AppalCorps

Engaging & empowering communities
with impactful & sustainable programs.

Program Focus:

AppalCorps is part of the Healthy Futures initiative through the Corporation for National and Community Service, in partnership with Volunteer Tennessee. Our mission is to build healthy futures through education and training opportunities, while supporting local food systems, food sovereignty, and food access. AppalCorps members serve in organizations across Tennessee helping to implement backyard gardening programs, support farmers and farmers markets, teach youth about healthy eating habits, expand food distribution programs serving our most at risk populations, and much more. 

AppalCorps aims to foster volunteerism and community building by following these four core principles:

Engaging

All community members are included in program development to ensure that programming meets the needs of the whole community and service population.

Impactful

Programs support community engagement, allowing for community and service members to witness the direct and lasting positive impact of their work.

Empowering

Community and service members build confidence through training and education which strengthens the community and empower all who are involved.

Sustainable

In everything we do, we must strive to be a positive force in our communities. Programming is built sustainably, always building up the communities we serve.

Rachel Armor, AppalCorps Program Director

Rachel first joined the ARC&D in 2015 as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Before that she was a local arts co-op business owner in downtown Bristol, and for a decade she educated hundreds of tourists and locals as an environmental tour guide on the Nolichucky River. She is managing the ARC&D’s USDA Farmers Market Promotion Project, a 3-year program in partnership with several organizations. Her experience in program management, community leadership, event logistics, marketing and public communications, and agritourism development is put to good use connecting consumers of the greater Tricities with their local farms—through CSAs, farm stands, farmers markets, on-farm sales and more. She is a native of Bristol TN-VA.

Connect: 423-427-0547 / rachel@arcd.org

Now Recruiting Host Sites and Service Members for the 2021-2022 Year

New opportunity this year: For the coming service term, we are offering two service teams. Host Sites may choose to host an AppalCorps Service Team Member and/or an AppalCorps Farmers Market Support Team Member. The Service Team Member can be on a one year or half-year term, they start in September, December, or May, and can serve at a variety of host sites. Farmers Market Support Team Members can serve on a one year or half-year term, and the half-year terms are designed to suit market needs (May-October). Both teams will receive full support regarding data collection, training, and networking.

Become A Service Member

Service Member Benefits

  • Professional development
  • Community service
  • Living allowance
  • Education Award
  • Childcare Coverage
  • Student Loan Forbearance

Service Member Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident of the United States
  • Must be at least 17 years of age
  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Must agree to and pass a criminal history background check
    Applicants are immediately disqualified from placement in the program if convicted of murdeer, a violent crime, or are listed as a sex offender. The ARCD prohibits enrollment of anyone with a felony or criminal conviction, or anyone on probation or facing charges at the time of the application.

Service Member opportunities will begin to open in September
and positions will be available based on hosting site needs.

Become A Host site

Host Site Benefits

  • Placement of a Service Member with a cost-share amount of $7,600 (full year) or $3,800 (half year) per member
  • Support for Members from the AppalCorps Program Director
  • Full vetting of Service Member through background checks
  • Training of Service Members before start of service
  • Access to project advisement throughout the service year

Host Site Requirements

  • Must be located in the state of Tennessee
  • Must be a government entity, school system, or non-profit organization
  • Maintain 501(c)3 status throughout the service year
  • Must actively recruit Service Members to serve at their site
  • Ability to supervise Service Member

Host sites may choose to start their members’ terms in May, September, or December. Please indicate your interest as soon as possible as there is a maximum number of placements available.

    Current Service Members

    Charlesey Charlton-McCallister

    Charlesey grew up in the foothills of the Appalachians in Northeast Tennessee, and she says that her childhood continues to have a profound impact on her life as an adult. Her grandmother’s family moved down from the mountains to escape poverty in the 1940s. 

    After receiving her bachelors in Agriculture and Art from MTSU, she explored local opportunities in agriculture for a couple of years before pursuing her MFA in Printmaking. Her thesis, “Taken of the Land” explored her life in Appalachia on a family farm where the culture was rich and deeply ingrained in her life and work. 
    Afterwards, Charlesey taught part time at Northeast State Community College while she also took over operations of the family farm where she managed 60 head of beef cattle. Today she still runs the family farm, which has since shifted from beef to 200 head of sheep. In addition, she still teaches college-level art.

    Charlesey is most excited about the chance to have a positive impact on local youth, particularly those interested in agriculture and food production. Exposure to agriculture in this area is very important, and she says that if she can play a small role in educating young people of the importance of where food comes from she will have met her goals for her Service with Rural Resources. 

    Aspen Hattabaugh

    Aspen grew up in Fort Smith, Arizona. She attended the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith for her undergraduate degree in Biology and the University of Georgia for her master’s degree in Crop and Soil Science. While in Athens, she taught in and helped run a small organic garden from seed to sale at a local farmer’s market. After graduation, she spent several months traveling in South America, learning some Spanish, and doing a month-long stint on a small farm in Tumianuma, Ecuador. She eventually settled in Telluride, Colorado, where her job allowed her to engage with the public, explaining sustainable products and practices and the science behind them in an accessible, approachable manner.

    When COVID-19 ravaged the tourism industry, she moved on to Chattanooga, TN and began volunteering at Crabtree Farms and taking Tennessee Master Gardener courses to get her hands (and head) back into the soil.
    Aspen is particularly interested in working day-to-day as a farmer, helping solve on-farm problems and getting hands-on experience using theories learned in class to aid in food production and public outreach and education of sustainable agriculture practices.

    Joshua Jenkins

    Joshua recently relocated to Chattanooga with his partner in October of 2020. His love for agriculture began after leaving his career as a public school teacher in 2016 to work on an educational farm in Northern California. At the farm, their curriculum focused on food justice and how community members can be more involved in the food system.

    Since leaving the farm in California, Joshua worked on a market garden in Arkansas selling organic vegetables and flowers, an organic heirloom apple orchard in Northern California, and a grass-fed and finished cattle farm in New Mexico. He looks forward to exploring more of Chattanooga and the surrounding areas this year while also getting to work with Crabtree and AmeriCorps on many projects that will positively impact the community

    Hannah Lancaster

    Hannah currently resides in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and is an AmeriCorps member working with Crabtree Farms of Chattanooga. She is originally from Savannah, Georgia, and made her way to Chattanooga three years ago, by way of a few years in Atlanta.

    As a passionate community advocate and event planner, Hannah has worked as a yoga teacher for 8 years, as well as an events coordinator and retail manager. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration with a focus in Nonprofit Management from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her research focus has been on food access programming and implementation of a human-centered design for program planning. In her free time she loves to work on the property she lives on, hike, mountain bike, work in her garden, and search out the best swimming holes in the area.

    Rosie McVeigh

    Rosie joined ARCD in 2020 through AmeriCorps. She graduated from ETSU in December of 2019 where she studied Anthropology, Spanish, and Public Health. Before joining the ARCD, she worked for the Town of Jonesborough managing the Ardinna Woods Arboretum.

    Rosie was born and raised in Northeast Tennessee and her family participated in many food co-ops growing up. Her family also utilized most of their property to grow all their own fruits and vegetables along with eggs. This self-sustained way of living inspired her to work in agricultural sustainability and food insecurity. She has a passion to continue this work after her AmeriCorps tenure and looks forward to gaining valuable work experience through the ARCD.

    Katie Ritchie

    Katie was born in Brandon, Mississippi, and was raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She enjoys writing poetry, and is proud to have had her work published in TN Magazine in August, 2020.

    She currently attends Walters State Community College where she studies General Studies until she decides what career path she wants to pursue. She is considering studying Social Work.

    Last year she began volunteering with the Mooresburg Community Association, which is where she will serve through AppalCorps. She is excited to have the opportunity to be out in the public really seeing the difference the MCA’s programs are having on the community. She is also excited to see what she will learn through AppalCorps that she can bring to her community through her work at MCA.

    Moorseburg Community Association is committed to responding to issues of hunger and social isolation. They provide services to locals to help them live independent lives. These services include home delivered meals and in-house dining, recreational activities, and transportation to medical appointments. 

    Jessie Rogers

    Jessie is a recent graduate of East Tennessee State University. She didn’t consider a career in any social work related field until after college, but has a passion for serving others, and is happy to help in any way she can. When not at work, Jessie can usually be found reading, writing science fiction and young adult dystopian stories, knitting, playing guitar, or spending time with her family and her Shih Tzu Chloe.

    Emily Watson-Lamb

    Emily grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex in North Texas and attended Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. There she majored in Animal Science. Shortly after graduation, she moved to East Tennessee and worked at Tractor Supply Co. along with a few local farms.

    In her second year in Tennessee, she became involved with Jonesborough Locally Grown, and now serves at Jonesborough Farmers Market and Boone Street Market. During her service year with AppalCorps, she is most excited about being able to continue to connect farmers, food, and the community through their online farmers market.

    Jonesborough Farmers Market’s online market came into stark focus this year when COVID-19 threatened to halt farmers markets – which would have removed a vital source of local food for hundreds of weekly customers. Since launching the online market, Jonesborough Locally Grown has reached more customers week after week and continues to connect local consumers with fresh local food.

    AppalCorps Service Member Opening: Membership and Outreach Coordinator with Tennessee Association of Farmers Markets

    The purpose of the Outreach and Membership Coordinator position is to support the organization in meeting its goals and objectives. This is an exciting opportunity for someone with a strong interest and commitment to locally grown food and agriculture products. This position is an AmeriCorps member service position for a one-year term with the Tennessee Association of Farmers Markets, supported by the AppalCorps AmeriCorps program of the Appalachian RC&D Council. This position will run from September 2021 until September 2022.