Organic Growers School: Farm Beginnings

Tuition & Scholarships

Email nicole@organicgrowersschool.org with questions.

*Please be sure to submit your Farm Beginnings® application before completing the scholarship application.

Tuition Cost

Cost: $3000 per farm for the 2022-2023 class, for up to 2 farm partners*

Early Bird Discount if application received by August 6th ($100 off tuition)

*There are work-trade, scholarship, and payment plans available.

Scholarships

Organic Growers School aims to create affordable, broadly accessible programs while at the same time providing fair wages to our farmer instructors and dedicated staff. Financial Aid for Farm Beginnings® is limited, and priority is given to Black, Indigenous, and beginning farmers of color, LGBTQ+, and other socially disadvantaged individuals.

We encourage you to consider a Payment Plan is your first option for financial support. Also, see our list of Other Financial Aid Resources below. If requesting funding from OGS is necessary, we ask you to consider what would be a stretch, but not a strain, for you to invest in your education. We will consider the applicant’s level of community involvement and engagement in work related to social justice and sustainable agriculture in Southern Appalachia.

 

Eligibility Guidelines

  • Financial need
  • Passion and capacity for farming
  • Ability and willingness to give back to the program
  • Understanding the value of this farmer training education

 

Submit a scholarship application simultaneously as your Farm Beginnings® application; if you submit your application online, follow the link at the end of your application to apply for a scholarship. You will then be prompted to submit the scholarship application questions. If farm partners reside together and share finances, both parties need to submit financial information.

Work-Trade

We offer a few work-trade spots for an additional tuition discount. Please indicate on the application if you are interested in this. Work-trade entails committing to agreed-upon tasks to assist OGS, such as online support during class, help with in-person room set-up and clean-up during in-person events, OGS marketing tasks for other events as needed, etc. This option ONLY applies to Farm Beginnings® students.* The work trade is based on a living wage of $17.30/hour, and we offer 16 hours of trade.

Payment Plans

Payment plans are available and allow participants to pay the Farm Beginnings® fee in 4 installments. The first payment is due by October 10, 2022, after receiving your letter of acceptance to secure your spot in the class. Payment plans will be signed and managed by the finance coordinator.

Down payment due: October 10, 2022

Subsequent payments are due in November, December, and January, or as otherwise agreed upon. Payments can be made by check, debit, or credit card. There is a $15 fee for late or missed payments.

Please let us know if you are interested, and we will make arrangements for you to pay via check or online automatic withdrawals. Contact nicole@organicgrowersschool.org for more information. 

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Cancellation of a Farm Beginnings® registration before October 15 will result in a return of half of your deposit. No refunds are available after October 15. If you cannot attend for any reason, you may reserve your spot in the next year’s Farm Beginnings® course. Tuition credit is valid through November 1, 2022. If you have to withdraw during the course, refunds cannot be made. If you are unable to attend the 2022-2023 course, we are happy to send you documentation so that your tuition fee can be recorded as a tax-deductible contribution to the ongoing work of the Organic Growers School.

Please contact Nicole at nicole@organicgrowersschool.org for any cancellation and transfer requests.

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

OGS Farmer Programs are made possible by our farmer network and our funding partners: Blooming Prairie Foundation, Community Foundation of WNC, CLIF Bar Family Foundation, Cornell Douglas Foundation, Harry Chapin Foundation, New Visions Foundation, Patagonia, Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, UNFI Foundation, Walnut Cove Members Association, WNC Bridge Foundation, and USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Award #2021-70033-35717. Our Growth Partners (year-round program support) are: Carolina Farm Credit, Buchi,  Living Web Farms, and Gaia Herbs. Our Media Sponsors are WNCW, Asheville FM and Blue Ridge Public Radio.

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