Education Outdoors

OGS Launches New Program for Independent Farmers

Rodrigo Nuñez. Flying Cloud Farm

Organic Growers School (OGS) is launching a new, year-long program for Southern Appalachian farmers who’ve been in business independently for at least three years. The Journeyperson program will begin in November. “There is a big difference in your needs between years one to three and years three to five,” says Nicole DelCogliano, director of programs and human resources for OGS. “The Journeyperson program is designed to give tailored information that farmers can use to hone and improve their business. Many of our collaborators offer Journeyperson programs, including the Land Stewardship Project and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, so we know these types of programs are successful.”

The Land Stewardship Project in Minnesota piloted a Journeyperson course in 2013. “The Journeyperson course has been highly successful because it provides hands-on, individualized training focused on financial planning, business and production management through a combination of in-depth classroom trainings and connection to financial advisors and mentors,” says Annelie Livingston-Anderson of the Land Stewardship Project. When the Project surveyed its graduates of the program in 2018, 85 percent said they used tools from the trainings and more than 70 percent reported that the course knowledge increased their net worth. “This demonstrates the success that we can have by matching beginning farmers with educational opportunities that best fit their level of competency,” says Livingston-Anderson.

The deadline to apply for this project is Saturday, September 18. To learn more and apply, visit OrganicGrowersSchool.org/farmers/journeyperson.

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