F.A.R.M. [Farmer And Rancher Mentoring]
Our nation’s farmers and ranchers are aging. At the same time, aspiring and beginning farmers nationwide continue to face significant barriers to farming. To ensure the continued success of agriculture in the U.S. and our region, it is vital that we facilitate the transfer of skills, knowledge, and land between current and future generations. But new farmers entering agriculture today have different needs and face new challenges compared with those farmers who came before them and are now nearing retirement.
Our community has a strong agricultural educational system including The Farm & Food Teen Training Program, Future Farmers of America and Community College level agricultural science. FARM [Farmer And Rancher Mentoring] allows us to bring these collaborators into innovative approaches for training and mentoring that demonstrates to young people there is successful entrepreneurship in agriculture.
During our pilot year, 4 young people successfully completed a paid 70 hour internship with mentors on their farms that was tailored for their age group using agreed upon learning goals. In the coming years 16 additional young people ages 16-22 are expected to complete the program.
To find more information on becoming an intern or a mentor: http://asdevelop.org/farm/
Through Farm & Rancher Mentoring we seek to holistically improve start-up opportunities for a diverse group of beginning farmers to establish and sustain viable agricultural operations and communities.
The program will initially be implemented in the following Eastern Counties
Tennessee: Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Washington, and Unicoi
Virginia: Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe
Read more tales from our Mentors and Interns!
2018 F.A.R.M. Closing Gathering
We had a very successful 2018 year with 5 mentor farms in TN. We had 6 youth interns placed, and 4 interns successfully completed the 70 hour minimum time requirement and received a Certificate of Completion.
2 out of the 4 interns have
a goal to continue in an agricultural program in college!