner Program:

Master Gardener volunteers support Penn State Extension’s educational programs in consumer horticulture. They develop their horticultural expertise through participation in educational training classes conducted by Penn State University faculty and Extension staff.

A Penn State Extension Master Gardener not only learns research-based and sustainable horticultural practices, but also develops life-long friendships with others who have similar gardening interests.

After completing their training, Master Gardeners help Extension better serve the home gardening public by answering questions, speaking to groups, writing gardening articles, working with youth, gardening in the demonstration gardens, participating in the Penn State pollinator research program, and in many other ways.

Horn Farm, York, PA:

The Horn Farm Center is a conservation success story. Born out of the effort to save the farm from industrial development in 2000, the Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education was established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation in 2004. The Horn Farm was saved by a community of passionate people, who understood that our natural spaces and cultural practices of stewarding and cultivating the land are sacred and need to be preserved. 

20 years later that same sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of our community and natural environment has endured. In 2018, we developed a land use management plan and strategic plan, which encouraged our farmers to employ only organic and regenerative farming practices on the 186 acres of the Horn Farm Center. 

Volunteers are central to the Horn Farm Center’s mission and serve as stewards of the land and the organization. Whether providing front-line visitor services or completing behind-the-scenes projects, our volunteers are vital in enhancing our ability to grow healthy food, restore our landscapes and teach others to do the same. Volunteers will be provided with on-the-job training in their chosen area of focus and we welcome those with an interest in working in various departments. Besides learning new skills, meeting new people, and learning interesting things, you will be helping the Horn Farm Center accomplish its mission.

Urban Agriculture:

In efforts to decrease food insecurity within urban areas, many cities have worked to develop Urban Agriculture or Urban Farming groups. The transformation of unused land within an urban area can provide opportunities for residents to grow more of their own food, teach young people how to grow food, and help to stabilize local food needs.

To find urban farming volunteer opportunities in your area, search the internet for Urban Agriculture in your area.