For Educators, Extension Agents & Students

Small Business Center Resources

A Guide to Hosting Food & Farm Business Training Programs at Community Colleges

Small Business Centers (SBCs) in North Carolina have a unique ability to help farmers and food businesses create viable business plans to increase their share of the local food market. This guide supports the development of a series of workshops enabling local food and farming businesses to follow an agriculture focused entrepreneurial curriculum with guidance from local experts. Participants finish the course with a complete business plan. Three Small Business Centers in North Carolina have launched food and farm business planning short courses. This guide shares their experiences, resources and recommendations.

Hosting Agriculture & Food Entrepreneurship Training at Your Community College: A Webinar for Small Business Counselors & Cooperative Extension Agents

Presented by NC Growing Together and the North Carolina Rural Center, this webinar featured two highly successful food and farm business training programs from Southwestern Community College and Vance-Granville Community College. Participants learned how to develop these programs at their own campus, and potential solutions for funding, planning, and marketing these programs in your their own community.


Farm and Food Business Resource Guide: Developed for the North Carolina Small Business Center and Small Business Technology Development Center Networks

This guide was designed to help small business developers across North Carolina who are working with food entrepreneurs and farms. It provides an overview of common issues and associated resources, as well as a guide to North Carolina Cooperative Extension and agricultural resources and an overview of grants, financing, and other capital programs that support farmers and food businesses.


Resources for Extension Agents

NCGT has worked with NC Cooperative Extension staff and other partners to develop dynamic courses and resource materials to assist farmers and food businesses as they seek to increase sales, expand their markets, and improve production practices.

NCGT Grower-Buyer Connections Event Planning Guide

Produced by NC Growing Together, the NC 10% Campaign, and NC Cooperative Extension

Download PDF

Grower­-Buyer Connections events are designed to connect individual growers to individual buyers in a respectful and efficient setting that can lead to a sales relationship. Each grower meets face­-to-­face for 8­-10 minutes with each buyer, with buyers moving from table to table. Growers at each table have the opportunity to share product lists, photos of their farm, and samples with buyers; and buyers have the opportunity to share their requirements for volume, insurance, delivery terms, and their specific product needs. This planning guide includes everything necessary to plan a Grower-Buyer Connections Event in your community.



Local Food Supply Chain Apprenticeship

We just wrapped up the 2018 NCGT Apprenticeship!  Check back here soon for links to their final presentations, or read Students in the Local Food Value Chain: Experiences from the 2017 NC Growing Together Summer Internship (.pdf).

This is the fourth year of the Local Food Supply Chain Apprenticeship! Learn about our 2017 apprentices here, our 2016 apprentices here, and our 2015 apprentices here.

Local Food Supply Chain Apprenticeship: A Program Guide

The NCGT Local Food Supply Chain Apprenticeship  is both a way to educate and engage the next generation of food entrepreneurs and policy makers, and a strategy to support the success of value chain intermediaries. This guide summarizes our planning and execution of the apprenticeship program between 2015 and 2018. We hope it will be useful to university programs or other organizations seeking to educate and build stronger ties between local and regional food businesses and supporting organizations such as land grant universities.

Download .pdf


Networking Events Planning Guides

Guide to Hosting Mini Food Shows in Your Community

Download PDF

Mini food shows are community-led events designed to showcase local farms and food producers to a variety of audiences, including buyers like restaurants and specialty shops, food distributors, and residents. This guide outlines the planning, preparation, and marketing tasks for hosting your own event.




Local Foods and the Supply Chain Course

ncsu-scrc-logo-resizedIn a unique collaboration, NCGT and the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative at NC State’s Poole School of Management co-designed a course to introduce MBA candidates to the unique place of local foods in the supply chain.  In Spring 2014, the class of 18 students visited with 20 speakers from across the supply chain and worked in teams to investigate supply chain challenges faced by NCGT partners.

This powerpoint summarizes the class and was presented at the 2014 meeting of the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference.

Visit the NCGT website’s Research page to read the student teams’ presentations and reports.


Webinars, Tools and Resources

Browse webinars, tools, and resources below or on our Resources for Educators, Advocates and Students page. More student resources can also be found at