Instructors

Organic Growers School: Farm Beginnings

Audio Clips

Kimberly Hunter

Kimberly Hunter

Kimberly Hunter Teacher and Co Facilitator

What do you get when you combine a cooperative developer providing real estate brokerage services who is passionate about water, agriculture, people, and equity? A cooperative real estate developer. Like most humans, I am much more than the titles, education, failures and accomplishments I have attained. I think what is most important to know about me is I opened my first business after moving to Asheville over 16 years ago. I knew three people, had never owned a business, and somehow it worked out.
Over the past 16 years I have meandered through these mountains by hike, by hobble, by car and by air. I have tread hundreds of acres of farm land, businesses, attended hundreds of place based events in streets, apartments, backyards, rooftops, farms, recycling centers, manufactured homes, and mansions.
My real estate “style” is relationships. Properties can be researched, updated, bought, sold, traded, and anything else you can think of…but relationships are priceless. To me, everyone has a right to ownership because everyone has a right to stay where they can build a life of meaning.
Contact: Kimmy Hunter 828-702-7842 kimmy@reiwnc.com

 

Chantelle V Johnson

Chantelle V Johnson

Chantel V. Johnson Off Grid in Color

Off Grid In Color (OGIC)  is a Black-Woman owned business. We like to describe OGIC as a “Homestead Sanctuary for Health and Wellness.” We’re more than a farm. Our mission is to encourage people to take steps towards greater self-sufficiency through farm raised goods, doula services, and community outreach. Our work is based in community, racial equity, and respect for mother earth. We are located in Moncure, NC where we focus on livestock production. 

Cee Stanley

Cee Stanley

Clarenda “Cee” Stanley Green Heffa Farm

Clarenda “Farmer Cee” Stanley is a fifth-generation farmer, originally from Anne Manie, Alabama. Although she  did not set out in life to follow on her family’s agrarian path, in 2017, she found herself returning to her roots as the CEO of Green Heffa Farms (GHF), a medicinal plant and hemp farm in Liberty, NC. As one of the first black women to be licensed in North Carolina, she was selected as the 2019 Featured Farmer for Hemp History Week, the nation’s largest grassroots campaign for the federal legalization of industrial hemp. She has been featured in more than 200 national and international publications, including April’s Oprah O Magazine, and is a frequent  speaker at national conferences.

Cee earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a Master’s Degree in Education from Troy University. She was selected by her peers as the 2016 Fundraiser of the Year for the Triangle Chapter of the Association for Fundraising Professionals, and in 2017 she received the C-Suite Award for Nonprofit Leadership. In addition, Cee has earned the coveted designation of Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE)

Kendrick Ransome

Kendrick Ransome

Kendrick Ransome Golden Organic Farm

Kendrick Ransome is a farmer at Golden Organic Farm, growing natural and organic produce to increase the overall health of rural communities. He is an instructor at Agriculture-Athlete Camp & Program and hopes to inspire more youth to consider agricultural careers, ultimately increasing the black farmers in America.

Danielle Hutchison

Danielle Hutchison

Beacon Village

Beacon Village Farm is family-owned and operated by Mike and Danielle Hutchison. Equipped with more than a decade of agricultural experience and education, the pair has been growing produce for the local community on land in Black Mountain and Old Fort since 2012. Mike and Danielle are dedicated to growing high-quality annual vegetables, while cultivating a viable farm operation where the couple is able to teach their two sons, Coen and Max to grow, learn and live sustainably. By participating in the New Sprout Network Grower program which sells organic produce to regional wholesale markets, Beacon Village Farm has been able to expand from one sustainably grown acre in production in 2014 to over thirty certified organic acres in production in 2017!

Dallas Robinson

Dallas Robinson

Harriet Tubman Freedom Farm

Born in Nashville, Tennessee and raised in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Dallas grew up talking to plants and watching worms in the soil of the backyard. Studying geography at Vassar College revealed the destruction and harm of the globalized food system. This learning struck a chord -buying food had become something scary.

New consumer habits lead to wanting to homestead which encouraged Dallas to apply for the BIPOC FIRE immersion program at Soul Fire Farm. In this week-long intensive, Dallas learned the beautiful heritage of African and Indigenous agriculture that has shaped the US food system. Here, the inspiration for the Harriet Tubman Freedom Farm was ignited. Dallas spent the next 2 years apprenticing, studying, and digging in the soil (rain or shine) to increase knowledge and skill. After completing Farm Beginnings in September of 2019, Dallas moved home to lay the groundwork for the Harriet Tubman Freedom Farm. In between learning how to grow food and run a business, Dallas began facilitating a social justice education workshop series.

Dallas hopes to share in the joy and beauty of agriculture while acknowledging the history of abuse of the land and people through theft, enslavement, racism, and environmental destruction. For Dallas farming is a direct response to the trauma and disparity this history has caused, and education is a means to transform this power.

Sara Jane & Jamie Davis

Sara Jane & Jamie Davis

A Way of Life Farm

Sara Jane and Jamie started A Way of Life Farm in 2009 and have since added two boys, Alder and William, to the scene. We grow vegetables, strawberries and pasture-raised pork for sale. This commercial production fits within a broader permaculture design that also includes the development of fruit and nut orchards and mushroom production. In addition, we have perennials including blueberries, blackberries, and a wide array of home-use fruit trees, as well as bees. A combination of sustainable practices including bio-intensive raised beds, cover cropping, Kinsey-Albrecht method, keyline plowing, Holistic Management, and permaculture design are used throughout our land. About 90% of our time is spent growing vegetables. We start our own vegetable transplants from seed and propagate perennials in a permanent greenhouse. Over 30 types of vegetables and herbs are grown primarily outdoors in raised beds. We also grow tomatoes, cucumbers, and winter greens in a large hoophouse and other veggies in low-tech, movable caterpillar tunnels. A tractor is used for initial bed preparation, but most of our work—planting, weeding, harvesting—is done with hand tools. We both work full time on the farm, selling our products through farmers’ markets, CSAs, restaurants, and wholesale.

Shiloh Avery & Jason Roehrig

Shiloh Avery & Jason Roehrig

Tumbling Shoals Farm

Shiloh Avery and Jason Roehrig farm at Tumbling Shoals Farm in Wilkes County, NC. Tumbling Shoals Farm is a certified organic vegetable and fruit operation with about four acres in production. Tumbling Shoals sells produce through an 80 family CSA, at the Watauga County Farmers Market, at the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market, through a multi-farm CSA, and to a few restaurant and grocery clients. Shiloh has been employed full-time on the farm since 2008 and Jason since 2010. The farm also now employs a crew of six seasonal workers. Shiloh and Jason moved to Wilkes County from Pittsboro, NC, where Shiloh attended Central Carolina Community College’s Sustainable Agriculture program and Jason was a program director at RAFI-USA—an agricultural non-profit. The two of them strive to practice sustainable farming, including being good environmental stewards, economically successful, and ensuring a good work environment for themselves and their employees.

Chris Link

Chris Link

Southern Appalachians Highlands Conservancy

Chris Link manages the operations on the trusts Community Farm. He works on building and sustaining the infrastructure, farmer education workshops, and the Beginning Farmer Incubator Program. Chris holds a degree in Planning & Landscape Architecture from Clemson University and a PDC from The Permaculture Institute. Previously, Chris farmed on a year-round CSA community land trust farm in New England, and then most recently on a small, bio-intensive farm in Bostic, NC. Both farms practiced organic methods and incorporated a variety of rotational livestock. Chris chose to learn at these specific farms because they demonstrate a symbiotic, productive relationship he sees as the future of sustainable land management, serving both the environment and the community.

Organic Growers School Staff & Facilitators

Nicole DelCogliano

Nicole DelCogliano

Farm Beginnings Facilitator

Nicole DelCogliano is the OGS Farmer Programs Coordinator. She and her husband, Gaelan, began their farm Green Toe Ground, a diversified organic farm in Celo, NC, more than 16 years ago. They’ve grown the farm over the years, and now manage 16 acres of diversified organic and biodynamic produce and livestock, train farm apprentices each year, and raise their two girls. Originally from NY, she has farmed and worked in education in NC for the last 20 years. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from State University at New Paltz in New York, and has a Masters in Sustainability from the Center for Appalachian Studies in Boone, NC.

Collaborators

William Hamilton

William Hamilton

William is the Co-Director of NC FarmLink, a NC State University Extension statewide program that links landowners with farmers.  The program offers a venue for landowners to expose farmers to land that they have available for lease, for sale, or for business partnership opportunities.  The program also offers land seekers a venue to create an online farmer profile so landowners can see who is looking for land.  Registered website users can see each others contact information. NC FarmLink offers personal support to landowners and farmers to assist in formulating fair and reasonable lease agreements, referrals to sound local agricultural advisors, and general ongoing support for landowners and farmers as related to farmland and land use decisions.

William comes to NC FarmLink with 12 years of experience as the Farmland Program Director at the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy where he specialized in raising funds for the facilitation of agricultural conservation easements.  He grew up at Hickory Nut Gap Farm where he currently lives with his wife Molly Hamilton and four children.  William has a BA in Environmental Studies from Warren Wilson College and a Masters in Forestry from NC State University.
NC FarmLink website: https://ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.ed

For questions, please contact our Director of Programs & Human Resources, Nicole DelCogliano, at nicole@organicgrowersschool.org

Thanks to our Media Sponsors for 2020!

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. .