Are you wanting to travel meaningfully within the US? Do opportunities like volunteering on farms, learning about organic farming or diving into ecological agriculture sound like something you’d want to do? Maybe you're a digital nomad looking to make your US trips more meaningful by giving back to the community you've travelled to.
While we’ve discussed Workaway on this blog as a way to give back to communities internationally, there are also programs that exist solely for the US. If you’re interested in working on a farm and immersing yourself in sustainable practices within the US, then WWOOF USA is the program for you! While there are WWOOF organizations outside the US, today we’re going to focus specifically on the program within the US.
What is WWOOF USA?
WWOOF USA stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, USA, and is part of a global effort to connect travelers with organic farms to create not only a global community of people dedicated to sustainable practices, but also to foster cultural exchanges. While WWOOF is a global organization, the US branch exists specifically to connect WWOOFers with opportunities within the US. Since the opportunities are specific to the US, it is important to note that WWOOF does not sponsor visas, and will not help you acquire one if you need one to enter the US.
How much does it cost to WWOOF?
Similarly to Workaway, in order to participate in a WWOOF USA exchange, you must be a member. WWOOF USA also has two levels of membership, depending on how you want to do your WWOOF experience.
A single membership will cost you $40 a year, while a joint membership (perfect for two people wanting to always volunteer together), will cost $65 a year.
Membership is valid for one year, and will allow you to connect with the 1664 WWOOF hosts in the USA. It also allows you to create a profile to showcase your desires and skills to potential hosts, view reviews of hosts made by other WWOOF members, and have access to support from the WWOOF USA team. You must be at least 18 years of age to have a WWOOF membership. If you purchase membership to WWOOF USA, the membership is specific to the US and does not grant you access to other countries’ WWOOF organizations.
Who pays for travel?
Additionally, you are financially responsible for travel to and from your WWOOF destination, and any costs that your host does not cover.
Do you get paid to WWOOF?
Similarly to Workaway, WWOOFers partake in these opportunities in exchange for food and accommodation. Unlike Workaway, however, there are no paid opportunities with WWOOF. WWOOFers will typically work half a day on the farm, although working conditions may vary from host to host.
If you’re just interested in doing some farm work for a day in your neighborhood, or to interact with local farmers near you, some hosts offer a “One Day (local) Visit” option. These hosts will not offer accommodation, but will allow you to participate in the WWOOF community, and participate in sustainable farm strategies without having to travel far. These visits will frequently be in exchange for food during the time you work.
Where is the best place to WWOOF?
Since there are so many places where you can WWOOF, there’s no one best place! Within the US, you have access to any farms within the 48 contiguous US states, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the US virgin islands. You can browse through the Find a Host page without being a member to see if there are any hosts in a state/area you’d like to visit. Currently, there aren’t many hosts in the midwest, but there are a lot of hosts out there!
You can also view descriptions written by the hosts for different opportunities, details about their current projects, the host’s experience, as well as accommodation available without being a member.
To view full information, read reviews, book a visit, or contact the host, you must have purchased a membership.
WWOOF USA Reddit
While reading reviews from other WWOOFers can be helpful in selecting a host to stay with, it isn’t necessarily helpful in deciding if WWOOFing is right for you, especially as this function is blocked behind requiring a paid membership. One of the great things about the internet and social media is the ability to connect with so many people around the world, and learn about their experiences.
If you want to ask some questions about WWOOFing in the US, but don’t want to go directly to the website, there is an unofficial Reddit sub you can check out! This sub is for all WWOOF organizations, so not specific to the US branch, but you can peruse past posts to get more of a feel for the organization, as well as other peoples’ experiences.
WWOOF USA Coupon Code
While WWOOF USA does not have designated coupon codes on their website, they do occasionally offer discount codes on membership through their social media. Be sure to follow their Twitter page for updates on WWOOF USA, as well as the opportunity to catch any coupon codes as they’re posted!
So should you WWOOF in the usa?
If you’re interested in working on a farm in the US, and learning about organic farming there, it might be worth it for you to check out WWOOF USA!
Whether you’re looking for adventure in a specific state, or looking to travel around the US while giving back to sustainable farms, there are plenty of opportunities for you to explore. WWOOF USA is a great resource for finding ways to volunteer abroad in a specific environment, especially if you’re interested in organic farming, but be aware that all arrangements are your responsibility.
If WWOOFing in the US isn’t of interest to you, make sure to check out WWOOF organizations in other countries, as opportunities exist around the world, though they are run through separate organizations.
If you’ve found a WWOOF USA experience, or are still trying to decide where you should go on one, be sure to also check out Pilot to help you plan your way there, and find exciting things to do while you explore the US when your WWOOF adventure is done!