Organic Growers School served beginning, low resource, and sustainable production farmers in the Southern Appalachians to help producers increase their success by managing, reducing, and overcoming production, financial, and human risk.
We offered a total of 21 workshops to our region's farmers, and had 37 participants in one-on-one mentoring. Farmers increased their use of integrated livestock systems, water restoration and management, growing and selling storage crops and pastured animal products, holistic pest and disease management, remediation and improvement of land-based issues and system design on their own farm sites to address their production risk. They also experienced the successes and failures of other growers which will help them build more resilient farm operations. Furthermore, we helped them mitigate financial and human risks by targeting skill development and support through education on hiring and managing employees, effective communication, enterprise selection and assessment, and financial planning. These opportunities are often limited, especially for new and beginning farmers.
This robust set of programs ran from March 2019 to August 2020 and served 438 producers. Producers showed results in the realms of understanding, analyzing, developing, deciding, and implementing risk management skills, tools, practices, and systems.