For 12 years, the Kneading Conference (July 25 and 26) and Bread Fair (July 27) have been held at a fairgrounds-type environment where the Maine Grain Alliance Board of Directors, Staff, and Work Study people have transformed buildings and pavement to a wonderful three day event (www.kneadingconference.com). This year, we have decided to host the Kneading Conference at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield, ME, just 15 minutes from our location in Skowhegan, ME. We decided to move for a number of reasons, most importantly, the array of their facilities is exciting. We are currently working on presenters and how and where they would be located on the KVCC campus. This spring, a team of work study veterans will be figuring out how all of this works to make an efficient backdrop for the Kneading Conference.

Does this sound like a great adventure? Do you like to be in on something new and to help make it memorable? Do you like to learn?

Here’s what we know….

We need help supporting the Kneading Conference and Bread Fair. Registration is typically $325, but for some elbow grease and $100, we invite you to apply for a work study position. The $100 fee includes attending workshops, free camping, all meals, a chance to work with famous bakers, millers, brewers, oven builders, and to be part of our mission, to promote grain traditions from earth to table.

Beginning at 11 AM on Wednesday, you will join the event coordinators in setting up for the Kneading Conference.  Because we are currently unsure of the extent of set up at KVCC, we are looking for people who can pitch in wherever needed.   Then you will be invited to attend the Presenters Dinner to meet and greet with presenters before the conference begins.

During the Thursday and Friday of the Kneading Conference, you will rotate among jobs designed to help registrants and presenters.  These jobs include helping in the kitchen (from preparation, serving, through dish washing and clean up), assisting presenters and being ambassadors for MGA. You will probably work 4-6 hours on both Thursday and Friday.

The Bread Fair will still be held at the Skowhegan Fairgrounds and we will need to move equipment, tables, and miscellaneous to the Fairgrounds on Friday afternoon/evening. This may take 6 hours and some energy and enthusiasm. As work study, we will join together for dinner that night at the Fairgrounds.

On Saturday morning, you will have a delicious breakfast and you will finish setting up for the Bread Fair and help in the various MGA sponsored booths and areas:  parking, pizza-production, baking education, bread booth, information booth.  At the conclusion of the Bread Fair, you will help return all of the equipment to its original location and work will be complete by 5-6 PM. You will have time to enjoy visiting the many vendors at the Bread Fair, but you will work approximately 6-8 hours that day. You may also be asked to distribute flyers and posters in the months leading up to the conference.

While Work/Study people work hard (20-24 hours over the four days), our previous members have enjoyed being on the “inside”, have had great access to the people in the field, have learned through attending several workshops, and have created useful networks.  Plus, we have a good time!

I have to admit that I was nervous before the weekend began, so many talented bakers and professionals in one place — the accumulated acumen was dizzying and I was prepared to feel a bit out of place. My assumptions, per usual, did not prove to be true. The open, welcoming air put off by every MGA board member immediately put my mind at ease. I was truly afraid of feeling like an outsider, and that wasn’t the case for a moment during the week. The event felt more like a celebration — presenters, board members, and other work study members coming together to educate and rejoice in our shared love of food. While I learned a lot about oven building, pasta rolling, and donut frying — the friends and connections I established left me feeling truly grateful for the opportunity. While I’m incredibly inspired to bake, eat, and write about food, I must admit my biggest takeaway from the week has to be the relationships formed. I made friends for life, and learned how to properly glaze a donut.” –

Mike Hicks, 2018 Work Study

Apply Now Online

If you prefer to print this application download a copy 2018 Work Study Application here. (pdf)  Please mail to:

Maine Grain Alliance
Attn:  Work Study
P. O. Box 1140
Skowhegan, ME  04976

Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

Note about applying for work/study: if accepted into the program, please mail your check to the Maine Grain Alliance address listed above.

Full payment is required to reserve your spot in the work/study program.  Many hands make lighter work, please pay promptly within 30 days so we can ensure enough hands on deck! If you are  accepted but your check is not received within 30 days, we will offer your spot to the next person on the waiting list.

For more information, please contact Tristan, tristan@mainegrainalliance.com.  Be sure to check out “What To Expect“.

Please note: Cancellations before July 18th will be reimbursed less a $25 administration fee. Cancellations after July 18th do not receive a refund. Exceptions for outstanding circumstances are made on a case by case basis.