A year-long program

Individualized to meet you where you are
in your farm business journey

 

Starting a farm is a formidable challenge, but keeping a farm business going, growing and thriving is even harder! The Journeyperson Program is designed for farmers who have been independently farming for 3 or more years, and are serious about operating farm businesses in the Southern Appalachian region. This program will give you the space and time to work on your business while making connections that deepen your peer-to-peer support.

 

 This 12-month program starts in November 2021 and ends in October 2022.

All applicants who apply by October 7th will receive FREE TUITION!

 

You will also be entered into a Lottery for a Savings Incentive Program.

 

 

What does this mean?

One of the main challenges of beginning farmers is affording the infrastructure and equipment to help farming be more efficient and profitable. We want to help you capitalize your farm. Two farms will be randomly selected (of those who apply by October 5th) to get up to $1000 matched in the Savings Incentive Program. This savings can be put towards the purchase of a farm asset.

For example, if you save $1000 during the course, you get matching funds of $1000 from Organic Growers School, for a total of $2000 to purchase a farm asset. Participants will be selected at the beginning of class.

Apply by October 5th and if accepted, pay NO tuition and get entered into the lottery to receive matched savings funds!

Qualifications

 

Eligible applicants have:

  • A minimum of three years independently farming 
  • A demonstrated commitment to farming in the Southern Appalachian region
  • Production goals of feeding their community and region
  • A demonstrated commitment to sustainable practices

 

Although not required, The Journeyperson Program is best suited for applicants that have the following: 

  • Secure medium to long-term land tenure (such as owned land or a lease contract)
  • A focus on livestock and/or crop production for direct-to-consumer and/or wholesale markets
  • An established farm business that needs support to refine their vision, apply whole-farm planning practices and willingness to fully utilize the resources of the program

Program Components

 

OGS offers you a comprehensive package of support over 12 months:

  • 2 Webinar Trainings (Jan-Feb)
    • Holistic Financial Planning: January 9th and 10th Online with Cree Bradley of Chelsea Morning Farm
    • Advanced Enterprise Development: February 6th and 7th (online or in person TBD) with Holly Whiteside of Against the Grain Farm
  • Mentorship: Work with an experienced Farmer Mentor for individualized one-on-one support
  • Seasonal monthly virtual cohort meetings
  • WNC CRAFT Farmer Network: Membership and mentoring in a regional farmer network
  • Identify & connect with Regional resource providers (lenders, land access organizations, small business centers)
  • Discount Offers to OGS Services: 
    • 15% off of Sustainability Coaching & Consulting program for farm design and systems development
    • 15% off attendance at OGS Spring Conference
    • 15% off of any other OGS workshops
  •  

Curriculum & Schedule

TBD for 2021-22

Monthly Cohort Meet Ups:

Last Wednesday of each month 6:30 PM or time TBD

*If we can safely meet up in person, we will do so as an optional gathering for participants.

 

What is unique about this program?

Participants can use this program as a tangible step toward achieving their farm goals, and make significant contributions to the agricultural community and economy. This program is designed to give tailored guidance and support for your farm business to answer questions of: scale, market access, land access, risk management, understanding cash flow, and enterprise innovation. You will leave this program with a responsive, adaptable business plan to help your farm achieve long-term farm viability and resilience.

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: 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. .