Resource Directory: Training and Technical Assistance Programs

A detailed listing of national and regional organizations that provide training and technical assistance to community food projects.

American Community Garden Association

ACGA offers leadership training and mentoring opportunities for new and existing community gardening organizations. Others interested in using greening activities for community organizing and development will also benefit from ACGA’s training opportunities. The primary programs are one or two-day workshops based on our Growing Communities Curriculum, annual conference, monthly teleconferences, website resources, including a searchable listserv questions and answers archive, and one-to-one consultations with community and school gardening professionals.

Click here to download ACGA’s full profile. (PDF)


C.S. Mott Group 

Mott Group members are engaged with our partners in a range of projects that addressthese problems and opportunities:  Youth Farm Stands, W.K. Kellogg Foundationís Food and Fitness Initiative, Michigan Farmers Market development, Project FRESH (Farmers Market Nutrition Program), Farm to School/Institution, Profitable Hoophouse Production and Marketing, Organic Farming, Youth Community Food Network, Direct Marketing, Pasture-based Livestock Production, Community Food Profiles, Seeding Economies, Financing Farming and Food Policy development.  

Click here to download C.S. Mott Group’s full profile. (PDF)



CFSC is a North American organization that provides a wide range of T&TA services to community food projects and practitioners.  CFSC supports hundreds of organizations each year with planning and organizing food projects, developing farm to school initiatives, organizing food policy councils, developing healthier corner stores, building peer networks, implementing program evaluations, and other work.  We also organize a major annual conference, a biannual farm to cafeteria conference, and other trainings and events, and develop online and print resources.  CFSC helps practitioners discover effective methods and models and access resources and support.  We also help them link with and learn from other organizations and connect with the broader movement.  We help people learn from those who have gone before, and move forward together.

Click here to download Community Food Security Coalition’s full profile. (PDF)




Growing Food and Justice Initiative for All, provides on-going support in dismantling racism trainings at all levels, developing a training of trainers program so that the initiative has well qualified trainers in all geographical areas. Concurrently, GFJI holds monthly discussions and dialogues on various topics relative to the organizations mission and vision, thereby, educating and providing support to Local Empowerment Groups throughout the country.  By making material and information available and accessible (LEGS) local empowerment groups will continue to address the individual and collective needs as a united voice in dismantling racism within the food system(s).  Working together closely with members of its communication, membership, educational, and Gathering/Conference Committees, GFJI provides members of its (LEGS) Local Empowerment Groups an opportunity annually to assemble, plan, train, and establish goals and activities that are implemented throughout the year.  

Click here to download Growing Food and Justice Initiative’s full profile. (PDF)


Growing Power

Growing power provides a variety of training & technical assistance activities for a wide range of audiences interested in intensive, sustainable food production.  Because Growing Power is led by persons of color, we have a special focus to provide T&TA services to urban, rural and tribal communities of color.  These services begin with our long-standing youth training activities and weekend ëfrom the ground upí workshops conducted for the public at the GP community food center in Milwaukee.  In recent years, we have added to this core a 5-month commercial urban agriculture training program ñ and are developing a national network of regional outreach training centers, each representing a partnership between growing power and a local food system organization.  Growing power also executes a number of federal grants with T&TA components, and provides T&TA to groups lacking the capacity to effectively compete for federal funding, as well as foundation support. 

Click here to download Growing Power’s full profile. (PDF)


Heifer International

Through working with higher capacity organizations in larger regional projects, we hope to develop organizational capacity, build and support coalitions that reach horizontally (e.g., organizations working on state-level matters) and/or vertically (e.g., linkages between national, state, and locally-focused organizations), and build and support systems that will influence national, state, and local policies to move us towards food sovereignty. Our direct T&TA will probably be focused at this higher level. Since we are still building our team, we do not yet know what the full complement of our staff capacities to provide direct T&TA will be. But, they will all be organizers who will develop working/funding partnerships in their respective regions (SW/Northern Mexico, MS Delta, Appalachia, and National/Urban Agriculture. In addition to Urban Ag, we also have Indigenous Peoples and Beginning/Immigrant Farmers as thematic areas). We plan, as we have done on a smaller scale in the past, to indirectly provide T&TA through our partners to improve the situation of both limited-resource producers and low-income/food insecure communities.

Click here to download Heifer International’s full profile. (PDF)






Institute for Social & Economic Development

The Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED) provides T&TA to refugee food and agriculture projects nationwide.  This activity is supported through HHS/ORR-funded Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program (RAPP).  Projects are mostly urban-based, serving beginning farmer and gardener programs, IDAs, and micro-enterprise development.  Grants are provided for up to $100,000 a year for 3-years to about a dozen groups.  Additional groups have funding from other sources.  Technical assistance includes phone, email and site visits, as an annual training meeting.  The coordinator also manages a listserv and helps groups access other resources and develop their programs over the grant period.  

Click here to download The Institute for Social & Economic Development’s full profile. (PDF)


National Center for Appropriate Technology

Through its ATTRA sustainable ag information service (funded year to year basis through USDA) NCAT provides technical assistance to requestors around the US, including but not limited to farmers, ranchers, organizations and projects involved with food projects and food systems work.  Services through ATTRA include individualized responses to questions by phone (English and Spanish), email and postal mail; a popular website with a home page that is updated daily; training and presentations; publications developed by our staff and/or with other organizations; newsletters (electronic and print).  

Through projects funded by various private and federal sources, NCAT staff have also done on-the-ground work with state and regional food projects (1-3 years) in Montana, California, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Mississippi.  Sample activities include: improving market connections between institutions and in-state food producers; developing business and record-keeping skills for limited resource farmers; improving outreach and usage related to SNAP benefits at smaller farmers markets.

Click here to download The National Center for Appropriate Technology’s full profile. (PDF)


National Farm to School Network

The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) provides technical assistance and trainings at national, regional, state and local levels on Farm to School ñ introductory, intermediate and advanced. This is done through in-person workshops, webinars, in-person or, on the phone or via email consultation on a variety of Farm to School topics.

Click here to download The National Farm to School Network’s full profile. (PDF)




National Good Food Network

The NGFN consists of a national manager and support team, regional lead teams, consultant and key partners all experienced and well versed in regional food systems work as it relates to increasing capacity of small growers and connecting them to new markets, distribution and infrastructure development and moving more locally produced, healthy food into communities reaching underserved families with low food access.  

Currently our communications and outreach gives our audiences key contact information for regional TA assistance requests and provides for contact information to the national manager for national coordination, collaboration, partnership TA assistance.  Also, new emerging regional teams have contacted the national manager and/or regional leads for TA assistance in their regions.  

The NGFN continues to articulate and refine the model for how to most appropriately administer TA for national and regional requests.  To date, TA requests have been honored through grant programs, including an element of TA assistance at the national and regional level.  In some cases TA assistance has been done pro bono by the national manager and/or regional leads.  The need for TA is great, requests are received weekly and the NGFN is equipped with a pool of TA providers for national support or regional assistance.  Coordination with other national networks and organizations could be an effective approach for administering TA around the country.

Click here to download The National Good Food Network’s full profile. (PDF)


Public Health Law & Policy

PHLPís team of staff attorneys, city planners, and policy analysts research and answer tough legal and policy questions, develop ready-to-go model policies, and ìtrain the trainersî to equip community leaders with the capacity to put our tools to work.

We offer trainings, tools, and technical assistance in the following community food topics:

  • Farmersí Markets & Produce Carts
  • Healthy Food Systems
  • Grocery Store Attraction
  • Healthy Corner Stores
  • WIC and EBT
  • Community Gardens and Urban Agriculture
  • Fast Food Regulations
  • Sugar Sweetened Beverage Legislation

We specialize in working across disciplines to bring together varied audiences ñ redevelopment agencies and public health department staff, for instance, or school board members and community advocates ñ to create effective strategies that improve food access. PHLP staffs several learning communities related to healthy food access, including the national Healthy Corner Stores Network (in partnership with CFSC, The Food Trust, and Urbane Development).

Click here to download Public Health Law & Policy’s full profile. (PDF)







Real Food Challenge

The Real Food Challenge trains college students to conduct campaigns on their campuses aimed at securing ìreal food commitmentsîópledges from administration to dedicate a portion of their food budgets to local, fair trade, ecologically-sound, and/or humane food sources.  We also train students to do assessments of their institutions with our Real Food Calcultor.

As part of a new initiative, called LiveReal, we will start doing trainings for members of our LiveReal community ( — in development) on personal and political action around food, from leading by example to starting campaigns in high school to changing the Farm Bill.

Both of these projects are currently housed in The Food Project (which also trains people to set up their own youth-food projects).  We are in the process of spinning them out as separate nonprofit, with The Food Project as a fiscal sponsor. 

Click here to download Real Food Challenge’s full profile. (PDF)











Rooted in Community

RIC is a collective of organizations from around the country working on youth empowerment and food justice.  RIC serves organizations that work with predominantly low-income, urban youth (teens) of color.  More and more, rural, or lower density towns are joining the RIC Network. RICís key T & TA activities fall into two categories. The first is direct capacity building with youth through the annual Summer Leadership Conference.  This conference/gathering is uniquely ìfor youth and by youthî.  Each summer the conference moves to a different region of the country and is completely put on by the local host organizations and their youth.  The second is by providing informal support and networking opportunities for the adult leaders and organizations working with youth on youth empowerment and food justice in their home communities.  We share best practices, curriculum, pedagogies, methodologies of youth development and food systems change, and so on.  More and more, RIC is also facilitating a youth leadership role in other conferences, networks, and local events.

Click here to download Rooted in Community’s full profile. (PDF)


Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group

Southern SAWGís work is centered on creating a more sustainable food system in the southern US, with a large portion of our current T&TA activities focused on providing production and marketing education for farmers who market directly to consumers.  While many of those farmers are not involved in formal community food system initiatives, the work we do to build their expertise and capacity impacts the effectiveness of food systems work in their communities.

Southern SAWG also provides educational sessions at our annual conference on strategies and best practices for creating more sustainable food systems in communities.  These sessions are geared toward individual farmers, farmer groups and community food project leaders.  Additionally, we are providing more intensive training and networking opportunities (in partnership with CFSC) for food policy council organizers. 

Click here to download Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group’s full profile. (PDF)


Southwest Marketing Network

Annual conference, regional convenings, local workshops, one-on-one advising for:  Grant writing, Project Planning, Community Food Assessments, Farm to School Trainings, Value Chain Trainings, Network for Financing/Funding for Small Food/Farm Enterprises & Community Initiatives, Referrals to resource people for developing market connections and TA for community initiatives


Our T&TA at SWMN has been structured to meet the particular rural/tribal audienceís needsÖover time. After several years of hosting an annual conference with particular subject matter, we found that enterprises and community initiatives were needing deeper T&TA relevant to their unique context and stage of development. We also noticed that particular regions within states were experiencing similar challenges that could be approached with common strategies (ie: First Nations community groups groups facing challenges due to incoherence between tribal governance, state governance and USDA programs/Federal governance). Therefore, our current method of delivering T&TA is able to respond to local/regional requests with a smaller convening on requested subject matter and follow up with these enterprises and leadership groups of community initiatives with one-on-one TA as they develop their enterprise or project throughout the year(s).  We can also receive a ìcold-callî from someone who found out about the SWMN and address their request, virtually, and recommend they attend an upcoming conference or training in their area. 

Click here to download Southwest Marketing Network’s full profile. (PDF)









USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture


NIFA’s unique mission is to advance knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. NIFA doesn’t perform actual research, education, and extension but rather helps fund it at the state and local level and provides program leadership in these areas.

Click here to download USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture’s full profile. (PDF)



WhyHunger provides capacity building services, mentoring, training opportunities and technical assistance to community organizations that are actively forging new ideas to transform communities and end hunger and poverty. Together with a network of more than 8,000 grassroots organizations, we share their innovations, mobilize resources, and connect them to each other in order to support their work to build healthier, sustainable communities that develop local food systems and strengthen local economies. WhyHunger also collects, develops and distributes information and resources to help build the capacity of emergency food providers to address the immediate needs of struggling families and individuals in a way that promotes self-reliance and access to healthy food. Finally, we link domestic food justice leaders with their counterpoints internationally to help build global movements for food sovereignty and the basic rights to food, land, water, and sustainable livelihoods for all people.

Click here to download WhyHunger’s full profile. (PDF)