Our Funding Partners

The following funding partners support OGS to offer affordable farmer training programs.

usda logoThe USDA offers funding through their Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). Beginning farmer education for adult and young audiences in the United States can be generally traced back to the advent of the 1862 and the 1890 Morrill Land Grant Acts. But for the first time, USDA appropriated $75 million for FY 2009 to FY 2012 to develop and offer education, training, outreach and mentoring programs to enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers. The Agriculture Act of 2014 provided an additional $20 million per year for 2014 through 2018. The reasons for the renewed interest in beginning farmer and rancher programs are: the rising average age of U.S. farmers, the 8% projected decrease in the number of farmers and ranchers between 2008 and 2018, and the growing recognition that new programs are needed to address the needs of the next generation of beginning farmers and ranchers. OGS received a development grant in 2015 which supported all of our Farmer Programs.


CBFF_logoClif Bar Family Foundation was started in 2006 to support grassroots groups with inspiring ideas and limited funds. They believe in the wisdom of starting small, seeing what works, and growing it genuinely. Clif Bar Family Foundation supports innovative small and mid-sized groups working to strengthen our food system and our communities, enhance public health, and safeguard our environment and natural resources. Their theory of positive change is straightforward. Just as they celebrate the interconnections among their funding priorities, they seek to build interconnections among their grantees and support groups that leverage relationships to enhance their influence.


UNFI logoUNFI promotes healthy, organic food systems. They are proud to fund innovative new programs that support the development of healthy, organic foods and food practices, and the health of our planet. We support organizations that work to: Increase organic agriculture, Provide research and science to develop organic farming practices, Protect the biodiversity of our seed supply and the stewardship of genetic resources of organic seed, Teach organic farming practices that promote conservation of resources, Foster the next generation of organic farmers. They accept grant applications from eligible 501(c)(3) organizations based in the United States. In 2014, they gave $698,000 to 53 non-profits committed to organic and sustainable agriculture.


cfwnc_webThe Community Foundation of Western North Carolina inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina. Their vision is a vibrant 18-county region where all people can find opportunity and enjoy the region’s many resources. Their Food & Farming Focus Area supports the revitalization of a sustainable local food system in Western North Carolina while preserving our mountain farm heritage. The goals of this focus area are 1. To increase opportunities for local farmers and food entrepreneurs that support the sustainability and profitability of WNC farms, and 2. Address food insecurity and facilitate nutrition and healthy eating for all.


simply-organic-alone-webThe Simply Organic 1% Fund supports and promotes the growth of organic and sustainable agriculture. The types of projects they support include:

  • Research into organic production methods and crop improvement
  • Educating farmers on organic growing techniques, certification standards and documentation
  • Educating the public on the value of organic agriculture
  • Developing projects that help organic farmers increase efficiency and produce better, more valuable products