March madness has a different meaning for the farming community. March is when all of…
Farmer and Rancher Mentoring
Growing Farmers In The Heart of Appalachia
The Farmer and Rancher Mentoring Program is the regions first on-farm internship opportunity for beginning farmers.
If you’re interested in participating, view the mentor profiles and complete the registration form.
2023 Mentor Profiles
CREATIVE SEEDS FARM, DYLAN & DENITA HOUSE
426 W. Glade Street, Glade Spring, VA
A Certified Naturally Grown produce farm specializing in leafy greens, salad fixings and heirloom varieties. We are growing veggies in the Market Garden style using quick rotation production methods to grow a high volume of produce on a small land base. We also use no-till methods in order to continue to improve our soil.
HARVEST TABLE FARM, JOHNATHAN T. ROOT
28413 Smyth Chapel Rd Meadowview, VA
Harvest Table Farm is market garden, soil-building, regenerative farm that raises 40 types of produce. Certified Naturally Grown. Jonny Root studied and taught permaculture on 6 continents and has a passion for inspiring and teaching others to grow food in harmony with nature.
KELLY RIDGE FARMS, JUSTEN DICK
30558 Old Saltworks Rd. Meadowview VA
Kelly Ridge Farm is a 9 generation family farm- we raise hops, pigs, sheep, apples, and children. We are co-located with Tumbling Creek Cider Company’s cider production facility in Meadowview VA. I am an environmental scientist by profession and hydrogeologist by training. We work to integrate these complementary operations into a sustainable whole.
NATURAL BEAUTY FARM, WILLIAM HARDIE
21450 McCann Road, Damascus VA
William is an LGBTQ farmer. He is retired and looking for next generation who wants to learn. The farm is permaculture based and is now raising bees. In the past, he has done show stock breeding and won some of the highest awards.
STORMBREW FARM, DAISY STURGILL & JENNIFER MARTIN
25161 Watauga Road, Abingdon, VA
We grow flowers, herbs and vegetables for wholesale. We do not use chemicals, and use no-till practices. We are a mother-daughter team, and love to teach others how to garden and homestead. We have dogs, cats, chickens and ducks.
TNT FARM N GREENHOUSE, TAMARA MCNAUGHTON
32367 Taos Ln., Meadowview, VA
TNT includes a quarter acre field, one 30×100 high tunnel, and greenhouse/nursery plant production with a 30×80′ and a 14×80′ greenhouse. TNT sits on an 80 acre holding 14 miles from Abingdon. I grow mostly heirloom varieties of diverse vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers while concentrating on a few main crops. 2023 will be TNT’s tenth year in production.
TUMBLING CREEK ORCHARDS & PRODUCTION FACILITY; MCMULLEN FAMILY HOMESTEAD, TOM MCMULLEN
30558 Old Saltworks Rd, Meadowview VA
I am a previous college science instructor and have been an organic gardening/self-sufficiency/orchard hobbyist for 20 years. Over the past 5 years I’ve started a business (Tumbling Creek Cider Company “TC3”) with 3 other partners/families. TC3’s hard cider production facility and orchards are located on Kelly Ridge Farms (KRF) in Meadowview VA.
ZIEGENWALD DAIRY LLC./O’POSSUM’S BOTTOM FARM, JOHN & ANDREA WOODWORTH
1738 Possom Creek Rd, Gate City, VA
Our main emphasis is on a Grade A goat dairy at which we make a variety of goat milk cheeses. We have a variety of animals, and grow a large garden of organic produce for both eating and heirloom seed production, some of which is sold to a local seed company. My wife Andrea retired last spring, so we are both on the farm full-time, except when I am delivering cheese or at the farmer’s markets selling cheese.
On Farm Internships
200 Hours of Hands-On Learning
Beginning farmer interns will work closely with their mentors on-farm for a minimum of 200 hours. Interns and Mentors will log their time and submit to Jenni Roop.
FARM Interns are required to submit at least 2 blogs during their time on the farm. This is a great tool for tracking their progress as well as sharing their experience with others.
Individual Learning Goals
Mentors and Interns work together to develop individualized learning goals intended to inform lessons learned on the farm. These written goals serve as a road map to guide them through the growing season.
Blogs from the FARM
The struggle was real… It’s a bit surreal that our first cohort of mentors/interns are…
The past couple of years I have begun to delve into gardening and sustainability in…
I grew up in the foothills of east Tennessee on my grandparents farm, so I’ve…
Click here to read more blogs from the FARM.
Other Agriculture Education Programs and Opportunities
The Producer Pathway was created in 2021 to help local farmers and gardeners of all skill levels understand the programs we offer and how we can help based on the knowledge they currently have and their educational goals. Explore the Producer Pathway and find out more about what programming is right for you.
Are you ready to start a new farm or expand your operation?
The Field School is a beginning farmer training program created by our partners in Northeast Tennessee, Appalachian RC&D. Now we are working together to expand the program to SWVA. Sessions will include business planning, finances, and marketing all geared toward helping beginning farmers create sustainable and profitable small farms. The Field School is made up of two sessions: the Summer Field School and the Winter Business Intensive.
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Supporting Veterans in Agriculture
We strive to offer educational, networking, and financial growth opportunities in agriculture production to all those who aspire to create a viable farming career, but especially to the brave men and women who have served our country.
The Producer Pathway
The Producer Pathway was designed in 2021 by ASD program managers to help local farmers and gardeners of all skill levels understand the programming offered and how we can help based on the knowledge stakeholders currently have and their educational goals. Explore the Producer Pathway and find out more about what programming is right for you.
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