CRAFT Farmer Network
Bringing established farmers, apprentices, and aspiring farmers together for farmer-to-farmer training in sustainable agriculture
What is CRAFT?
WNC Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) is a farmer-led effort to bring established farmers, farm apprentices, and aspiring farmers together for year-long training in the art and science of sustainable agriculture, straight from the hearts, mouths, and fields of seasoned local farmers in Western North Carolina (WNC).
Not from our region? Visit www.craftfarmer.org to connect with a CRAFT group near you or learn how to start your own!
Farmer Round Tables
Held during the winter months, round-table discussions on farmer-chosen topics are designed to prep your mind for spring.
Farmers learn best from other farmers! During the growing season, we gather on regional farms to learn about innovative methods of sustainable production, business, and management models and connect to a supportive grower community.
An open forum to pose and discuss farming questions, post farm-related events of interest, or post farm work days to get extra help on big projects.
Why join CRAFT?
Network with beginning and experienced farmers to exchange your ideas and knowledge and build community in the region.
Expand your training opportunities beyond your farm to bolster the robustness of your apprenticeship offerings.
Attract aspiring farmers to your apprenticeship positions to cultivate success and improve the future of our region’s agriculture.
Farm tours are held monthly from April through October and focus on a specific aspect of sustainable farming. Check out the tour schedule and read blog posts about past tours.
Gain access to the CRAFT Farmer Handbook: farmer-generated, regionally-specific information on all aspects of farming.
Round-table discussions provide a place for farmers to discuss advanced farming topics.
The farmer network includes farmers and farm workers and is built on a farmer-to-farmer exchange of ideas.
In 2008, the Organic Growers School staff met with several farmers in Western North Carolina to understand how to generate and train future growers. Overwhelmingly, we heard the need for a networking and educational forum for local organic growers and their workers. CRAFT, a program that originated in the northeastern United States, was a perfect model.
The success of WNC CRAFT is simple: farmers learn best from other farmers. Farmer-driven and farmer-led, CRAFT cultivates successful farmers of all levels in Western NC.
Whether you’re a farming novice, working on a farm, starting your farm from scratch, or adding a new enterprise, CRAFT can serve farmers at any experience level.
Membership is open year-round, with fees ranging from $20 to $48 per year. Memberships will give you access to a wealth of summer farm tours, winter workshops, local farming resources, and a community of farmers.
Member Farms: have apprentices/interns/employees and are committed to 1) enrolling their workers in the core CRAFT program and 2) sharing their expertise and experience with prospective regional farmers. They also might serve on the CRAFT Steering Committee that guides the direction and planning of the regional CRAFT program.
Associate Farms: do not have apprentices, interns, or employees.
Student Members: non-farming community members who are interested in becoming apprentices.
Friends of CRAFT: non-farming community members interested in the program content.
CRAFT Membership Types:
Member Farm: $24/yr + $10 per intern/apprentice/employee member
Associate Farm (no interns/apprentices/employees): $36/yr
Student Member (interested in becoming an apprentice): $20/yr
Friends of CRAFT (non-farming interested parties): $48/yr
CRAFT memberships are good for 1 year from the date you join.
Upcoming CRAFT Farm Tours
Monthly Winter Roundtables