Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Sustainable Agriculture Program?
The Sustainable Agriculture Program (SAP) is a hands‐on vocational training program for low‐income
individuals. This program provides training through internship placements and periodic training
This program is an intensive job training experience and participants must be prepared for the physical
demands of their positions.
2. How do I apply?
Potential students can call (309‐268‐8160) or visit Heartland’s Community and Corporate Education
office (Workforce Development Center, Suite 2400) and ask for an application package. This package
contains the participant’s handbook and the SAP eligibility application.
Once you have received your application package, complete and return eligibility application (making
sure to complete all three pages of the eligibility application and the MCCA intake form). After eligibility
has been confirmed, HCC will send an eligibility notification and a background check form. After
background check has been conducted, HCC will schedule a full‐day orientation session with the
student’s potential host. After the intern orientation session, an HCC representative will meet the
student and host at the work‐study site to complete the final enrollment process.
3. What are the eligibility qualifications for acceptance into the program?
Primary eligibility is determined by the federal poverty guidelines, for this program students must be at
(or below) 200% of the poverty level. To be accepted into the program, students must be 18 years of
age or older. Students must also be able to fulfill the functional abilities of the internship. Students
must also be able to commit to a 3‐5 month internship (full‐time or part‐time)
4. Where will I be placed?
Students will be placed at one of six local farms. The following farms are part of our program:
• Henry’s Farm (Congerville, IL)‐
specializing in agricultural diversity
• Teresa’s Fruit and Herbs/Sunny Lane
Berry Farm (Eureka, IL)‐ diverse farm
focused on fruits and herbs and a berry
• ISU Horticultural Center (Normal, IL)‐
Outdoor laboratory and demonstration
• Ropp Farm/Ropp Cheese (Normal, IL)‐
dairy farm specializing in cheese
• Dearing County Farms (Bloomington,
IL)‐ specializing in eggs and chickens
• Epiphany Farm (Downs, IL)‐ Farm to
fork concept farm; Specializing in food
produced for the Epiphany restaurant
5. Am I required to provide my own transportation?
Students will be required to provide their own transportation to their worksite and the training
institutes. However, MCCA may be able to provide financial assistance for car repairs or other
transportation needs. If the training institutes include a field day, HCC will provide transportation from
HCC’s Normal campus to the site of the field day.
6. Are the vocational credits transferable?
Vocational credits are non‐credit, but do show up on your transcript. Transferability will be determined
by each transfer institution. HCC cannot guarantee that any educational institution will accept the
credits towards a degree program.
7. How does the scholarship work?
A limited number of scholarships are available for eligible low‐income students who enroll in
the work‐study internships. These scholarships are intended to enable students to participate in
work‐study internships and include a waiver of the training institute costs.
Scholarship award amounts will be based on multiple factors, including, but not limited to:
1. Internship terms (i.e. full‐time or part‐time; length of placement)
2. Additional benefits interns may receive from hosts (e.g., food, housing)
3. Estimated transportation costs to/from host site
8. Do I have to pay taxes on the scholarship?
Students will be required to complete a W‐9 after they are enrolled in the program. While the
scholarships are taxable, Heartland Community College will not take taxes out prior to payment.
Students will receive a 1099 form from HCC at the end of the fiscal year. Students should consult a tax
preparer to see if they will need to pay taxes on their scholarships at that point.
9. I’m not eligible for the scholarship; can I still participate in the program?
Select workshops will be open to the public, however there will be a fee associated with the workshops.
HCC may assist non‐enrolled students in locating an internship, but there will be no scholarship available
to these individuals.