Journey Person: Farm beginnings in a virtual age
By: Nicole Delcogliano September| 29, 2020
When you are a beginning farmer, there are so many new things you are learning and managing each day, from crops, pests, markets and equipment. I know the power of farmer connections and peer to peer support in March as the pandemic exploded and WNC shut down markets and marketing channels, while at the same time producing an increased feeling of food insecurity and demand for local food from farms.
A beginning farmer is considered someone who has been farming 10 years or less, but even after the first few years or year 10, farmers continue to need support. Organic Growers School is launching our Journeyperson Program, designed for farmers who have been farming on their own for at least 3 years. This program will offer specific and tailored support for your farm business, among a cohort of farmer peers who are experiencing many similar struggles. OGS will offer virtual retreats over 15 months plus mentor-ship services for advanced beginning farmers, who may have figured out growing practices and crop planning, but are still struggling with creating profit, balancing personal needs and life, labor concerns and ongoing volatile marketing channels. Cree Bradley, a farmer from Chelsea Morning Farm of MN will teach our inaugural retreat, Holistic Financial Planning, a workshop she has shared with us in the past, which participants said, “This is so very relevant to what I need and where I am with the farm and family finances. It was great to have Cree explain her personal experiences with HFP and how she uses the planning on her farm.”
The Journeyperson program will offer additional training’s on enterprise analysis, marketing and improving farm communication among team members and owners. Invest in the long term success and viability of your farm business. Applications open now, deadline November 15th, 2020.
Author: Nicole DelCogliano
Nicole DelCogliano is Farmer Program Coordinator at OGS. She teaches the year long Farm Beginnings program to new and beginning farmers. She also farms in Yancey County with her husband, at Green Toe Ground farm.