Programs & Resources for Farmers
Organic Growers School’s programs provide a forum for farmers to build strong peer-to-peer networks for skill sharing, problem solving, and mentoring for success.
Free Database of WNC Farms • Available Year-Round
Apprentice Link connects people who are serious about learning sustainable farming with farmers who are willing to teach them in an apprenticeship setting. Apprentice Link focuses on farms in Western North Carolina that participate in the CRAFT program.
OGS offers a variety of consulting services with hourly follow-up support and reduced fees available, including 1) assessment of land that you own or want to purchase; 2) assessment of your farm, garden, or homestead; and 3) guidance for your land-based project.
April 2020 - October 2020 • Times & Locations Vary
WNC Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) is a farmer-led effort to bring established farmers, farm apprentices, and aspiring farmers together for year-long training in the art and science of sustainable agriculture.
October 2021 – September 2022 • Now Offered Virtually
Farm Beginnings® Year-Long Farmer Training is a 200+ hour comprehensive training, networking, and mentoring program led by farmers in around the Southern Appalachian community. The program will help you build the skills to start and expand your own successful farm business through coursework, conferences, farm tours, and one-on-one mentorship.
Fall Dates TBD • Online
If you’re in the exploratory stages of starting your own farm, this entry-level workshop is designed just for you. You will receive practical, common-sense information on sustainable farming and hear from experienced farmers running successful farms in WNC.
March - April 2021 • Six-Part Webinar Series
Growing a viable farm business is sustained by continuous learning of the land and your products. In this workshop series, growers across Southern Appalachia will gain tools to manage their crop production for whole-farm success. Workshops in each location will feature farmers and agricultural experts from the area. Participants will be able to build a network with experienced growers who know farming and the land.
Virtual Program with Optional Gatherings
Journeyperson helps farmers expand and improve their farm business by planning smartly and going in deeper to analyze their individual business needs. We’ll take a dive into holistic financial planning, revising goals and values, and detailed enterprise analysis, all based on a solid foundation of your own farm numbers. The program is designed for farmers who have been independently farming for 3 or more years and are serious about operating their farm business.
February 2021 – February 2022 • One-on-One Farmer Mentorship
Mentor Services supports beginning and intermediate farmers by partnering them with experienced regional farmers who can provide them with one-on-one practical planning skills in the areas of farm design and production, marketing and business development, systems management, and connect them to the regional farming community. By serving as Mentors, regional farmers will be able to pass on the skills and knowledge that they possess to other farmers and help to build collaboration and community among the farming community.
March 13-21, 2021 • Online
The Spring Conference is a one-of-a-kind event that offers regionally specific workshops on organic growing and sustainable living. We will open registration and publish the 2021 schedule, class and workshop descriptions, and instructor bios in mid-December 2020.
Online Library • Available Year-Round
A free repository of useful information, resources, tools, and support organizations for organic and sustainable farmers in the Southern Appalachians.
OGS Farmer Programs are made possible by our farmer network and our funding partners: CLIF bar Family Foundation, Southern Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education UNFI Foundation, WNC Bridge Foundation, Harry Chapin Foundation, Walnut Cove, New Visions, and USDA Rural Development. Our Growth Partners (year-round program support) are: Carolina Farm Credit, Earth Tools, Buchi, Living Web Farms, Gaia Herbs and Chelsea Green Publishing. Our Media Sponsors are WNCW, Asheville FM and BPR. .