Monday, June 12, 2017

The Incredible Farm Dinner on Main!

The

Incredible Farm Dinner on Main!

JUNE 23, 2017

Photo of Farm to Table Dinner in Jonesborough is courtesy of Woven Creative Studio
Tickets are on sale now for the Incredible Farm Dinner on Main!
Meet us downtown on June 23rd at 7:00 p.m. for dinner and live music on Main Street in Greeneville, Tenn. Reserve your place at the table now!
The Incredible Farm Dinner on Main is the “don’t miss” event of the summer in Greeneville, TN.  Enjoy local fare around one community table set to perfection right in the middle of Main Street!  We will gather at 7pm in the lobby of the Capitol Theatre for hors d’oeuvres and drinks and then be seated on Main for a four course meal.  
This event benefits Rural Resources and the Capitol Theatre and is made possible with generous sponsorship from: Eastman Credit Union, Jost, Inc, Meco, Rogers Family Dentistry, TEVET, The Well Stocked Bar, Towne Square Package Store, Consumer Credit Union, JD Metals,The General Morgan Inn, Through the Eyes of Sam Photography, and others. Special thanks to Catalyst Coffee Company, Jonesborough Locally Grown and First Presbyterian Church.

Special thanks to our lead sponsor:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A New Face At The Farm



Rural Resources welcomed a new face to the farm in June. Ashley Buchanan accepted the Farm Day Camp teacher position for the 2017 summer season. Buchanan’s background in art and agriculture makes her a perfect fit for Farm Day Camp.

“This ended up being a perfect opportunity for me,” said Buchanan, who graduated from Walter’s State this year. “I couldn't ask for something better to just come up out of the blue.”

Buchanan’s plans for the program include “a lot of hands-on experience.” She said they’ll learn about gardening, from starting a seed to harvesting, as well as livestock.

“I definitely want them to have an opportunity to interact with the potbellied pig and the rabbits and the dairy cow,” she said.

She added, “I guess another aspect of it is bringing in my love for the arts. and being able to do some gardening projects that are creative I'm really excited about being able to weave that together and then of course, time in the creek.”

Plans are also in the works to have horses available for children to interact with and there will also be opportunities for fun and learning off the farm, including a hike to a popular local waterfall.

“The older kids we're looking to them to Margarette falls, weather permitting, and if everything goes as planned, on Friday we will get to take them on the hike and take them into a different atmosphere on the trail than on the farm,” she said. “I'm going to do a scavenger hunt along the way to identify different plants and critters.”

Buchanan said she likes to use any kind of opportunity as a learning experience for kids.

“Part of it is influenced by my background. of being in Johnson City and not really having those opportunities for agricultural activities, working with animals or having someone who could teach me about plant sciences,” she said. “We spent a lot of time outside, did the hiking and camping, but the educational part, I'd say was lacking. I just kind of stumbled upon it a couple years ago. and fell in love with it.”

She added, “I think you learn lots of different aspects of just working through life, by learning how to care for animals and plants, and their growth cycle. I think can be applied to our own lives and being able to care for ourselves.”

Faelyn Campbell, a former participant in Rural Resources’ Farm and Food Teen Training Program who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Berea College in Kentucky, is Buchanan’s assistant for the 2017 Farm Day Camp season.

“Having her experience there is phenomenal,” said Buchanan. “She’s familiar with the program and the farm. I think she'll be great. I'm very grateful to have her.”

Buchanan’s ultimate my goal is to become a 4-H extension agent working so she can combine her loves for art, being outdoors and agriculture. She’s planning to continue her education at UT in the agricultural leadership communications and education program to earn a master’s degree.

Farm Day Camp is an opportunity for children ages four to 12 to enjoy a full week of hands-on activities on the farm, learning about food's journey from soil to table while building relationships with the land, plants, animals and each other.
The week-long camps run from June 5 to July 28 at  Rural Resources' Holly Creek Farm, 2870 Holly Creek Rd., Greeneville, TN 37745. Visit the ruralresources.net website for more information and to register.

Rural Resources is nonprofit working to connect farms, food and families through community education, youth programs and sustainable agriculture.










Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Organic Certification Cost Share Program



Do you know about the Organic Certification Cost Share Program? Here are some facts from the USDA:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
National Organic Certification Cost Share Program
(NOCCSP), administered by the USDA Farm Service
Agency (FSA), provides organic producers and
handlers with financial assistance to reduce the cost
of organic certification. The program reimburses
producers and handlers for a portion of their paid
certification costs. Once certified, organic producers
and handlers are eligible to receive reimbursement for
up to 75 percent of certification costs each year, up to
a maximum of $750 per certification scope—crops,
livestock, wild crops and handling. Additional scopes
include transition certification and state program fees.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Certified organic producers and handlers who have
paid certification fees may apply for reimbursement
of the incurred costs.

IS CERTIFICATION REQUIRED TO
PARTICIPATE?
Yes. Organic certification cost share funds are only
available to certified organic or certified transitional
producers and handlers. Certification must be
provided by a USDA-accredited certifying agent. If
your operation is not currently certified organic and
you would like to learn more about the certification
process, please visit www.fsa.usda.gov/organic.



WHAT COSTS ARE REIMBURSABLE?
Eligible costs include application fees, inspection
costs, fees related to equivalency agreement/
arrangement requirements, travel/per diem for
inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage.

WHAT COSTS ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE?
Ineligible costs include equipment, materials,
supplies, late fees, and inspections necessary to
address National Organic Program regulatory
violations.

WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM REIMBURSEMENT
AMOUNT?
The maximum per certification scope (crops,
livestock, wild crops and handling) is $750.
Transition and state certification reimbursements
will be processed separately.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR REIMBURSEMENT?
You may apply to a participating state agency
according to their deadlines, or beginning March 20,
2017, you may apply directly to one of over 2,100
FSA offices. Applicants must typically submit a onepage
application form, W-9 tax form (to participating
state agencies), proof of certification and an itemized
invoice of certification expenses.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
This fact sheet is provided for informational purposes
only; other eligible requirements may apply. For more
information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/organic contact
your local FSA county office. To find an office
nearest you, visit http://offices.usda.gov.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Farm Day Camp Registration!









The

Incredible Farm Dinner on Main!

JUNE 23, 2017

Photo of Farm to Table Dinner in Jonesborough is courtesy of Woven Creative Studio
Tickets are on sale now for the Incredible Farm Dinner on Main!
Meet us downtown on June 23rd at 7:00 p.m. for dinner and live music on Main Street in Greeneville, Tenn. Reserve your place at the table now!
The Incredible Farm Dinner on Main is the “don’t miss” event of the summer in Greeneville, TN.  Enjoy local fare around one community table set to perfection right in the middle of Main Street!  We will gather at 7pm in the lobby of the Capitol Theatre for hors d’oeuvres and drinks and then be seated on Main for a four course meal.  
This event benefits Rural Resources and the Capitol Theatre and is made possible with generous sponsorship from: Eastman Credit Union, Jost, Inc, Meco, Rogers Family Dentistry, TEVET, The Well Stocked Bar, Towne Square Package Store, Consumer Credit Union, JD Metals,The General Morgan Inn, Through the Eyes of Sam Photography, and others. Special thanks to Catalyst Coffee Company, Joneborough Locally Grown and First Presbyterian Church.

Special thanks to our lead sponsor:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


This is happening tomorrow! Come out and join us!

RURAL RESOURCES'

ANNUAL MEETING & DINNER ON THE FARM


We hope you received your invitation to Rural Resources' Annual Meeting and Dinner to be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 11th at the Rural Resources Farm.  We really hope you are planning on attending and touring the new Farm & Food Learning Center that is under construction.  If you are, it would help us immensely to know you are coming!  

The dinner will feature locally raised ingredients live music and the event is free!
We are also continuing to raise funds for the Farm & Food Learning Center.  If you would like to make a donation of any amount, we welcome all donations at the dinner or click here to donate online.





Everyone is invited to come to visit the farm and see our progress,” said Rural Resources Executive Director Sally Causey. “We are excited to show you our sustainably built, energy efficient Learning Center.”

Tennessee Arts Commission funds will provide music by Knoxville jazz duo Jack Furnari and Mike Benjamin. The event will include a hamburger dinner featuring local beef, salad from the farm and homemade ice cream.
  
The Farm & Food Learning Center will provide space for programs, community workshops, offices and a commercial kitchen. The Rural Resources staff has been working out of a small trailer, without indoor plumbing, since a fire destroyed the building in 2009. Youth programs have been held in out buildings and a Pavilion donated by the Rotary Club. Thanks to funding from the USDA, the Appalachian Regional Commission, East Tennessee Foundation and many other generous local donors, progress on the learning center is continuing.

The teens in our Farm & Food Teen Training program will be able to prepare and preserve the food they grow on-site and be able to build sustainable farm- and food-related businesses,” said Causey. “Farm Day Campers won’t have to use the outhouse anymore and students coming for field trips will have expanded offerings. There is no doubt that this facility will be a game-changer for hands-on learning opportunities for years to come.”
Rural Resources is nonprofit working to connect farms, food and families through community education, youth programs and sustainable agriculture.
Holly Creek Farm is located at 2870 Holly Creek Rd, Greeneville. For more information call Rural Resources at 423-636-8171 or visit our website atruralresources.net.

Make a donation toward completing the Farm & Food Learning Center here!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Date Correction for Incredible Farm Dinner

DATE CORRECTION:

The


Incredible Farm Dinner on Main!

JUNE 23, 2017
 

Photo of Farm to Table Dinner in Jonesborough is courtesy of Woven Creative Studio
 
Tickets are on sale now for the Incredible Farm Dinner on Main!
 
Meet us downtown on June 23rd at 7:00 p.m. for dinner and live music on Main Street in Greeneville, Tenn. Reserve your place at the table now!
The Incredible Farm Dinner on Main is the “don’t miss” event of the summer in Greeneville, TN.  Enjoy local fare around one community table set to perfection right in the middle of Main Street!  We will gather at 7pm in the lobby of the Capital Theatre for hors d’oeuvres and drinks and then be seated on Main for a four course meal.  
This event benefits Rural Resources and the Capital Theatre and is made possible with generous sponsorship from Edward Jones Investments with Lee House, Jost, Inc., TEVET, The Well Stocked Bar, Towne Square Package Store, Through the Eyes of Sam Photography and others.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Schedule Change and More Events!

Third Time's the Charm?
We Hope So!


The
ANNUAL MEETING & DINNER ON THE FARM


Has Been Rescheduled (Again) for May 11th Due to Weather

Same time, same place, different day! The public is invited to attend Rural Resources Annual Meeting and Dinner on May 11th at 6:00 p.m. at Holly Creek Farm. The event is free but donations will be gratefully accepted to help offset the cost.
Guests will be able to tour the new Farm & Food Learning Center, currently under construction, and see the progress on the Farm and Food Teen Training program’s spring garden.



The Farm & Food Learning Center will provide space for programs, community workshops, offices and a commercial kitchen. The Rural Resources staff has been working out of a small trailer, without indoor plumbing, since a fire destroyed the building in 2009. Youth programs have been held in out buildings and a Pavilion donated by the Rotary Club. Thanks to funding from the USDA, the Appalachian Regional Commission, East Tennessee Foundation and many other generous local donors, progress on the learning center is continuing.



Rural Resources is nonprofit working to connect farms, food and families through community education, youth programs and sustainable agriculture.
Holly Creek Farm is located at 2870 Holly Creek Rd, Greeneville. For more information call Rural Resources at 423-636-8171 or register here.


The
Incredible Farm Dinner on Main!



Photo of Farm to Table Dinner in Jonesborough is courtesy of Woven Creative Studios

Tickets are on sale now for the Incredible Farm Dinner on Main!

Meet us downtown on July 23rd at 7:00 p.m. for dinner and live music on Main Street in Greeneville, Tenn. Reserve your place at the table now!
The Incredible Farm Dinner on Main is the “don’t miss” event of the summer in Greeneville, TN.  Enjoy local fare around one community table set to perfection right in the middle of Main Street!  We will gather at 7pm in the lobby of the Capital Theatre for hors d’oeuvres and drinks and then be seated on Main for a 4 course meal.  End the night with more fun inside the Capital.
This event benefits Rural Resources and the Capital Theatre and is made possible with generous sponsorship from Edward Jones Investments with Lee House, Jost, Inc., Tracey Solomon, and others.

 Farm Day Camp Registration is Open!





It's Time for Summer Fun on the Farm!

Farm Day Camp is an opportunity for children ages 4 to 12 to enjoy a full week of hands-on activities on the farm, learning about food's journey from soil to table while building relationships with the land, plants, animals and each other!

The week-long camps run from June 5 to July 28 at  Rural Resources' Holly Creek Farm, 2870 Holly Creek Rd., Greeneville, TN 37745.

The 2017 sessions:
Li'l Sprouts 1, ages 4-5, June 5 - 10; meets 9-noon,
Li'l Sprouts 2, ages 4-5, June 12 - 16; meets 9-noon,
Farm Explorers1, 1st - 3rd Grades, June 19 - 23; 9-3pm
Farm Explorers 2, 1st - 3rd Grades, June 26 - 30; 9-3pm
Farm Explorers 3, 1st - 3rd Grades, July 17 - 21; 9-3pm
Discover Natural Resources Camp, Grades 4-6 or experienced Farm Day
Campers, July 24 - 28; 9-5 M-W, overnight Thurs., and dismisses at noon on Friday

Sprouts $85; Explorers $160; Discovery $225
A limited number of scholarships are available.

Spaces are limited. Register HERE!
Or Contact Sharon at 423-636-8171
or sharon@ruralresources.net




Wednesday, April 19, 2017

We've Changed the Date!



THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE WEATHER FORECAST. THE NEW DATE IS MAY 4TH!

REGISTER HERE!

RURAL RESOURCES'


ANNUAL MEETING & DINNER ON THE FARM


We hope you received your invitation to Rural Resources' Annual Meeting and Dinner to be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 4th at the Rural Resources Farm.  We really hope you are planning on attending and touring the new Farm & Food Learning Center that is under construction.  If you are, it would help us immensely to know you are coming!  

The dinner will feature locally raised ingredients and the cost is $8 adults/$4 children.

We are also continuing to raise funds for the Farm & Food Learning Center.  If you would like to make a donation of any amount, we welcome all donations at the dinner or click here to donate online.




Everyone is invited to come to visit the farm and see our progress,” said Rural Resources Executive Director Sally Causey. “We are excited to show you our sustainably built, energy efficient Learning Center.”
Tennessee Arts Commission funds will provide music by Knoxville jazz duo Jack Furnari and Mike Benjamin. The event will include a hamburger dinner featuring local beef, salad from the farm and homemade ice cream.The cost for the dinner is $8 per person and $4 for children under the age of 10.
  
The Farm & Food Learning Center will provide space for programs, community workshops, offices and a commercial kitchen. The Rural Resources staff has been working out of a small trailer, without indoor plumbing, since a fire destroyed the building in 2009. Youth programs have been held in out buildings and a Pavilion donated by the Rotary Club. Thanks to funding from the USDA, the Appalachian Regional Commission, East Tennessee Foundation and many other generous local donors, progress on the learning center is continuing.

The teens in our Farm & Food Teen Training program will be able to prepare and preserve the food they grow on-site and be able to build sustainable farm- and food-related businesses,” said Causey. “Farm Day Campers won’t have to use the outhouse anymore and students coming for field trips will have expanded offerings. There is no doubt that this facility will be a game-changer for hands-on learning opportunities for years to come.”
Rural Resources is nonprofit working to connect farms, food and families through community education, youth programs and sustainable agriculture.
Holly Creek Farm is located at 2870 Holly Creek Rd, Greeneville. For more information call Rural Resources at 423-636-8171 or visit our website atruralresources.net.
 
Make a donation toward completing the Farm & Food Learning Center here!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Growing Dreams!



Our Farm and Food Teen Training Program Coordinator Debbie Strickland published a blog on the Grow Appalachia website about the program and one of this year's new participants. Check it out here at this link.

In the Farm and Food Teen Training Program, Food-insecure teens raise produce and livestock, train with local chefs, learn business and leadership skills, and start a food related business. They then have an option for an internship.

The Program follows a 4-year rotation. In year one, teens learn all about growing food, from planting and harvesting to composting and livestock management, and much more! Year two get the teens into the kitchen to learn kitchen safety, cooking and catering. The third and fourth years focus on business planning and organization, implementation of a farm- or food-related enterprise, creating a resume and public speaking. After completing four years of training, teens move on to an internship with a local farmer or chef.

For more information about the program, call Debbie Strickland at Debbie@ruralresources.net or call the office at 423-636-8171.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Local, Naturally-raised, Pastured Pork for Sale!


The Rural Resources Farm and Food Teen Training (FFTT) program has naturally-raised, pastured pork for sale! This is a great opportunity to not only get healthy, local food but to also support the teen program.

The teens bred and cared for the pigs as part of their livestock rotation in the FFTT program. All the proceeds from the pork they sell will go back into the program.

Don't miss out! Order soon!

The FFTT program teaches the teens about livestock, business practices Teens use the knowledge and skills gained in the first two years of the program to earn money for the program during years three and four.

Over a two year period, they explore the basics of business planning and organization. Teens team up to create a business plan for their own farm or food-related enterprise! In the process, they create resumes and develop critical job skills such as teamwork, public speaking, creating business plans, marketing principles and more.

For more information about the program contact Debbie Strickland at Debbie@ruralresources.net or call the office at 423-636-8171.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Come On Out for the Annual Meeting, Cookout and Tour of the New Building!


The public is invited to attend Rural Resources Annual Meeting and Dinner on April 20th at 6:00 p.m. at Holly Creek Farm. Guests will be able to tour the new Farm & Food Learning Center, currently under construction, and see the progress on the Farm and Food Teen Training program’s spring garden.


“Everyone is invited to come to visit the farm and see our progress,” said Rural Resources Executive Director Sally Causey. “We will have a sustainably built, energy efficient Learning Center.”

The event will include a hamburger dinner featuring local beef, salad from the farm and homemade ice cream. The cost for the dinner is $8 per person and $4 for children under the age of 10.

The Farm & Food Learning Center will provide space for programs, community workshops, offices and a commercial kitchen. The Rural Resources staff has been working out of a small trailer, without indoor plumbing, since a fire destroyed the building in 2009. Youth programs have been held in out buildings and a Pavilion donated by the Rotary Club. Thanks to funding from the USDA, the Appalachian Regional Commission and many other generous donors, progress on the learning center is continuing.


“The teens in our Farm & Food Teen Training program will be able to prepare and preserve the food they grow on-site and be able to build sustainable farm- and food-related businesses,” said Causey. “Farm Day Campers won’t have to use the outhouse anymore and students coming for field trips will have expanded offerings. There is no doubt that this facility will be a game-changer for hands-on learning opportunities for years to come.”
Holly Creek Farm is located at 2870 Holly Creek Rd, Greeneville. For more information call Rural Resources at 423-636-8171 or visit our website at ruralresources.net.

Rural Resources is nonprofit working to connect farms, food and families through community education, youth programs and sustainable agriculture.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Profitable Ground ... what does it look like?

Eddie Yokley To Host Foraging Workshop



The Four Seasons Grazing Club will meet for a Grazing for Profit Pasture Walk titled “Profitable Ground … what does it look like?” at Eddie Yokley’s farm on April 13 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. The farm is located at 1046 Old Kentucky Rd., South, Greeneville, TN. The event is free and a free hamburger dinner will follow the pasture walk.

Yokely is using an innovative rotational grazing and forage management method. Practices include rolling out hay in the fall, using a sacrifice field for winter grazing and moving to grass in February or March, using temporary fencing, and grazing areas on the margins of streams or rivers on dry winter days.

Mike McElroy of the Greene County Soil Conservation District said the method is nontraditional but effective.

“It boils down to grazing management and the landowner being in control,” McElroy said. “A lot of the complaints that we get during winter time are, ‘There's nothing but mud around the hay rings,’ or ‘I lost a calf because of the mud.’  To get away from that, you've got to change your management. You've got to do something different to get around it.”

The pasture walk will include seeing a stream crossing with a water access point, freeze proof waterers, additional quick connects, even manure distribution in the sacrifice field and learning about how farms can qualify for cost sharing opportunities.

One of the keys to successfully implementing this method is unrolling hay on the ground when the weather is dry.

“You put out what they can eat in three to four hours, the next day you unroll the hay again,” said McElroy. “But you pick those days and you do it on dry days. If it's nasty, wet, cold, rainy, snowy, and all that, walk out there and open up the gate handle and turn them into a pasture field that has been sitting there and growing all winter long. We call that stockpiled forages.”

McElroy said the event will bring together people to find new solutions to old problems.



“We'll get ideas from Eddie on things that he's tried that did not work, and things that he tried that did work,” McElroy said. He adds, “In the winter of 2015, Eddie fed 148 rolls of hay. In the winter of 2016, he fed 26. Same number of animals, same number of acres of land, everything was the same except for how it was managed.”

McElroy says proper forage management also improves soil health, reduces water run-off, eliminates the need to spray costly herbicides or bush hog, and increases the amount of protein available to livestock from what are commonly considered weeds.
  
One thing I’ve told Eddie and everybody else, these land owners are going to have to decide,” McElroy said. “Do you want a pasture field or do you want a golf course?”

To register for this free event, go to ruralresources.net and click on the Four Seasons Grazing Club under the Programs tab, or call Rural Resources at 423-636-8171 or the Greene County Soil Conservation District at 423-638-4771 extension 3.


The Four Seasons Grazing Club is an educational and networking organization dedicated to encouraging better forage production through grazing management. This Grazing for Profit Pasture Walk is sponsored by Rural Resources, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

We Need You!



Rural Resources relies on volunteers to help us do what we do. At times we have lots of volunteers in our data base that we can call on when we need a couple of extra hands. At other times, the pool dwindles down a bit. People’s schedules change. They move. They develop new interests. We understand that and we appreciate the time and energy they have given us. But that means that we need to recruit new volunteers at times to fill their places. It’s that time again!

We need volunteers of all kinds and all abilities. Do you like to work in the garden? Are you experienced with livestock? Are you good with computer hardware or installing and troubleshooting software? Fixing fences? Can you stuff envelopes? Is art or cooking your thing? Would you like to beautify our farm or teach our youth? We always need someone to help our farm manager keep all the maintenance and repairs up to date. If you would like to be a part of our mission, we have a place for you!

We welcome groups, individuals, families, Tennessee Promise Students and those wanting to serve community service hours by helping out a worthy cause.

Volunteer Morgan Jones will graduate
from Tusculum College in May with a
  criminal justice degree and a minor in
 chemistry. 
In May, Morgan Jones, a volunteer who has been helping me with communications, will be graduating from Tusculum College. With a criminal justice degree and a minor in chemistry under her belt, she will then move on to graduate school for a master’s degree in forensic science. We are very proud of Morgan, who is a Bonner Leader Student and a member of the Criminal Justice Association. We will miss her!

With Morgan moving on to new adventures with chemistry and cadavers, I’m looking for people who might be interested in helping out with our communications. That could be anything from preparing mailouts or helping with photography and graphic design to writing blogs or doing data entry.

If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, please contact Sharon, our volunteer coordinator, at Sharon@ruralresources.net. If you specifically want to help out with communications, please contact me at lorelei@ruralresources.net. You can also reach both of us at 423-636-8171.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Looking Back at Growing the Future



I found this short film by Anthony Frazier about the Farm and Food Teen Training program here at Rural Resources. Growing the Future was made in 2014, and features our own Miss Debbie with some of our teens. Enjoy!



Thursday, February 9, 2017

Capital Campaign Deadline Extended!



Illustration of the Farm & Food Learning Center

 You may have heard our exciting news. If you didn't, here it is:

Our deadline for the $200,000 matching grant has been extended to May 1st!

This is great news for us! The last update from our bookkeeper shows that the total of the donations that have come in from the website, generosity.com and checks mailed in to our office amounts to less than one-quarter of our goal and we urgently need to raise the rest.

This link will take you to a video on our generosity.com page that tells our story and shows pictures of the fire that destroyed our previous building, but here's a synopsis:

Fire devoured our building in 2009.
In 2009, a lightening strike sparked a fire that devoured our previous building. It was devastating but also showed us the love and generosity of our community. From the volunteer firefighters who responded to battle the blaze, preserve other structures on the property and protect our animals, to volunteers who helped with clean-up, from C&C Millwright's donation of a small construction office trailer to give us a roof over our heads to the local churches who lend us their facilities for cooking classes and events, we have felt the kindness, concern and support from our community for our youth and our mission.

The office trailer donated by C & C Millwright
Since the fire, staff has worked out of the trailer and programs have been conducted in the farm's tobacco barn, outbuildings and a Pavilion donated earlier this year by the Rotary Club. There is no indoor plumbing on the property.

The staff persevered, continuing to conduct and develop programs, and then we received a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to build the Farm & Food Learning Center. The center will house classrooms, a commercial kitchen and office space. The kitchen space will also be available to residents of Greene County and surrounding areas to help them establish food-based businesses. Construction on the building began last July.

“The teens in our Farm & Food Teen Training program will be able to prepare and preserve the food they grow on-site and be able to build sustainable farm- and food-related businesses,” says Sally Causey, Rural Resources' executive director. “Farm Day Campers won't have to use the outhouse anymore and students coming for field trips will have expanded offerings. There is no doubt that this facility will be a game-changer for hands-on learning opportunities for years to come.”







Progress on the
 Farm & Food Learning Center.
VWCA  Construction
 Funding for the current phase of construction was raised in 2014 but final costs were greater than originally estimated and additional funding is needed to finish construction and purchase the equipment for the commercial kitchen.

Fast forward to a second generous opportunity from the ARC.

In 2016 we received an offer of a second grant in the amount of $200,000. In order to qualify for the grant, Rural Resources must raise $200,000 to show that the building can be fully completed. We launched a capital campaign in December to raise the $200,000 we need by January 31st. That deadline has been extended and we now have just under three months to raise the remainder of the $200,000.

“Cash and pledges will count towards the match for the ARC funding for which we were recommended by the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development,” says Causey. “We have a list of needed items and a variety of naming opportunities that can be found on our website for anyone who would like to make a specific element of building or a piece of equipment possible. We have learned from our previous fundraising efforts that every penny counts and we welcome all sizes of donations and the ability to speak to any individual or group. All who give will receive permanent recognition inside the building.”

Why are we asking people to give toward completing this project? Because we believe the children, the youth and our community are worth it and will benefit from the Farm & Food Learning Center for years to come.

Food Demo at the Greene County Fair
 “Since we began this program in 2008, at-risk and food-insecure teens have been learning how to fish, not just so they can feed themselves, but so they can share their 'fish' with others,” says Causey. “ It's built into the program that the kids give back to the community in a number of ways. They donate fresh produce from their garden to the local soup kitchen and do cooking and gardening demonstrations at the local farmer's markets and county fair.”

Teens in the Farm & Food Teen Training Program
The teens also cater a thanksgiving meal for the elderly, share their knowledge of growing food in their neighborhoods and some become the cooks and shoppers for their own families.

“Teens have gone on to do some impressive things and most importantly the vast majority have gone on to further their education or go directly into the workplace – in some cases immediately qualifying for management positions” says Sally. “The Farm & Food Learning Center will be key to beginning their own business ventures right on the farm. It will also provide much needed facilities for Farm Day Camp, our long running summer program for children along with a whole host of new learning opportunities for the entire community.”

Would you like to help us reach our goal to qualify for the ARC grant and touch lives for generations to come? There are several ways you can contribute.

Visit our generosity.com page and donate there.

Visit our website, ruralresources.net, and click on the support tab. From there, click on the Capital Campaign tab. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the donate button on the left.

Mail your donation to Rural Resources, 2870 Holly Creek Rd., Greeneville, TN 37745. If you bring it in person you can see the progress on the building.

Call our office at 423-636-8171.

We are grateful for any and all donations!