BFRDP Projects

Organic Farming Program
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $366,976
Grant Program: 2014 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 and Delaware Valley University to train and support the next generation of organic farmers, with an emphasis on military veterans. Over the past three years, we have had success and received additional funding to continue our work in training the organic farmers of tomorrow.

The one-year certificate program mixes practical, experiential on-farm training and classroom-based curriculum to achieve three goals: (1) Equip new farmers, including military veterans, with the knowledge, skills and experience to operate a successful organic farm enterprise by developing, delivering and refining practical and classroom-based organic farming curricula. (2) Increase the number of successful organic farm enterprises in the mid-Atlantic region and beyond by providing business training for new organic farmers, introducing students to existing farmer-to-farmer networks and supporting farmers post-graduation through social and web-based media platforms. (3) Support military veterans in their transition to the civilian workforce by providing a dedicated program coordinator who is a military veteran, coordinating an informal mentoring network between established military veteran organic farmers and students, and ensuring all program costs for military veterans are covered.

The Organic Farming Program has graduated 13 students, 7 who were military veterans, in the past 3 years. Over all 22 students applied and attended at least one semester of the program. Most did not continue due to having their own farm and being to busy, or not being able to afford the program, financial aid was established for civilians in year two. Nine of the graduates have gone on to start their own organic farms in local region. The past 3 years we listened to the students and changed some aspects of the program, one significant change is having implemented an accredited organic livestock class to the Fall Semester. 

Number of Participants: 22


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