Farm Beginnings: Year-Long Farmer Training. $100 Early-Bird Discount! Apply by August 1.

Farm Beginnings® Curriculum & Schedule

2017-2018 Farm Beginnings® Farmer Training is 210+ Hours including:

**Location of Winter Sessions: Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy Incubator Farm at 180 Mag Sluder Rd. Alexander, NC 28701 (just 15 minutes from Asheville, NC) View map here.

Read the Winter Course Descriptions here.
See full season 2017-2018 Course Schedule.

[After Farm Beginnings] we not only understand the importance of [setting our goals, record keeping and budgeting], but also have the tools we need to successfully and diligently keep up with our goals and achieve our dream. The connections that we have created through Farm Beginnings is what we cherish the most … We now 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. Farming is a beautiful lifestyle and we feel so lucky for all that we have everyday. But it is very hard work, and getting through it would not be the same without the amazing support system that we now are apart of.

Krista Wesch

2017 Farm Beginnings® Graduate, Co-Owner of New Roots Market Garden

Organic Growers School’s Farm Beginnings Farmer Training Program, 2017-2018 Schedule
Dates (2017-2018): Topics: Hrs.
Sunday, October 15 Winter Session 1: Orientation, Syllabus/Calendar Review, Intro to Holistic Goal, Intro to Food Systems 101  7
Wednesday, October 25 Winter Session 2: Holistic Management – Testing Decisions  3
Wednesday, November 8 Winter Session 3: Business Startup & Capitalization  3
Saturday, November 18 Winter Session 4: Intro to Food Systems 102 & Agroecology 101 & Soils  7
Wednesday, November 29 Winter Session 5: Financial Planning 101  3
Thursday, December 13 Winter Session 6: Financial Planning 102 – Enterprise Planning  3
Wednesday, January 10 Winter Session 7: Business Planning & Economy of Scale  3
Saturday, January 20 Winter Session 8: Agroecology 102 – Ecosystem Process #1 & #2  7
Winter Session 8: Financial Planning 103 – Cash Flow
Wednesday, January 31 Winter Session 9: Land Management and Use  7
Winter Session 9: Agroecology 103 – Ecosystem Process #3 & #4
Saturday, February 24 ASAP’s Business of Farming Conference  8
Saturday, February 10 Winter Session 10: Intro to Marketing
Wednesday, February 28 Winter Session 11: Buyer Panel  3
Friday, March 9 OGS Spring Conference: Pre-Conference Workshops  8
Saturday, March 10 OGS Spring Conference: Beginning Farmer Track  8
Sunday, March 11 OGS Spring Conference: Beginning Farmer Track  8
Wednesday, March 14 Snow Day
Wednesday, March 28 Winter Session 12: Growing Season Learning Plan  3
April Date TBD CRAFT Tour, Topic & Location TBD  4
May Date TBD CRAFT Tour, Topic & Location TBD  4
June Date TBD CRAFT Tour, Topic & Location TBD  4
April-November Date TBD SAHC Workshop Series – 7 or 8 two hour workshops throughout the summer & fall months  14
July Date TBD CRAFT Tour, Topic & Location TBD  4
August Date TBD CRAFT Tour, Topic & Location TBD  4
September Date TBD CRAFT Tour, Topic & Location TBD  4
TBD April – September Mentorship: One-on-one support from an advanced Mentor Farmer  10
Friday, September 1 Due Date for Farm Proposals
Friday, September 8 OGS Harvest Conference: Pre-Conference Workshops  8
Saturday, September 9 OGS Harvest Conference  8
Saturday, September 16 Farm Proposal Presentations & Graduation Celebration  8
Home Study Hours for Certification:  50
Total # of Hours: 210

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Nicole, Farmer Programs Coordinator, at

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.