BFRDP Projects

Building a Regional Coalition in the Heart of Appalachia to Enhance Beginning Farmer Education with Experience in the Field
[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $473,915
Grant Program: 2017 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Kathlyn Terry
Organization: Appalachian Sustainable Development


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

The Coalition continues to improve start-up opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers to establish and sustain viable agricultural operations and communities. 4 objectives are being met in the following ways:

1. Enhance Regional Coordination: The Coalition has increased networking and communication channels through quarterly meetings, an active working relationship between the Program Coordinators, and the development of a mentor learning infrastructure that was successfully executed in years 1 and 2. 

2. Whole Farm and Local Market Education: ARC&D’s Field School had 33 participating students in year 2. 3 demonstration sites developed in year 1 continued in year 2 to showcase the challenges and benefits of wholesale organic production.  This year, over 7,000 lbs. of produce was harvested and approximately 312 individuals visited the sites.

3. Internship-Mentorship Network: Farmer and Rancher Mentoring (FARM) was created for adult and youth beginning farmers. In year 2, 10 adult interns participated on 8 mentor farms. 8 interns completed the program; 2 worked together to grow and harvest their mentor farms first hemp crop, 2 created their own branding for the produce they grew to sell at market and 1 plans to rent a stand at a local farmers market to begin selling products from their own farming operation. 6 youth interns participated on 6 mentor farms in year 2. All youth interns successfully completed the program.

4. Peer-to-Peer Circles: Peer learning circles are designed to create an educational and support network for farmers. A Women’s Farmer Roundtable was established in October 2018 in Tennessee and are still meeting regularly to date in 2019. In summer 2019, a new group was formed called the Beginning Farmer Roundtable. It is made up of FARM mentors and interns. They gathered once on a mentor farm in Meadowview, VA for a pot luck meal and a farm tour.

Number of Participants: 528


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