Search the site

Growing Farmers In The Heart of Appalachia

The Farmer and Rancher Mentoring Program was established in 2017 with a USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant. Since its inception, the FARM program has trained and hosted 31 local mentor farmers, helped match 33 beginning farmers with local mentors and aided in 25 new farm startups in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

If you’re interested in participating in the Farmer and Rancher Mentoring program, register for MyASD and begin searching for farmer profiles today!


Learn How to Participate


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.

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


FARM Mentors

FARM Mentors should review the handbook and sign the Acknowledgment form.
Acknowledgement forms should be submitted to Jenni Roop.

FARM Interns

FARM Interns should review the handbook and sign the Acknowledgment form.
Acknowledgement forms should be submitted to Jenni Roop.


Blogs from the FARM

March Madness

March madness has a different meaning for the farming community. March is when all of…

Read More

Happy FARMing!

The struggle was real… It’s a bit surreal that our first cohort of mentors/interns are…

Read More

Click here to read more blogs from the FARM.


Other Agriculture Education Programs and Opportunities

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.

Contact Jenni Roop | Learn more about the Field School

Sign up for the Ag Education Newsletter!

Get news, updates, and learning opportunities offered by our Ag Education efforts directly to your inbox!

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.

Contact Michael Klarman | Learn more Veteran Support

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.

View our Programs | Check out our Resources

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.


Program Coordinator

Jenni Roop
Ag Education Communications Manager

Email Jenni | 276.623.1121

©2021 Appalachian Sustainable Development. All rights reserved.