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Considering Joining a Cooperative Incubator Training Program: Advice needed

Posts: 304
Location: Dayton, Ohio
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   I currently have a difficult decision to make. I am trying to figure out whether or not I should cancel my current two year clinical lab tech program I am enrolled in at my local community college and go ahead and apply for an incubator farm training program at Dayton Urban Grown farm near where I live (https://daytonurbangrown.square.site/). Currently, I am trying to become independent from the support of my parents to the point that I am able to pay off my student loans and be able to pay for my medical expenses. When I spent some time weighing the potential benefits of applying for the farm incubator program versus continuing my two year degree as a clinical lab technician, the potential benefits gained by be applying for the local farm incubator program seemed to outweigh any costs I would have for quitting my current two year degree at my local community college.

    I am assuming I will gain the following benefits by applying for the farm incubator training program and preparing to set up land for a market garden:
1. Since I already have a preexisting interest in the field of organic and sustainable agriculture, I should be able to devote more of my current attention to this program than I would completing my current lab tech program.
2. Other than my preexisting desire to join a religious order or become a priest, this was the first option I had been considering for a life profession if I were not able to be accepted into any religious order or seminary.
3. Based on my past experiences with my Tourette's Syndrome, ADHD, OCD, and insomnia, I am better able to function during the day if I can incorporate regular physical activity during the day. Because the type of agriculture used at Dayton Urban Grown involves a moderate level of outside work and physical activity, so I should be able to improve my ability to stay focused during the day if I involve myself in the kind of physical work involved in maintaining a farm.
4. Due to the nature of managing a market garden cooperative, there appears to be no demand for third shift workers. This should make it easier for me to adjust my sleep schedule to match the normal pattern of day and night and minimize my insomnia symptoms.
5. Since agriculture is a practical skill, there will remain a demand for it if there is ever a collapse in the service sector of the economy.

    I have the following concerns if I go ahead and apply for the farm incubator program at Dayton Urban Grown:
1. My father has already payed for four semesters of tuition for the Clinical Laboratory Tech program at my community college so I am uncertain what action he may take if I decide to drop out of the program.
2. Although I might be able to reduce my symptoms for many of my current neurological disorders I am experiencing if I decide to apply for the Farm Incubator program, I am concerned about my long-term ability to pay for my current medications if I eventually decide to start a market garden or cooperative farm. I am on five different prescribed medications and I regularly have to visit a psychiatrist to manage them.
3. Given the current size of my student loan debts, I am concerned about not being able to pay off my loans from my previous liberal arts degree I completed in 2019.

    If I continue my current two year clinical lab tech program at my local community college, I see the following potential benefits based on what I have heard so far.
1. I am uncertain how much my father actually understands the nature of my personality, but he decided that a career in the laboratory tech field was the best fit for my personality type.
2. Based on the limited testimony from my father, I would have a stable source of income if I end up staying as a clinical lab tech.
3. The extra money earned could be used to pay off my preexisting student loans from my last degree in less than four years.

    Unfortunately, the potential benefits obtained by continuing my current two year clinical laboratory tech degree seem to be outweighed by the possible negative impacts on my psychological and physiological health. Medical laboratory work is a largely sedentary occupation so the symptoms of my current neurological conditions may worsen if I have to work long hours in a lab and have no chance to get sufficient physical activity. Since there also seems to be a very high demand for third shift laboratory techs, I will likely be under high pressure to work late hours at night when I am hired and, as a result, worsen the symptoms of my neurological conditions even further. Even if I would earn more money as a clinical lab tech than operating a market garden or cooperative farm, any extra money I would earn seems to be negated by the extra medical expenses required to manage the symptoms of my neurological conditions. Based on the testimony of the program director of the clinical laboratory program at my community college, there will likely also be a strong pressure for me to process clinical samples quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, I tend to panic if a job must be done quickly so I could be more likely to ruin a test result if the specimen if rushed. Furthermore, since I lack a sincere passion for the field of clinical laboratory work, I will be less able to endure long hours at work than if I truly enjoyed this profession. I am uncertain that these negative impacts are worth the potential benefits I gain if I have to spend the rest of my life in this profession due to unforeseen events.

    I am still concerned that I do not have the full picture of the reality behind either finishing my lab tech program or applying for the incubator training program since I have never actually held a steady job in my life and my emotions might be distorting the reality of my situation. I'm hoping there are members here with past experiences in farm incubator programs that could let me know what to expect if I apply for such a program and if my medical expenses would be a burden even for applying.
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