Are you a Military Veteran interested in pursuing a career in agriculture?

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The program will be implemented in the following NETN and SWVA counties:

Tennessee: Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Washington, and Unicoi
Virginia: Buchannan, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe

Sustainable Farming with ASD
Strengthening Central Appalachia

We help family farmers stay on their farms by creating strong markets of different types and sizes and providing necessary training, tools, and resources for success. With programs that vary from helping small backyard producers to large wholesale market farming and gardening, GAP and organic certification, and agroforestry practices.

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Winter Business Intensive and Summer Field School

Ready to start a new farm or expand your existing operation? The Field School Winter Business Intensive, a beginning farmer training program, is now accepting registrations with classes starting on Nov 8th.Sessions will include business planning, finances, and marketing all geared toward helping beginning farmers create sustainable and profitable small farms.

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FARM Student Internships with Rural Resources

The FARM Student Internship allows high school and college students who are or have participated in Ag education programs to be connected with mentor farmers. From producing and harvesting to managing a small enterprise, students will have the opportunity to be mentored by experienced producers and establish long-term relationships to further develop their skills into permanent professional experiences.

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200 hours of Hands-On Learning.

Beginning farmer interns will work closely with their mentors on-farm for a minimum of 200 hours during the growing season. Interns and Mentors will log their time and submit to the VA program coordinator, Jenni Roop.

Building Relationships in the Farming Community.

Participants have expressed interest in building relationships with others, believing that a strong network will increase their success while enabling them to work together to access infrastructure and services they need.

Individualized Learning Goals.

Mentors and Interns will work together to develop their individualized learning goals designed to guide lessons learned on the farm. These written goals will guide them through the growing season and likely change over time

2020 Forestry FARM Mentors

Ed & Janice Honey Cut
Blackberry Blossom Farm, Unicoi, TN

100 acre mostly forested land, Forest farm medicinal herbs, mushrooms, Food Forest fruit & nut tree guild’s with perennials & annuals.

We are transitioning to a teaching farm, will be offering Local Experience Farm Talk & Tours through Airbnb.
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Ryan Huish
Appalachian Cove Forest Farm and Homestead, Duffield, VA

The Appalachian Cove Forest Farm and Homestead is nestled in the foothills of Cove Mountain in far Southwest Virginia. We are botanists by profession and passion.

We manage the forests for edible and medicinal plants. We also have vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens and raise farm animals (dairy goats, steers, chickens, pigs, dogs). We practice organic methods to care for our forest products and homestead.
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Richard Moyer
Moyer Family Farm, Castlewood, VA

Diversified farm, including organic seed, produce production, wildcrafted and stewarded forest products. About 1/3 forest and 2/3 pasture.

About 1 acre cultivated crops. Maple syrup, certified organic shiitake and other mushrooms, wildcrafted nuts, pawpaws, mulberries, etc. We’re slowly converting some fragmented forest into silvopasture, aided by emerald ash borer. Interns or helpers usually work half days including a meal, 2-3 days per week. We work year-round outside, so interns welcome in fall and winter.
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Blake Dillman
Generations of Ginseng, Bluefield, VA

Started growing ginseng 7 years ago and have increased to several other woodland medicinals. Currently certified organic through PCO and sustainable through UpS

At Generations of Ginseng, interns can expect to learn planting of seed or rootlets, division of rhizomes for planting, harvesting, cleaning and storage if need be. Can also advise on growing sites and what to look for concerning growing conditions or companion plants. .
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2020 FARM Mentors & Interns

Southwest Virginia

TNT Farm N Greenhouse

Meadowview, VA

Mentors & Interns

Mikal Davis & Jennifer Dufresne

Tumbling Creek Cider Co.

Meadowview, VA/Abingdon, VA

Mentors & Interns

Tom McMullen, John Fowlkes and Alena Dubavaya

Valor Valley Farm

Pounding Mill, VA

Mentors & Interns

Darrell Wess, Grayson Smith & Autumn Meade

Kelly Ridge Farms

Meadowview, VA

Mentors & Interns

Justen Dick, John Fowlkes & Alena Dubavaya

Northeast Tennessee

Brown's Farm

Mountain City, TN

Mentors & Interns

Bob & Debbie Snyder, Kiely Roush & Nathaniel Summerow

A Bushel and a Peck Farm

Laurel Bloomery, TN

Mentors & Interns

Christine Junge & Alan Nywening

Gibson Berry Farm

Greeneville, TN

Mentors & Interns

Duane Gibson & Ethan Wegner

Blogs from the FARM

Hay Days

August 24th, 2020|0 Comments

HAY DAYS! Spring and summer come and go quickly when farming—the season’s first calves are dropped, breeding is in full swing, routine vaccinations are undergo, and all of a sudden you are knee deep [...]

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Program Coordinators

Jenni Roop, FARM Coordinator, VA

eMail Jenni | 276.623.1121

Jenni has been ASD’s Regional Coalition Coordinator for 3 years. Prior to working at ASD, Jenni was a Dietary Manager/Corporate Chef for an Assisted Living Community chain following several years of training and employment in the Culinary Arts field. She was born and raised in Abingdon, VA and continues to bury her roots there with husband and best friend, Brad; her beautiful and crazy smart 7-year-old daughter, Annabel; and two amazing dogs, Zoey and Hank. When she is not working for ASD, Jenni enjoys running on the Creeper Trail or Kayaking on the South Holston Lake in the summer and curling up by the fire with her family (or hibernating) in the winter.

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Lexy Close, FARM Coordinator, TN

eMail Lexy | 423-979-2581

Alexis has a Masters from Clark University. After a year and a half of working on organic farms in Europe and the U.S., Close returned to Central Appalachia and co-founded the community organization “Build It Up East Tennessee” in 2012. In 2015, BIU started a cooperative of 10 low-income “market gardeners” who collectively grew over 11,000 lbs of food and sold $8,000 worth of fresh produce in 2015.  Sales in 2016 have topped $15,000. Close was responsible for much of this coordination. She was the USDA-funded Local Food Promotion Program Coordinator for the southwest VA and northeast TN region from 2014-2016. She is currently the Beginning Farmer Services Coordinator for the Appalachian RC&D Council, which includes arranging more than 12 workshops a year according to beginning farmer interest, consulting beginning farmers on farm resource inventories, and teaching market-garden crop planning, horticulture, harvesting, processing, local marketing.

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Gerena, Student FARM Coordinator

eMail Gerena | 423-636-8171

Gerena is a single mother of one 4 year old little girl.  As a young girl she helped her grandfather on a dairy farm, where he taught her many things from planting a garden to driving a tractor.  In her spare time she is very active in her church and enjoys spending time with her daughter and family.  She is looking forward to sharing her knowledge with the community.

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