Want to farm?
12-Month, Farmer-Led Training Program
*Please be sure to submit your Farm Beginnings application before completing the scholarship application.
Farm Beginnings® is training the next generation of farmers in the many skills required to start and expand a successful farm business: passion, clear goals, production experience, financial and marketing know-how, and more. Farm Beginnings® will help you build these skills through one year of farmer-led training, mentoring, and networking. We support individuals in clarifying their goals and strengths, developing agricultural skills, and growing profitable, equitable, and ecologically sound farm businesses. We use a holistic management frame, farmer-led classroom sessions, on-farm tours, mentoring, and an extensive farmer network. The topics of equity and justice in the food systems are woven into the curriculum, including examples of realistic approaches within the scope of your business models. Guided by our commitment to social justice, our programming is led by farmers and mentors active in food, farming, or social justice. By empowering people with skills, knowledge, and access to resources, together we can build a more diverse, equitable food system that enriches the environment and creates a thriving food and farming community.
Although students do not need to own land, some farming or production experience is required to get the most out of the program.
2022-2023 Farm Beginnings® Farmer Training includes:
(This is the previous class schedule, which will be updated once finalized for the upcoming year.)
- Winter Course Schedule & Descriptions 2021-2022
(October – March)
- ASAP’s Business of Farming Conference
- OGS Spring Conference
- Mentorship with an experienced Farmer Mentor
15 hours (February/ March – September)
- Production Training
45 hours (April – October):
- WNC CRAFT tours on sustainable farms around WNC
- Field Days with regional partner Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy Community Farm
- One-year WNC CRAFT Farmer Network membership
The connections that we have created at New Roots through Farm Beginnings® is what we cherish the most. During this program, many different farmers took the time to share their stories, mistakes, successes and business models with us. These stories helped us in making many of our own first-time decisions. Now, we have a network of dear friends whom we can call on if we ever have a problem, need assistance, or just simply to talk, vent, and relate.
We are so appreciative to the Farmer Programs team [at OGS]! From the beginning and throughout the interactions we’ve had over the course of the program, you have helped us feel so supported and confident. Thank you!
Farm Beginnings® Farmer Training is approved by the US Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) as an Education Vendor. As a Farm Beginnings® Graduate, your training counts as a year of farm management experience when you apply for a farmland loan through the Farm Service Agency.
For questions, please contact our Director of Programs & Human Resources, Nicole DelCogliano, at email@example.com
OGS Farmer Programs are made possible by our farmer network and our funding partners: Blooming Prairie Foundation, Community Foundation of WNC, CLIF Bar Family Foundation, Cornell Douglas Foundation, Harry Chapin Foundation, New Visions Foundation, Patagonia, Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, UNFI Foundation, Walnut Cove Members Association, WNC Bridge Foundation, and USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Award #2021-70033-35717. Our Growth Partners (year-round program support) are: Carolina Farm Credit, Buchi, Living Web Farms, and Gaia Herbs. Our Media Sponsors are WNCW, Asheville FM and Blue Ridge Public Radio.