Join the Movement – Apply Today!
Thank you for your interest in our Farm Fellowship. This page contains in depth information on all aspects of the fellowship, including: program description, timeline, benefits, and requirements. Please examine each section closely and apply via the sign up form below.
The Good Shepherd Conservancy’s Farm Fellowship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a part of history. The program gives you a chance to join a nationwide conservation effort that will in-turn create a true end-to-end alternative to the factory farm poultry system. Participation grants access to Frank Reese’s world renowned Certified Standardbred genetics, a network of producers and consultants, training in Standardbred Poultry production, ongoing technical support, marketing assistance, and financial aid.
|The Grower Farm Track of our Farm Fellowship program helps egg and meat producing farms that are interested in starting, improving, or growing Standardbred poultry production. While there are restrictions on which farms are accepted into this program, we welcome applicants of all types. Wether you are an industrial contract grower looking to transition to Standardbred, a small pasture-raised producer, or something in between, we’re interested to learn more about you.|
|Farms interested in commercial breeding of Certified Standardbred poultry should consider our breeder track. This exclusive program requires great dedication and hard work and offers valuable rewards to match. The benefits offered will help your farm become a world-class breeding operation producing top quality Certified Standardbred genetics. We are open to all types of breeders joining the program, but are primarily looking for farms interested in primarily breeding for market production and not for exhibition.|
|Timeline||Grower Farm Track||Breeder Farm Track|
|Step 1 – Application |
After applying to the program, Good Shepherd staff will look over your application and schedule a
follow up interview for fitting candidates. To be accepted, participants must meet all of
the fellowship’s requirements and be deemed a good fit for the program. Those accepted into the
fellowship will be scheduled to join the next Standardbred Poultry Production Course (details below),
after which they will gain access to the full set of Grower Farm Track benefits.
|Step 2 – Standardbred Poultry Production Course|
This week long offering provides participants a strong foundation in all aspects of modern
Standardbred poultry production. It covers topics such as: Standardbred poultry history,
breed selection, nutrition, health and disease, farm management, slaughter and processing,
financial management, marketing, cooking of Standardbred poultry, and more. The course
will take place at the Good Shepherd Conservation Center in Lindsborg Kansas. Group instruction
will be provided by Frank Reese as well as other top experts in the field of Standardbred poultry
production and distribution. Course cost is $500, not including accommodations or food.
The next course is slated to take place in the winter of 2022, with the exact date TBD.
|Step 3 – Advanced Breeder Training|
Upon completion of the Poultry Production Course, Breeder Fellows stay in Lindsborg for an extra
five days to complete their Advanced Breeder Training. This offering introduces farmers to all the
foundational knowledge required for commercial breeding of Standardbred poultry. It covers topics
such as: principles of inheritance, types of mating, methods of breeding, balance in breeding,
crossing and hybridization, incubation, hatching, hatchery management, breeder management, and
more. As with the Standardbred Production Course, instruction is provided by Frank Reese as well as
other top experts and cost is $500 not including food and accommodations. Completion of this course
provides participants with access to the additional set of Breeder Farm benefits.
|Step 4 – Ongoing Mentorship, Business Planning, and Networking |
After successful completion of the pre-requisite training courses, all participants will gain access to
highly lucrative ongoing benefits that will help them succeed. The first of these will be regularly
scheduled mentoring sessions where Conservancy staff will help the farm put what they learned
into practice on the farm. During sessions, Standardbred poultry management, production, and
marketing plans will be created or refined. Once the farm’s plans are complete they will continue
to have access to GSC’s staff and volunteer base for ongoing technical support on an as needed
basis. Farms will also be able to access financial aid benefits, be listed on the GSC website, and
profiles of the farm will be posted to the GSC mailing list and social media channels. A full list of the
program benefits and requirements can be found below.
|Step 5 – Master Breeder Training|
The last step in the program for Breeder Farm fellows is to participate in the our Master Breeder
Training. Participation in this program for at least 5-10 years is necessary to achieve the
pre-requisite level of skill and knowledge to achieve Master Breeder status. While there is not a
requirement to commit to 5+ years of study when joining, we ask that all Breeder Fellows join
with the intention of doing so.
Master breeder training requires visits to the Good Shepherd Conservancy at least once per year
to learn from Frank Reese and other master breeders during hatching and culling times. Participating
farms must also bring in Frank Reese or another approved breeding specialist to help with culling and
selection of their flock and to receive in person instruction at least once per year. These measures
ensure that high quality control is maintained on the breeder farms and provides fellows with invaluable
ongoing instruction and training. Cost is covered by the annual breeder fellowship fee but does not include required travel expenses.
|Benefits||Grower Farm Track||Breeder Farm Track|
|Access to Certified Standardbred genetics from famed Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch lines||✔||✔|
|Access to financial aid to support Standardbred production on the farm||✔||✔|
|Promotion of your farm through our website, social media, email list, and farmer network*||✔||✔|
|Permission to advertise as a Good Shepherd Conservancy Partner Farm*||✔||✔|
|Ongoing expert guidance in the husbandry of Standardbred poultry||✔||✔|
|Ongoing marketing and distribution consultation||✔||✔|
|Valuable networking opportunities from the Good Shepherd Conservancy and its partners||✔||✔|
|Deep discounts for all our educational programs provided to fellow farm team members||✔||✔|
|Permission to act as a Good Shepherd Approved Hatchery/Breeder||✖||✔|
|Access to financial aid to support Standardbred breeding on the farm||✖||✔|
|Coverage of the base fee of $300 for the APA Standardbred flock certification program||✖||✔|
|Ongoing expert training and guidance in the breeding of Standardbred poultry||✖||✔|
|Requirements||Grower Farm Track||Breeder Farm Track|
|A principal owner/manager must complete our Standardbred Poultry Production Course||✔||✔|
|A principal owner/manager must complete our Advanced Breeder Training||✖||✔|
|After completion of the course/s, payment of the annual program fee must be provided||$600||$1200|
|The farm is primarily producing poultry for food production purposes, for eggs and/or meat||✔||✔|
|The farm is or wishes to primarily raise one or more of the GSC’s 10 market breeds||✔||✔|
|The farm displays a high level of care for the well being of their animals||✔||✔|
|The farm is committed to the responsible stewardship of their land and local environment||✔||✔|
|Aside from F1 crosses, the farm only produces purebred Standardbred poultry||✖||✔|
|The applicant farm is or aspires to be a breeder farm for Standardbred poultry||✖||✔|
|The farm has or intends to seek APA Standardbred certification for most or all of its breeds||✖||✔|
|The farm and/or its owner is an APA member||✖||✔|
|A principal owner/manager is to participate in our Master Breeder Training||✖||✔|
Please carefully fill out this form to apply for the Farm Fellowship. After receiving submissions we will carefully examine the application and schedule a follow up interview with farms which are a potential fit for the program.