Our mission is to advance organic agriculture and sustainable living in the Southern Appalachian region by gathering people to teach, learn and celebrate together.
We envision a mutually supportive network of thriving communities and prosperous farmers throughout the Southern Appalachians.
Our History & Work: The Organic Growers School is a 501c3 non-profit organization that grew out of the volunteer efforts of a group of farmers and extension specialists who, in 1993, gathered to discuss the need for nuts and bolts, region-specific crop growing information applicable for farmers in Western North Carolina. From this meeting, OGS was born, along with a mission to deliver practical information about organic agriculture at a reasonable price.
The first Organic Growers School Spring Conference was held in 1993, with just over 100 participants. Since then, the event has grown exponentially. In 2012, 1906 farmers, gardeners, educators, students, consumers, and chefs gathered from over 18 states and Canada, making the OGS Spring Conference the largest event of it’s type in the Southeast.
In addition to a successful Spring Conference, the OGS offers educational opportunities for organic farmers all year long through our farmer education initiative. CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) in both western NC and eastern TN gathers farmers and their workers together for peer-to-peer, hands on learning about farm production and business management. Apprentice Link matches farmers to farmworkers and offers consultation about structuring labor on the farm.