BFRDP Projects

Appalachian Resource Conservation and Development
[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $407,995
Grant Program: 2021 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Susan McKinney
Organization: Appalachian RC&D Council


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

Through the Field School Beginning Farmer Training Program, the Appalachian RC&D Council (ARCD) did 1) increase the number of new farm startups and enhance the financial sustainability of beginning farm operations; 2) support the creation of communities of support and practice among veteran, women, and socially disadvantaged beginning farmers; 3) increase the utilization of USDA and State farmer support, grant, and cost-share programs; 4) increase the implementation of sustainable production methods by beginning farmers; 5) increase access to affordable farm land and foster the transition of farmland to the next generation of farmers in the Appalachian Highlands region.  ARCD met these goals through a combination of strategies, including 1) providing education, training, resources and support to beginning farmers through in-person and online workshops; 2) providing free one on one consulting on business and production planning; 3) facilitating opportunities for peer to peer learning and networking through Peer Learning Circles; 4) providing workshops for women and retiring landowners on creating long-term lease agreements, resource conservation practices, and conservation easements; and 5) increasing promotion and outreach about, and expanding the resources/information available on, the website.  In our first and second years of the beginning farmer and rancher development grant, through the Field School program, ARCD fostered 18 new farm start ups and reached 211 farmers with training and education. Of the beginning farmers reached, 82 reported an increase in knowledge, 77 reported an intention to make changes to their operations, and 61 reported making beneficial changes to their farm operations as a result of attending programming.

Number of Participants: 1037


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