FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 01/29/2019
Contact: Jenni Roop
Regional Coalition Coordinator
ABINGDON, Va. – Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD), a local non-profit committed to transitioning Appalachia by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities and connecting people to healthy food, is recruiting interns for this year’s 200 hour, on-the-farm, Farmer and Rancher Mentoring (F.A.R.M.) program. Interested interns with at least 1 year of farming experience should apply at: www.asdevelop.org/farm by February 8, 2019.
F.A.R.M. is designed to prepare aspiring and beginning farmers for successful careers in farming and food production by providing them with a direct learning experience with local farmer/mentors willing to transfer practical knowledge. The program will serve a diverse group of beginning farmers – youth, adults, veterans, previously incarcerated individuals and reentry inmates, giving them opportunities to learn about careers in agriculture as well as pathways to employment.
Jenni Roop, ASD’s Regional Coalition Coordinator explains, “Our goal is to generate economic opportunities by growing the workforce of farmers and food producers. To meet the growing demand for local food, we need more farmers. We feel the best way to prepare new farmers for success is to pair them with experienced mentors, on working farms. In 2018, 9 interns worked on farms with mentors and there is growing interest. For 2019, we hope to recruit 12-15 interns because a strong pool of farmer/mentors is a critical component of this program’s future.”
F.A.R.M. was launched in 2018 in partnership with Appalachian RC&D Council and Rural Resources and is a 3 year program serving northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia, with funding provided by a USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant, https://nifa.usda.gov/program/beginning-farmer-and-rancher-development-program-bfrdp.
Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD)
Since 1995, Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) has been working in 15 counties in Central Appalachia. ASD’s reach has since expanded to include eastern WV and KY and southeast OH. ASD uses 6 strategies to accomplish its work: education, increasing local food production, developing markets, increasing distribution of local agriculture products, engaging strategic partners, and researching/consulting and advising. ASD operates programs that create jobs in farming and agriculture and address food insecurity. For more information about ASD go to www.asdevelop.org, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Twitter.