BFRDP Projects

Organic Farming Program
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $498,706
Grant Program: 2017 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Jeff Moyer
Organization: Rodale Institute


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

The Organic Farming Program is a collaboration between Rodale Institute (NGO) and Delaware Valley University, to train and support the next generation of organic farmers, focusing on military veterans. The one-year certificate program mixes practical, experiential on-farm training and classroom, field and greenhouse-based curriculum to achieve three goals: (1) Equip new farmers with  knowledge, skills and experience to operate a successful organic farm enterprise; (2) Increase the number of successful organic farm enterprises in the mid-Atlantic region  and beyond through business training, connecting students with farmer-to-farmer networks and supporting graduates through web-based media platforms; (3) Support military veterans  transitioning to civilian workforce by dedicating a  program coordinator with military background and coordinating a mentoring network with established military veteran organic farmers. 

The Organic Farming Program, launched in  2012-13,  is currently partially supported by an FY 2017 BFRDP Grant, Number 2017-70017-26843 (Moyer/Ricotta).  First cohort graduate feedback suggested that risk reduction was a critical component to successful new farm enterprises. The existing program will be strengthened by guaranteeing access to land, infrastructure, equipment and mentoring services upon certificate completion. Trainings include:  basic livestock and crop farming practices, entrepreneurship and business; financial and risk management, diversification and marketing, and farm safety. The program prepares students to launch their own farm enterprises and generates  a regional organic farmer support network to ensure future viability of their farm businesses.

* Other collaborating organizations not on PD list: The Seed Farm Agricultural Incubator, Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education, and Common Ground Farm and Retreat      

Number of Participants: 32


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success