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 “Heart of Appalachia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition” has continued to improve start-up opportunities for a diversity of beginning farmers and ranchers to establish and sustain viable agricultural operations and communities.

Our 4 objectives are being met in the following ways:

1. Enhance Regional Coordination: The Heart of Appalachia Beginning Farmer and Rancher 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 implemented.

2. Whole Farm and Local Market Education: Appalachian RC&D’s Field School had 40 participating students in year 1. 3 demonstration sites were developed to showcase the challenges and benefits of wholesale organic production opportunities. During the 2018 season, over 2,500 pounds of produce was harvested and over 300 individuals visited the sites.

3. Internship-Mentorship Network: Farmer and Rancher Mentoring (FARM) was created for adult and youth beginning farmers. In year 1 of the adult mentorship, 5 adult interns participated on 5 mentor farms. Out of 5 interns, 4 completed the program, 1 made a farm purchase, 1 is managing a greenhouse that supplies a local restaurant, and 1 raised 92 chickens. In year 1 of the youth mentorship, 6 youth interns participated on 5 mentor farms. Out of the 5 interns, 4 completed the program and 2 have a goal to continue in the field.

4. Peer-to-Peer Circles: Peer learning circles are designed to create an educational and support network for beginning farmers. In year 1, a new Women’s Farmer Roundtable was established in Tennessee. They will begin meeting this winter.

The program is being implemented in the following counties:
TN:  Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Washington, and Unicoi
VA: Buchannon, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe

Number of Participants: 579


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