by Julia Lindsay
A new program in western North Carolina is slated to open in 2016.
Farm Pathways, an education program designed for young farmers, aims to pair classroom learning with experience on established farms. Program creators, Organic Growers School, WNC FarmLink and Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, hope to foster support networks between students and mentors.
With help from a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture fund and community support, project planners hope to attract young farmers to the continually aging business.
Blue Ridge Women and Agriculture, based in Boone, N.C., adopted a similar program, Collaborative Regional Alliance For Farmer Training, connecting farmers to apprentices and providing structured training opportunities.