Farm & Food Teen Training Program

The Farm & Food Teen Training Program


In this program, teens join a group of 12 peers, and progress through a year of growing food on the farm and then a year of cooking and catering with local chefs. The group then progresses to beginning and running a farm or food related business for the next two years.

We currently serve between 40 and 50 teens each year. Our goal is to add one group of 10 teens each year.

All along the way, teens are paid modest amounts for hands-on farm and catering work. As their businesses profit, they profit. At each stage of the project, the teens also give back and share some of what they have gained with the community: knowledge, fresh produce, prepared food, and more!

Become a part of the action!

There are a variety of ways you can support the Farm & Food Training Program: by becoming a Rural Resources Member or Sustainer, "adopting" a teen for a year, and purchasing casseroles baked by the teens (get 'em before they're gone!).

Adopt a Teen for the Year!

What better gift can you give than allowing an at-risk teenager the opportunity to increase his or her food security?

Your donation will allow an at-risk teenager to experience a farm has to offer: gardening, animal care and usage, land preservation, composting, and organic farming practices.  In the Farm and Food Training Program they will gain a better understanding of what food is through growing and raising the ingredients themselves, then learning from local chefs how to prepare it.  Some teens move on to the next level of the training and learn to run their own small food-related business.  Through teaching our youth both where their food comes from and how they can grow and prepare it at home in a more limited space, we empower them to become more self-reliant in providing food and income for themselves and their families.

For $1,100, your generosity will sponsor one teen to participate in our program for a year. You’ll ensure that one lucky young person from East Tennessee gets to learn these valuable life skills, improve eating and health habits, and become more effective young adults in society.

In return, we’ll keep you posted on the progress of both the teen you sponsor and the Farm & Food Training Program in general.  You will receive a bi-yearly newsletter informing you of the impact your donation has had on this young life.  Consider how you want to invest in the future of the region, and make a donation today.

Make your donation today.


Every two years teens--and lately their parents--are involved in evaluating the program.  Led by Rural Support Partners of Asheville, NC with no Rural Resources Staff present, focus groups meet and give feedback on all aspects of the program.  Read the evaluations below:

2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016

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