ASAP Connections

Local Food. Strong Farms. Healthy Communities

ASAP News and Information

ASAP’s 2016 Farm Tour was farm-tastic!

Visitors from near and far toured across Western North Carolina on June 25 and 26 to visit Appalachian Grown family farms on our annual Farm Tour. Relive the fun by visiting our Facebook or Instagram page and searching hashtag #asapfarmtour.  You can still share your tour pictures with ASAP by emailing them to or posting them on social media and tagging us @asapconnections!

We would love to hear your Farm Tour stories and feedback! Share your tour experience by clicking on this survey link, and be entered into a drawing to win a FREE 2017 Farm Tour car pass.

If you missed the tour, or are excited to visit more local farms, use our online Local Food Guide to search nearby farms to visit, or check out other area farm tours and farm events near you at Also, save the date now for the 2017 Farm Tour on June 24 & 25.

Farm Tour_Sign_

The 2015 Appalachian Grown Survey Results Are In!

This past March, ASAP’s Local Food Research Center sent a survey to all Appalachian Grown (AG) certified farms. The purpose of this survey was to better understand the experiences of farmers in our region, learn about the impact of our work, and to gather feedback to help shape the program’s future direction. We are very pleased to share that we received responses from 222 farms.

Our 2015 AG Producer Survey Report contains the findings from the survey and a summary of selected survey results from over the last three years. Highlights from our findings:

  • Most farmers report that there are more market outlets available to them in 2015 compared to 2014;
  • Customers are specifically asking for AG certified products – 68% of respondents reported that customers are asking for AG certified products;
  • Farmers are using AG materials to brand their products – 47% of farmers’ total sales were identified as AG;
  • Farmers consider AG promotional materials to be very important in helping to increase sales;
  • Restaurants are the biggest area of increased sales – 29% reported that their sales to restaurants increased from 2014 to 2015.

Our 2016 Appalachian Grown survey will be sent in January 2017.

ASAP is Now On the Air!

“Growing Local” is a new radio series on WNCW on Mondays during Morning Edition at 8:45 am. “Growing Local” comes from ASAP’s Local Food Research Center, and will feature stories about local food and farms in the Southern Appalachians.

If you miss an episode on the radio, you can follow our SoundCloud page, where they’ll be posted each week. Or, like our Facebook and Twitter to keep up-to-date with “Growing Local”.

ASAP and RAFI-USA Partner and Launch Connect2Direct

ASAP and RAFI-USA (Rural Advancement Foundation International) have partnered on the project, Connect2Direct, a major new initiative to increase farmer direct sales and expand local food access. The goal for the collaboration is to support and build equitable community-based local food economies through the development of direct markets for farmers in North Carolina.

Register for the Connect 2 Direct Summit, Tuesday, December 8, Wake Forest, NC.

Connect2Direct aims to dramatically increase farm to consumer direct sales and the usage of EBT/SNAP at farmers markets in NC – by over 100% within two years – by providing training and technical assistance to markets and market vendors, creating effective marketing and outreach campaigns, facilitating the transactional process for EBT/SNAP, and building statewide capacity and efficiency to sustainably ensure that all North Carolinians have access to fresh foods grown by local farmers.

For upcoming Connect2Direct workshops and announcements, click here.

Click here for the full press release and more information about the project.

Follow the project on Facebook and Twitter.

Local Food Sales Surge in WNC

ASHEVILLE, NC (May 2, 2014) – Local food sales in Western North Carolina have grown significantly in the last five years. The 2012 Census of Agriculture, released on May 2, shows that direct sales alone have increased by nearly 70% in the region according to analysis by ASAP’s Local Food Research Center, from under $5 million in 2007 to over $8 million in 2012. The 2012 Census of Agriculture also shows that the region has reversed a disturbing trend in loss of farm acres, actually adding over 10,000 acres between 2007 and 2012 while the rest of North Carolina and the country lost farmland.


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