ASAP offers resources for farmers and producers of value-added products at all stages of starting and running a business, including:
- Appalachian Grown branding and materials: By certifying your farm as Appalachian Grown, you can use the logo to identify your products as local, create a free listing in ASAP’s Local Food Guide, and access branded packaging materials at bulk prices.
- Individual support: ASAP and partner organizations offer one-on-one consultations to farmers in Western North Carolina on managing marketing, financial, and production risk.
- Market connections: ASAP can help facilitate connections with area buyers. Check for upcoming Grower-Buyer Meetings; browse the Wholesale Local Food Guide; or contact us to discuss buyers that may be the best fit for your farm.
- Conferences and workshops: ASAP’s Business of Farming Conference in February and other workshops and webinars throughout the year offer expertise in business planning, branding, financial management, marketing, and more.
- Emergency relief: At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASAP launched the Appalachian Grown Farmer Relief Fund in order to provide immediate needs grants and other support. We have expanded the scope of this fund in order to provide assistance to farmers with significant loss due to natural disasters and other emergencies. Farmers experiencing loss from Tropical Storm Fred can apply for immediate needs grants here.
ASAP’s Appalachian Grown Farmer Toolkit offers an overview of available support and resources on business planning and marketing. View or download the free digital version below or use the table of contents to link directly to a section. Contact ASAP about print copy availability.
Business and Market Planning
- Business Plan Overview
- Regional Support Agencies for Farm Business Planning
- The Regulatory Environment for Farms in Western North Carolina
- Market Opportunities for Farmers
- Tips for Selling at Farmers Markets
- CSA Toolkit
- Agritourism and Farm Tour Guide
- Guide to Selling Wholesale
- Tips for Buyers and Producers
Branding and Marketing
- Marketing Your Farm
- Storytelling Toolkit
- Press Releases: Guidelines and Template
- Photography Tips for the Farm
- Social Media Guide for Farmers
- Developing Your Farm Brand
- Working with a Graphic Designer
- Making the Most of Your Local Food Guide Listing
Additional Resources for Farmers and Producers
The documents, tools, and workshop recordings linked below expand on the resources included in the Farmer Toolkit.
- Find Land with WNC Farm Link
- First Few Steps (NC Cooperative Extension PDF)
- Accessing Capital
- Should crop insurance be part of your farm’s risk management plan? (ASAP workshop, 2015)
- Basics to Recordkeeping (RAFI PDF)
- Insurance Basics (NC Cooperative Extension PDF)
- Setting Prices for Various Markets (ASAP PDF)
- Mud to Money – Farm Financials Benchmark Report (ASAP PDF)
- How to Pay for it—Grant, Loan, and Cost Share Options for Farms (ASAP workshop, 2015)
- AgriLogic’s MARS App – Recordkeeping Tool
- Check out ASAP’s farmers markets page for places to sell your products throughout the Southern Appalachians.
- Roadside Farm Stands (University of California Santa Cruz PDF)
- Sell What You Grow – Diversifying Your Market Opportunities (ASAP workshop, 2015)
- Sell More At Farmer’s Markets (ASAP workshop, 2013)
- One of the best ways to learn about agritourism is to visit other farms that host tours and visitors. Join ASAP for our annual Farm Tour.
- Activity Ideas for Hosting Children and School Groups on Your Farm (PDF)
- Agritourism Liability Law (NC Department of Agriculture PDF)
- Farmer Classroom Visits (ASAP PDF)
- Farmer Field Day Toolkit (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education PDF)
- Growing your Agritourism Venture (ASAP, Mountain Bizworks, and USDA Slidshare)
- Hosting School Groups on Your Farm (ASAP PDF)
- Integrating Safety into Agritourism (National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety)
- Planning U-Pick (Center for Profitable Agriculture and UT Cooperative Extension PDF)
Wholesale and Retail
- ASAP’s Wholesale Local Food Guide is regularly updated with new products that wholesale buyers are seeking in the Southern Appalachians.
- Produce Packaging Standards (ASAP PDF)
- Product Codes for Retail Grocers (NC Growing Together PDF)
- Selling to Intermediate Markets (Wisconsin Local Food Marketing Guide PDF)
- Tips for Selling to Restaurants (National Center for Appropriate Technology PDF)
These resources are supported by the following organizations: