By Rick Thomason
University of Tennessee
Johnson County Extension Director
The Field School, East Tennessee’s beginning farmer training program, is launching its third year of programming in November! They are currently recruiting new and beginning farmers for their program.
The Field School is a monthly series of workshops (November 2017 through August 2018) that provides you with an overview of small-scale farming in East Tennessee’s mountains and valleys, taught by 20+ farmers and agricultural professionals. It is arranged by the Appalachian RC&D Council, Green Earth Connection, and many area partners with major support from USDA. F
ield School students attend classroom and on-farm sessions to build the knowledge, networks, and confidence for planning out a farming operation to fit their land and business needs.
After two successful years of running the Field School, we are pleased to announce that we are expanding the session options to include two Tracks. Students can choose from either Produce or Small Livestock and dive deep into specific farming operations and production methods.
Can’t decide which track to take or want to attend them all? You can sign up for the Dual Track option and attend all 13 sessions being offered!
Field School Students Can:
* Tap into the knowledge of seasoned farmers and Ag professionals from across the region.
* Meet like-minded people who also want to take their passion for farming to the next level.
* Learn how to connect with the local food scene, with government resources, with new ideas, with markets for farm products, with proper laws and legal guidance.
* Experience different farming styles and see behind the scenes on area farms through field visits and classroom presentations taught by “real” farmers, including several full-time farmers.
Registration fees for the “Produce” and “Small Livestock” track is $75 each and consists of 9 monthly sessions.
The “Dual Track” allows participants to attend all 13 sessions and costs $100. There are limited spots in the ‘17/’18 Field School. To reserve yours, you must fill out the online application<https://goo.gl/forms/QuF65WnbdxzD9n582> and send in payment. The fee includes curriculum materials and a meal at each session. More information and the on-line application can be found at the following website: http://arcd.org/field-school.
Three full Scholarships are available for Veterans, so please call 423-979-2581 or email [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> if you qualify. The cost of the Field School is subsidized by grants from USDA, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Appalachian Regional Commission, and local Business Sponsors.