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NC State Extension

Support Organizations

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The organizations listed here can provide various forms of support to farmers, from aspiring, to beginner, to experienced. A brief description is provided for each organization; visit the website for full details. This webpage is organized as follows:

No endorsement is implied, and suggestions for additions are welcome. 


National Agricultural Library
A gateway to countless agricultural references

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)
Grants for research and education projects, plus a wealth of helpful reference materials.

USDA Farm Service Agency
Low interest loans, risk management programs, disaster insurance, support for farmers who implement conservation practices, etc.; offices throughout North Carolina

USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
Technical assistance and cost share for practices that protect natural resources such as high tunnels, cover crops, invasive species management, pasture improvements, etc.; offices throughout North Carolina


N.C. Cooperative Extension
Informal education, technical assistance, technical production guides and problem diagnosis, with an office in every county; Cooperative Extension also offers the following programs:

  • AgVentures Grant Program  – Competitive grant program for farms and community organizations that support farms
  • NC Farm School  – Training and advice on creating and implementing a business plan
  • NC Farm Link  – Connects farmers who need land to landowners interested in selling or leasing
  • Executive Farm Management  – Intensive farm management training program
  • Topic portals  – All the information you need about a specific enterprise or topic, organized in one place 

Center for Environmental Farming Systems
Research and education on sustainable agriculture topics, plus marketing support programs for producers. 

Community College Agriculture Programs
Several community colleges offer classes, workshops, certificates, and/or degrees in agriculture/horticulture/sustainable agriculture

Community College Small Business Centers
Business counseling as well as support in developing business plans 

Local Government Departments
Local government (county and municipal) has various departments that may have key resources, including planning/zoning, water/sewer, tax, economic development, register of deeds, etc. 

NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Free or low-cost analysis of soil, plant foliage, irrigation water, organic fertilizers, and other materials. Regulates pesticides, plant sales, meat sales, value-added processing, etc. 

NC Forest Service
Technical assistance with woodlot management and tree pests with funding to implement recommended practices; install fire breaks and conduct prescribed burns at competitive rates; offices throughout North Carolina

NC Secretary of State
Resources for new businesses, including naming, registering, training, and more

Small Business and Technology Development Center
Management counseling and educational services to small and mid-sized businesses

Soil & Water Conservation District
Technical assistance and cost share on issues related to conserving soil and water resources, such as erosion management, pond management, pond construction, and more; offices throughout North Carolina


American Farmland Trust
This national organization works to protect agricultural land through conservation easements. They also work to promote environmentally sound farming practices, and keep farmers on the land

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers
Support for cut flower growers through education, research, peer-to-peer learning, networking, mentorship, and more

Black Urban Growers (BUGS)
Support for both urban and rural black growers through education, networking, and advocacy 

Farmer Veteran Coalition
Support for military veterans to begin farming through grants, training, and other support

Heifer International
Training, technical assistance, financial support, and market connections 

National Commodity Associations
For almost any agricultural related crop or enterprise, there is a corresponding farmer association that works to promote the crop, advocate for the members, and provide learning opportunities for growers

National Young Farmers Coalition
Support for young farmers through training, advocacy, educational materials, and more

NCAT ATTRA – Sustainable Agriculture Program
Information and technical assistance

Organic Farming Research Foundation
Research grants, educational resources, and advocacy for organic farmers

Partner Community Capital (formerly the Natural Capital Investment Fund)
Helps small businesses get the capital and other resources they need; flexible, affordable loans to borrowers in underserved communities

Rodale Institute
Research, farmer training, and consumer education about organic farming

Sustainable Forestry and African-American Land Retention Project
Supports African-American forest landowners in the south through networking, education, advocacy, and more

Women, Food, and Ag Network
Supports women farmers through networking, education, advocacy, and more


Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
Strengthening the food system of the southern Appalachian region through farmer training, connecting farmers to markets, farmers’ market support, stakeholder education, local food system research, and more

Black Family Land Trust
Programs include education on: heir property and estate planning, intergenerational financial management, conservation easements, and 21st century options for land use

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA)
Supports farmers growing organically/sustainably and for local markets through technical assistance, educational events, advocacy, and consulting services.

ForestHer NC
Supports women forest landowners and natural resource professionals through networking and education

Land Loss Prevention Project
Legal services and information for limited resource farmers and landowners. 

The Livestock Conservancy
Protects endangered livestock and poultry breeds from extinction through research, collaboration, farmer and breeder education, marketing assistance

NC Commodity Associations
For almost any agricultural related crop or enterprise, there is a corresponding farmer association that works to promote the crop, advocate for the members, and provide learning opportunities for growers 

NC Farm Bureau
This statewide organization has local boards in each county; its goals include advocacy for farmers and rural communities, supporting community projects, education, and more;  membership is open to anyone and includes a variety of benefits

NC Rural Center
Connects farmers with resources, education, funding, markets, and networks

Organic Growers School
Provides training for organic farmers and gardeners in western North Carolina through conferences, workshops, farm tours, apprenticeships, consulting, and more

Piedmont Grown
Certification and branding program for farm products grown in the piedmont region of North Carolina

Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA)
Example farmer services include financial planning assistance for farmers in crisis, resources to help prepare and recover from natural disasters; coordination for the Farmers of Color Network

Slow Money NC
Peer-to-peer low interest loans for farmers and local food entrepreneurs