Survey research was conducted to collect and analyze information regarding the effectiveness of the Northeast SARE Sustainable Community Grant program based on its first two years of funded projects. Grantees and cooperators for each project were invited to respond to a survey, project reports were studied, and additional information about projects and their impacts was sought on the Internet. The Northeast SARE Sustainable Community Grant program has made positive contributions to move regional agriculture toward the desired outcome. These grants have provided extensive social and economic benefits as well as some environmental benefits. Areas of particular strength include youth engagement in food and agriculture, connecting farmers with new, local institutional and direct markets, and helping farmers acquire the land and capital necessary for a viable farming business. Nearly all projects have continued in some way beyond their initial Northeast SARE funding and most have an active on-line presence. Project participants are positive about their involvement in the projects, the impacts of the projects and their involvement with Northeast SARE. Some of the projects have secured substantial additional funding to expand or carry on project activities. This funding program is supporting projects that have broadly engaged community members and brought together farmers with other community partners.
The final report for this evaluation is lengthy, and for reader convenience it can be downloaded as a single PDF file below.
There are no specific performance targets for this evaluation. The final report is available as a download from the final report.