ASAP Connections

Local Food. Strong Farms. Healthy Communities

Workshops and Trainings



ASAP presents workshops and trainings throughout the year for farmers, market managers, educators, students, and the general community. Besides our annual Business of Farming Conference and Farm to School Conference, we host many one-time workshops and trainings. Scroll down to see a list of past and present workshops and webinars, and visit our slideshare site for presentations from past ASAP conferences.

Upcoming Workshops and Trainings

Cool Season Crop Production Workshop – registration is closed. 
Friday, February 24, 1–4 pm, hosted by NC Cooperative Extension
Location: Balsam Gardens, East Asheville Location: follow directions to Hardesty Lane, Asheville, NC, 28805 and follow ASAP Event signs to farm.
This session will kick off the 2017 Mills River Farm School Production Intensive Series focusing on soils, disease, pests and post-harvest practices for seasonal crops. The cost of the workshop is $20. The workshop will be held at Balsam Gardens’ production site located in Azalea Park in East Asheville. Contact ASAP at 828-236-1282 for more details. Additionally, learn more about getting involved with the NC Cooperative Extension Mills River Farm School.

ASAP’s Business of Farming Conference – registration is closed
Saturday, February 25, 2017, AB Tech Community College, Asheville, NC
The Business of Farming Conference is a day of learning and networking for beginning and experienced farmers, as well as those seriously considering farming as a profession. Each year, farmers from across the region come together with agricultural and business professionals, legal experts, and local buyers to share resources and ideas, network, and make valuable connections. Learn more about the Business of Farming Conference.


Tools for Farmers: Sell More At Farmer’s Markets – This presentation educates vendors and market managers about best practices for improving sales at farmer’s markets.

Past Conference Presentations

Scroll through workshops and trainings from ASAP staff, regional farmers, and local agricultural and business professionals on ASAP’s site. Find comprehensive presentations on business and marketing topics, including business and financial planning, direct marketing and wholesale marketing strategies, media, agritourism, food safety, farm to school, and much more.


Webinar Series: Agricultural Funding, Market Diversification, and Crop Insurance/Risk Management:

Recently, in an effort to connect with a greater number of farms across our region and increase the accessibility of agricultural information, ASAP hosted an online webinar series with support provided by the USDA. Every webinar from this series is now viewable in its entirety through the links below. Watch, pause, and rewatch these webinars at your own pace, and contact us if you have any questions regarding the material within this series.

Webinar 1: Should crop insurance be part of your farm’s risk management plan?

Managing financial risk is a key part of farm sustainability. Crop insurance is one of the tools growers can use to reduce financial risk and increase credit worthiness. The 2014 Farm Bill made several changes that increase crop insurance opportunities for both diversified and organic farms. This workshop examines the newly created Whole Farm Revenue Protection policy, new organic crop price elections for organically produced crops, and new Non-insured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) buy-up options. Join us as we work to understand how new crop insurance programs can increase the competitiveness of highly diversified and organic farms.

James Robinson – Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI)


Webinar 2: How to Pay for it—Grant, Loan, and Cost Share Options for Farms. 

Whether you are building the efficiency of your farm with equipment or investing in a new enterprise, this workshop offers an overview of options for accessing capital. Hear about services and resources available through your local FSA chapter, what records you need to be eligible for loans, and how to stay connected with grant and cost share opportunities.

Molly Nicholie – Program Director, ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project)

Becky Williamson – County Executive Director, Swain/Jackson/Macon FSA


Webinar 3: Sell What You Grow – Diversifying Your Market Opportunities 

Are farmers markets, restaurants, grocery stores, and wholesalers good buyers for your farm? This webinar explores the pros and cons of selling to a variety of local markets and how to determine if they are a good match for your operation. Find out more about strategies and tools for connecting with buyers and promoting your products.

Molly Nicholie – Program Director, ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project)


Past Workshops and Trainings:

Pricing for Profit
Tuesday, January 31, 4–7 pm, ASAP office, Asheville NC, hosted by Mountain BizWorks
Financial success in business rarely comes by accident, this seminar focuses on learning and using basic business financial planning and analysis techniques that are vital in creating profitability for farming enterprises. We will learn and apply techniques, such as determining your cost structure, evaluating revenue streams, creating break-even analyses and factors to take into consideration when pricing your products. Most of all we will learn how digging into the numbers can be enlightening and fun!
Instructor: Barry Gupton, Mountain Bizworks Financial Planning Coach, William Lyons, Bluebird Farm
$20 per person, includes a light meal.
Space is limited; register online here, or call ASAP at (828) 236-1282 to register by phone.

Connect2Direct Summit
December 8, 2015, Wake Forest University’s Benson Center, Wake Forest, NC.

This summit brought together the farmers market community (farmers, market managers, and board members) to learn, share, and build the network and viability of farmers markets across the state, as well as draw on the information and experience of those working with farmers markets in North Carolina.

For additional information, contact Salem Neff at or (919) 542-1396 ext.206
The Connect2Direct Summit was co-hosted by RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation Int’l) and ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project).

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