Experience all of Vermont with amazing people.

Venture Semester is a small group experience. The crew travels the state to work on real farms, to meet Vermont leaders, and explore the outdoors.

Between excursions, the crew recharges on VYCC’s 400-acre campus, which includes the West Monitor Barn, conserved forest, a diversified farm, and a welcoming community of staff, volunteers, and Corps Members enrolled in other programs.

This unique gap year program offers opportunities in Vermont agriculture, food systems and public health to high school upperclassmen and graduates. Venture’s mission is to prepare participants for future academic and career opportunities. Participants enhance critical thinking and writing skills, visit Vermont colleges and universities, and complete hands-on work projects during multi-day, off-site excursions. Venture crews participate in seminars from experts such as food producers, policy makers, journalists, professors, chefs, doctors, and community leaders, while learning what it means to live away from home, make new friends, and gain independence.

Sessions are divided into weekly themes such as:

Bounty
In a race to prepare for Old Man Winter, we celebrate Vermont’s harvest season and the bounty of food produced on farms across the state. We also examine the contrast between this abundance and the reality of hunger in Vermont and the nation.

Plants, Animals, Soil, Water
A comprehensive look at various types of farms sends us on an investigation: how do nutrients cycle through a farm? What are the costs and benefits of different production methods? How do we improve water quality? Who is growing our food, and how?

Woods and Streams
An opportunity to explore Vermont’s forests can’t be missed. Here we take solace from our open fields and meadows – only to learn that Vermont’s woods and streams are integrally tied to agriculture! We will look at land-based business strategies and proper stewardship, giving special attention to forest products and river-based recreation.

Theory and Practice
An honest and constructive appraisal of how agriculture theory, service providers, and academia interrelate with farming, farm operations and real time decision-making.

Fostered Internship
Now it’s your turn. You guide this time. What are your interests? How will you apply them? Who will you learn from? Who do you want to be? Dive into an immersive internship this week.

The Story of Our Food
A look at the trips and tales food undergoes to arrive at our plate. We learn from food artisans who are reviving the lost art and craft of preparing food, as well as those who are documenting our culture by telling and writing food stories. In a culminating reflection, you write the story of your own food: your knowledge, memories, habits, culture, adventures, comforts, and curiosities.


Learn more about Venture Semester daily life.