Financial Assistance Opportunities

For the 38th Sustainable Agriculture Conference, November 11-13, 2023, in Durham, North Carolina, we’re delighted to offer a number of opportunities to make attending the annual event more accessible.

See below for a number of scholarship and work exchange opportunities available.


William W. Dow Scholarship

Conference scholarships for BIPOC farmers or beginning farmers

Who can apply?

This scholarship is open to:

  • ALL South Carolina or North Carolina farmers who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color of ALL experience levels. CFSA recognizes the institutional barriers and discriminatory practices that farmers of color have endured, from access to credit, land, and resources, and strives to address this through its programs and services.
  • BEGINNING farmers of ANY race and ethnicity who have been actively farming for five years or less in South or North Carolina. This includes owning or operating your own farm business, working as a farmhand, or farm/community garden manager.

What does the scholarship cover?

A full scholarship, valued at $750, covers all conference sessions and programming on Saturday and Sunday, including the Saturday evening reception. Additional funds may be requested to cover the cost of on-farm intensives or lodging accommodations.

The benefits of the scholarship continue after the conference! Each Dow Scholar becomes a CFSA member and can access our free technical services for an entire year—from food safety and high tunnel production to organic certification and conservation planning—in addition to discounts to other CFSA events, a subscription to CFSA’s regional listservs, among other benefits. Accumulatively, these benefits are valued at $4,250.

On average, between 20 and 30 scholarships are awarded each year.

Important Scholarship Dates:

  • September 15 – Dow Scholarship application period closes
  • September 22 – Scholarship recipients are notified of the award
  • September 29 – Deadline to accept the scholarship to attend the 2023 conference


  • Who was William “Bill” W. Dow? Read all about him.
  • Previous Dow Scholarship awardees who attended the in-person conference are not eligible to apply.
  • Current CFSA staff and board members, as well as members of their households, are ineligible to apply.
  • Each applicant should fill out an application (e.g., spouses/partners must apply separately).
  • Each scholarship covers conference registration for ONE attendee.
  • Applicants who meet the minimum criteria (listed above) but who are not awarded scholarships will have the opportunity to register for the conference at the discounted early bird rates (which are currently listed on our ticketing page).

How to Apply for the Dow Scholarship

Complete the application online or download and print the .PDF, fill it out, and mail it to the CFSA Office: PO Box 448, Pittsboro, NC 27312. Please ensure that mailed applications are received by September 15, 2023.

NCAT & Frontline-to-Farm Veterans Scholarship

Conference scholarships for veterans raising livestock or poultry

Limited scholarships are available through Appalachian State University’s Frontline to Farm program and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Scholarships of up to $250 are available for military veterans who want to learn about sustainable livestock production and farm business.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Veterans who receive a scholarship will be responsible for their own conference registration. Recipients must submit a conference registration receipt in order to be reimbursed. 

Note: This scholarship is managed by NCAT and is not a CFSA scholarship. Please contact NCAT directly with scholarship questions: Margo Hale at [email protected].

Food Animal Concerns Trust Scholarship

Conference scholarships for livestock and poultry farmers

Food Animals Concerns Trust (FACT) awards a limited number of scholarships to cover registration fees for livestock and poultry farmers to attend the 2023 conference. The scholarship will cover up to $400, reimbursed after registration. Please review the guidelines before applying.

Scholarships are awarded on a first-come-first-served basis, so submit your application today!

Note: This scholarship is managed by FACT and is not a CFSA scholarship. Please contact FACT directly with scholarship questions at [email protected] or 773-525-4952.

Work Exchange

Any attendee can work to get dollars off their conference registration

Sign up to be a registration table assistant, workshop monitor, or on-farm intensive check-in host for a $15/hour discount on your conference ticket. The work exchange discount must be applied to a conference ticket; spots are reserved for those who want to attend the conference, not solely volunteer.

Contact [email protected] to receive your registration discount code after you’ve completed the work exchange sign-up.