Our History: We Are Closing Agriculture’s Equity Gap
Accelerating Appalachia was founded to help regional agriculture-based businesses and small farms access resources and expand opportunities in the growing market for climate-smart, regenerative commodities. Small-medium scale businesses and farms often lack access to resources available to larger businesses. Accelerating Appalachia was created to close that gap.
In 2013, Accelerating Appalachia developed the world’s first accelerator program focused on regenerative agriculture. It was also the first to prioritize underserved farmers and commodity businesses. The accelerator helped underserved seed-stage businesses and producers of food, fibers and forest products by providing training in regenerative agriculture and connections with investors and peer businesses.
The accelerator’s launch was met with an overwhelming response. The first session received over 100 applications from around the world, with an inaugural session of eleven businesses. 10 years later, accelerator graduates have collectively leveraged over $20.2 million in investments.
We continue this mission with Building Soil, Building Equity (BSBE) that has an $18 million Farmer Fund with $12 million in cash incentives and $6 million in training and marketing assistance. BSBE will train and incentivize farmers and producers to adopt CSAF practices.