The WV Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) Program 2.0 is a farmer-led, peer-to-peer learning program that offers farmers an opportunity to participate in farm tours, trainings, and/or roundtable discussions within specific multi-county regions of West Virginia. The project aims to bring farmers together for training, tours, and networking from within smaller regions of the state.
This project seeks to:
- Support development of local/regional recurring peer-to-peer farmer training/mentoring in five multi-county communities
- Support education, mentorship, and collaboration among farmers to increase the sustainability of farming locally
- Empower the food and farm community to continue organizing educational trainings and events in the future with the aid of a comprehensive toolkit created through this funding opportunity.
The success of these goals will result in:
- 25 farm tour trainings across five foodsheds
- Engaging 250 farmers in training events spanning 17 counties
- Identifying a leader within each community to organize ongoing trainings and events
The WV Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) Program 2.0 is a farmer-led, peer-to-peer learning program that offers farmers an opportunity to participate in farm tours, trainings, and/or roundtable discussions within specific multi-county regions of West Virginia. Specific issues to be addressed include sustainable farming practices, developing connections with other farmers in the region, and exploring the potential for collaborative business endeavors. This programming seeks to increase farmers’ access to continued training and community building opportunities within their communities. The goal is to foster stronger regional food systems and increase access to regionally pertinent trainings.
Working within our five foodshed coverage area (17 counties), foodshed coordinators are partnering with farms to provide five CRAFT tours per foodshed (25 each) which will include workshop, networking, and tour opportunities. Farmers and interested parties are then invited to these CRAFT tours, to network and learn new techniques. This approach has been piloted by the WV Food and Farm Coalition for two years, throughout different regions of the state. The shift to focusing activities in smaller regions will provide structure and create networks within foodsheds for growers, farmers, and consumers to learn from one another in a much mo
Please note that The Research Process begins in Spring of 2020. Field staff have be prepared and are currently developing a series of workshops/tours with their producers. Outreach materials are being developed as well. There will be much more to report in the next reporting cycle but, here is the planned method:
Utilizing Social Science methods, the WV Food and Farm Coalition will collect pre and post-survey data from all attendees, anecdotal information, and qualitative impact stories from a small sample of attendees. Pre survey will be distributed at the first tour for attendees in each foodshed to create the baseline, while the post-survey will be given at the final tour in each foodshed. Data will be coded, with each participant being assigned a reporting number in the database.
Additional information to be collected includes participant sign-in sheets, media (photo and video), and anecdotal stories. Additionally, foodshed coordinators will collect big picture data such as participant engagement and behavior, conversations about specific farm topics and interest in future farm topics, and information about networks being built.
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