Farm Beginnings: Year-Long Farmer Training

How to Apply

Application Information

Applications will be reviewed by the OGS Farmer Programs team and accepted on the basis of applicant experience, farmer and farm readiness, and their stage in “The Farming Journey.” Each applicant will be asked to do an informal “interview” in-person or by phone to discuss the program and for us to get to know them better to see if Farm Beginnings is a match. We are currently not accepting applications, as we have started our 2016 class. We will begin accept applications again in June of 2017.

The course fee of $2500 applies to a farm unit (1-2 individuals who are business partners, family members or life partners). The program allows two partners who apply and are accepted together to benefit from the dual enrollment. Space is limited to 10 applicants and a partner (business partner, family member, life partner). This keeps participation to a maximum of 20 people, optimizing interaction between students, instructors, and guest speakers.

Requirements for admission include:

  • Dedication to a full-time or part-time farming career
  • A commitment to participate in a minimum of 12-20 hours of training per month
  • Willingness to be a learner, to make this investment and commitment, make time to read, think, plan, dream, and integrate. Your engagement is crucial.
  • Transportation to attend classes near Asheville and at other nearby farm locations
  • 6 months minimum experience doing farm/garden work or physical labor of some kind

Who should apply?

People considering: full-time farming; farming part-time while continuing other employment, changing careers to start farming, developing an existing agricultural hobby into a more serious business activity, re-evaluating an existing farm business. Complete the Farm Beginnings “Farming Journey” questionnaire to determine the best place for you to plug into our training programs.

How do I apply?

Fill out an application and send it in via mail or email. We are currently not accepting applications, as we have started our 2016 class. We will begin accept applications again in June of 2017.

MS Word Format (all three documents must be completed):

Where do I submit my application?

Mail to Organic Growers School PO Box 17804 Asheville, NC 28816. You can also email the application to as an attachment.

How do I pay the course fee?

If accepted in Farm Beginnings, the course fee is due either in full or as a down payment by October 1st to secure your spot in the course. Payments can be made online via credit card or via check. Checks must be RECEIVED by October 1st.  We will provide further instructions for making payment following acceptance in the program.

Contact Nicole DelCogliano, Farmer Programs Coordinator, at 828-284-7715 or email

OGS Farmer Programs are made possible by our farmer network and funding in part by the Community Foundation of WNC,  CLIF Bar Family Foundation, Organic Valley, Simply 1%, Carolina Farm Credit, French Broad Food Co-op, and by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of USDA-NIFA, Grant #2016-70017-25341