OARS Offers New Farmer Scholarships

Organic Field Crop Training Scholarships Available for Beginning Farmers, Ranchers

Susan Payne
By  Susan Payne , DTN Social Media and Young Farmer Editor
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Beginning farmers and ranchers are invited to attend the Organic Academy Road Show in Billings, Montana and can have travel cost subsidized through scholarships. (National Center for Appropriate Technology logo)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Scholarships for beginning farmers and ranchers to attend the Organic Academy Road Show (OARS) in Billings, Montana, are available now until Nov. 21 ahead of the session.

On Dec. 6 and 7, beginning farmers and ranchers in the northern Great Plains will have the opportunity to explore regenerative, certified organic production systems for grains, oilseeds and pulses, according to a release from the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT).

Although registration for this OARS session is free, scholarships are available to offset the cost of travel and stay. Discounted rooms are also available at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center for $109 per night.

"Without the scholarship, costs would be the hotel room and whatever your food and travel costs would be," said Robyn Metzger, program specialist and Armed to Farm coordinator at NCAT. "Two lunches and a dinner are provided during the event."

OARS will host intensive training sessions and one-on-one technical assistance for beginning farmers and ranchers around transitioning to organic production, an introduction to organic system planning, soil health and more from NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialists and experienced Montana organic farmers and ranchers.

"This series of educational opportunities is not just another farming training," said Doug Crabtree and Anna Jones-Crabtree of Vilicus Farms in Montana. "It is about leveraging training to further build the network of beginning organic producers who are farming and ranching at a scale that will have a tremendous impact on land stewardship across the Northern Great Plains."

Civic leaders, county Extension agents, USDA's Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service staff will be available during a public event Dec. 6 from 7-9 p.m. Following the OARS session, the Montana Organic Association will host its annual conference, which requires a separate registration. To register, visit https://attra.ncat.org/….

The December OARS session is the first of 10 sessions in the northern Great Plains states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming planned during the next two years, as part of the three-year federal Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program called "Preparing a Resilient Future."

The next Preparing a Resilient Future event will be in February. For more information on that program, visit https://attra.ncat.org/…

For more information on the NCAT, visit NCAT.org.

Susan Payne can be reached at susan.payne@dtn.com

Follow her on Twitter @jpusan

Susan Payne

Susan Payne
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