WNC Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) is a farmer-led effort to bring established farmers, farm apprentices, and aspiring farmers together for a year long training in the art and science of sustainable agriculture, straight from the hearts, mouths, and fields of seasoned local farmers in Western North Carolina (WNC).
Not from our region? Visit www.craftfarmer.org to connect with a CRAFT group near you, or learn how to start your own!
The success of WNC CRAFT is simple—farmers learn best from other farmers. Farmer-driven and farmer-led, CRAFT cultivates successful farmers of all levels in Western NC. Benefits include the following:
On-farm tours & potlucks
Held monthly from April thru October that focus on a specific aspect of sustainable farming. Read about past WNC CRAFT farm tours on the OGS blog.
CRAFT Farming Handbook
Rich in farmer-generated, regionally specific information on all aspects of farming.
A place for farmers to come together to discuss advanced farming topics.
Social network and supportive community
Includes both farmers and farm workers and is built on a farmer-to-farmer exchange of ideas.
The Collabortive Regional Alliance for Farmer Training program…
Increases camaraderie between local farmers as forum for “shop talk” and idea-exchange.
Creates a support network for beginning and experienced farmers building community in the region.
Provides a social scene for farmers and their apprentices.
Expands your the training opportunities beyond your farm and methods, increasing the robustness of your apprenticeship offerings.
Helps you attract aspiring farmers to your apprenticeship positions, cultivating success and more promise for the future of our region’s agriculture.
Whether you’re a complete farming novice, working on a farm, starting your farm from scratch or adding a new enterprise, CRAFT can serve farmers and aspiring farmers of any experience level! Membership is open year-round, so you may join anytime. Membership fees range $20–48 per year and give members access to a wealth of summer farm tours, winter workshops, local farming resources, and a community of farmers.
Member Farms are farms who employ apprentices/interns, or employees they would like to include in CRAFT.
Associate Farms are farms who do not employ apprentices/interns.
Student Members are potential interns or non-farming parties who are interested in becoming apprentices.
Friends of CRAFT are non-farming community members with an interest in the program content.
If you have any questions about this program, please contact Cameron, Farmer Programs Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OGS Farmer Programs are made possible by our farmer network and funding in part by Carolina Farm Credit, Community Foundation of WNC, CLIF Bar Family Foundation, French Broad Food Co-op, New Belgium Brewing, Organic Valley - Farmers Advocating for Organic Farming, Simply Organic 1%, and by the USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, Grant #2016-70017-25341. Read more about Farmer Programs' Funding Partners here.