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.
Year-Round Training Program
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 2019 – September 2020 • Times and Locations Vary
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.
2019 dates to be determined
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.
Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 • 10:00AM–6:00PM • Mills River, NC
Accessing land is one of the most complex financial decisions you’ll make as a farmer. Join National Young Farmers Coalition, Organic Growers School, and Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy for a workshop designed to prepare early career farmers to approach land access with confidence.
Future 2019 dates to be announced • Alexander, NC
This 6-hour workshop will showcase how to structure labor on a small farm through the eyes of established regional farmers. Legal and financial considerations will be highlighted and discussed to better understand which labor structure best fits your farming model.
Friday–Sunday, Mar. 6-8 2020 • Mars Hill University
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 2019 schedule, class and workshop descriptions, and instructor bios in mid-December 2018.
OGS Farmer Programs are made possible by our farmer network and our funding partners: USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, Grant #2016-70017-25341, USDA Rural Business Development Program, Community Foundation of WNC, Polk County Community Foundation, CLIF Bar Family Foundation Our Growth Partners (year-round program support) are: Carolina Farm Credit, Earth Tools, Biltmore Company, Buchi, Living Web Farms, and Chelsea Green Publishing. Our Media Sponsors are Hendersonville Community Co-op, and WNCW.