BFRDP Projects

Direct Markets: the Next Generation of Farmers
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $536,612
Grant Program: 2018 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Molly Nicholie
Organization: ASAP


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

The goal of this project was to enhance the viability of new and beginning farmers (NBFs) in WNC by providing them with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to start and/or grow successful farm operations focused on direct market opportunities. In achieving this goal, project activities provided NBFs with training, technical assistance, and resources to develop and implement direct marketing strategies in four key areas:

  • Marketing - we helped NBFs build and establish their farm brand (farm identity, values, story), and develop and implement a marketing plan (through communications and direct market channels). 150 NBFs learned and implemented new direct marketing strategies, project goal was 160.
  • Farm business planning - we helped NBFs use farm business financials and recordkeeping to manage and develop direct market business plan. 112 NBFs learned business planning/recordkeeping strategies, project goal was 100.
  • Production for direct markets - we helped NBFs develop applicable production planning and management strategies including crops/varieties to grow, food safety, post harvest handling, and pest/disease control options. 77 NBFs developed and/or implemented crop plans for direct market channels, project goal was 90.
  • Development of market opportunities - we helped drive consumer demand for, and connection to, direct market channels (CSA, agritourism, farmers markets). 231 NBFs participated in (and benefited from) print and radio direct market promotions featuring CSAs, farmers markets, farm tours, upick, and other direct markets, project goal was 160.

Despite the challenges introduced by the advent and continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to adapt workshop and resource content and format to meet the demands of an unprecedented time, it is apparent this approach to assisting New and Beginning Farmers (NBFS) in western North Carolina was ultimately successful as the majority of project deliverables were met or exceeded.

Number of Participants: 232


Promotional Materials

There are no promotional materials available for this project.

Educational Materials

There are no educational materials available for this project.

Reports & Evaluations

There are no reports or evaluations available for this project.

Delivery Area

Describe any unexpected results of the project:

How would you improve the project if you were to do it again?

What were the keys to success for your participants?

Individual Stories / Examples of Success