Network Development and Skill Building of Agriculture Service Providers for an Inclusive and Food Secure New Hampshire

Progress report for SNE21-008-NH

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2021: $132,897.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2024
Grant Recipient: UNH Cooperative Extension
Region: Northeast
State: New Hampshire
State Coordinator:
Olivia Saunders
UNH Cooperative Extension
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Project Information

Summary:

Problem and justification: New Hampshire agriculture is in transition, both amongst the farming community and within the agriculture service providers (ASP) who offer direct support. The global pandemic resulted in the retirement of many ASPs who had lengthy careers and were well networked across the state. New staff have not had the opportunity to network across agencies or industries resulting in an isolated service provider landscape, each working towards their own individual or specific organizational level needs. A well-connected network will be more efficient in meeting grower needs, be better able to address major issues, and work towards collective goals. In addition, given historic and well-documented racial inequities across the food system, service providers must improve their cultural competencies to better serve an all-incisive agricultural landscape. A baseline understanding of the cultural stressors that all farm families face and how this may influence their professional working relationship with the farm family and farm business will result in a more sustainable agriculture system, where all people are able to farm.

Solution and approach: Agriculture Service Providers will connect more formally and regularly to identify grower needs and service provider knowledge gaps, execute culturally proficient professional development activities, and develop communication channels to serve NH agriculture. In recognition of the changing landscape of NH farms and farmers, this program will catalyze service providers to identify and address the changing needs, by building a tighter and more inclusive community and by addressing needs of all farmers in a rapid and transparent fashion. Validated grower need will be enduring by including three beginner farmer representatives as active participants in the network. This network will build out communications plans, improve functionality of webpage and web-based offerings including blogs and resources for beginning and established farms.

Performance Target:

Sixteen agriculture service providers (ASPs) will develop skills in advising farm businesses with improved cultural competencies to better serve a diverse group of New Hampshire farmers. These 16 service providers will change their attitude and awareness in the structural racism present in the food system, and the importance of collaborating as a network to address such challenges. The service providers will be better able to serve New Hampshire farmers though a strengthened more connected network serving 80 farmers.

Introduction:

Agricultural Need: As the states farming community ages (65% of farm owners being 55 or older), so do the service providers who offer support. As retirements occur, we lose the relationships and networks that were developed over individual careers. New staff are not familiar with the skills partner agencies bring or of the specialties of individuals. No single organization has taken leadership in gathering agency partners in networking, communication, collaboration or skill building. We are effectively siloed in our own organizations. Furthermore, barriers to food security, food and land access are reinforced by systemic inequalities across the food system (Conrad, 2020). Racial and cultural inequalities at all levels in the food system are well documented (Conrad, 2020; Rosset, 2008) with many agricultural professionals unaware how they perpetuate these issues. If NH ASPs are not able to effectively communicate across agencies, and continue to operate without cultural proficiency training, they will not be able to effectively or efficiently provide services to New Hampshire’s farmers, or do this in a culturally proficient manner. Tight networks and a shared understanding of racial equity and the food system enhance information flow and result in better services for all types of farmers.

The NH Agriculture Financiers has expressed interest and support for an enhanced, tighter-networked ASP landscape. We aim to tighten the network while working towards a more diverse and inclusive agricultural community. This includes opportunity for underserved to have a seat at the table. Additionally, the NH Food Alliance, Racial Equity Team has formed to amplify racial equity in the state’s food system, and serve as a resource for food and farm organizations. There is staff-overlap between these teams, providing a natural synergy. At the 2021 statewide food summit, racial equity round table, action items such as “finding partners to unpack racial equity work” and “creating open space for micro-learning opportunities” were identified. This SARE project builds upon this assessment as well as the 21-week racial equity challenge conducted in the summer of 2020, of which the SARE PDP coordinator was a participant.

Farmers, the UNH Beginning Farmer training course, and agriculture service providers have expressed a desire for a single spot to get information germane to their diverse needs. In improving cultural proficiency among a farmer audience, many organizations that work directly with farmers do not know where or how to start (as demonstrated during key informant interviews.) While organizations are unsure how to proceed with incorporating DEI into their work, granting agencies such as Northeast SARE and the NH Charitable Foundation have asked grantees to include DEI goals in request for proposals. Organizations must address how they are advancing racial equity and social justice in proposed projects.

Proposed Solution: To create a cohesive network, year one will focus on a team and relationship building across industries and organizations. Commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity on behalf of all participants will be incorporated into goals. A digital ‘office hours’ will help create a cohesive and inclusive network easily available to all farmers.

To address knowledge gaps two PDP trainings will be held in year two and year three. One focused on building skill in diversity, equity and inclusion and one designed to meet the express needs of the network that year, to possibly include: farm viability, farm stress, agriculture mediation, having difficult conversations, or conflict resolution. NH SARE will actively seek input over the project period by including three diverse (minority) beginner farmer representatives and will build in flexibility to respond to the needs identified.  

During the final year of the project, we will establish network norms, procedures and leadership structure, and repeat the social network analysis done in 2021. Throughout the project NH SARE will build out a communications plan for the network, improve functionality of web-based offerings including blogs and resources for beginning and established farms.

ASP Interest: Support for the project comes from a direct, expressed need from the agriculture financiers group as well as the UNH Extension Beginner Farmer team, who will be core participants of the project. Engagement will build off the success and recruit participation from the NH Farmers Open Forum where a diverse pool of ASP’s joined a weekly call to address timely topics and the 21 week NH food system racial equity learning group.

Rosset, Peter. Development, 2008, 51(4), (460–463). 2008 Society for International Development (7) (PDF) Food Sovereignty and the Contemporary Food Crisis.

Conrad, Alison. Identifying and Countering White Supremacy Culture in Food Systems. Duke World Food Policy Center, Sept. 2020, wfpc.sanford.duke.edu/sites/wfpc.sanford.duke.edu/files/Whiteness-Food-Movements-Research-Brief-WFPC-October-2020.pdf.

Advisors/Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Jessica Wright - Technical Advisor (Educator)

Educational Approach

Educational approach:

Recruitment:  Recruitment for this project will build off the NH SARE PDP grant (SNE20-008-NH) where service providers participated in a 2-day Reading The Farm training (RTF). At the RTF, participants were brought together to form a more-cohesive network, this is a continuation of that effort. NH Food Alliance, NH Ag Financiers as well as program team leaders will assist with recruitment of new core members. A core 16 participants will be enrolled throughout the course of the project, forming a cohesive farm network to identify and meet network needs. Recognizing that networks are not static but changing, ‘Open Forums’ (piloted during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic) will be used to highlight the network, with a topic-focused open forum/dialogue while encouraging new people to join the network. Formal meetings will be organized with the core-16 for a cohesive group and address PD needs, where the open forum will be used as a tool to connect with farmers and communicate this work back to the public, ensuring we do not remain siloed or isolated.

Printed materials will be supplied when required for a training event, with supplemental material and reports shared in a single cloud-based folder for participants to access during the project. Three self-identified, minority beginner farmer liaisons will be recruited to serve as both program participants and network leaders, provide ongoing input to the network ASPs. Farmer liaisons will be paid for their travel and time.

Education:  The four PDP training events for the NH ASP cohort, will be specifically designed to address participant needs. Participants will therefore have a high motivation to actively engage in learning. The NH SARE Coordinator will utilize many of the tools outlined in the “Sustainable Agriculture Through Sustainable Learning” Guide for educators by Sandy Bell and Janet McAllister, such as having ASP identify and share their mental models, in particular with DEI trainings. Prior to a training event, ASPs will share their motivation for attending and goals for the day. We will solicit real-life examples from ASPs to build upon when hosting trainings, for example “how to have difficult conversations” or how to address equity and inclusion issues when working in the field, how to respond when such issues arise. Trainings will be grounded in the understanding that all participants are co-learners and the network is strengthened when we are able to support each other through difficult situations. All trainings will include pre-reading materials, as well as an action sheet (do more of, do less of, start doing, stop doing) to use during the workshop. Supplemental material and reports will be shared in a single cloud-based folder for participants to access during the project. Participants will use the self-assessment "skills and knowledge list for agriculture service providers" tool to track progress. Success and failure of education will be easily tracked through the use of this tool.

Verification:  NH SARE will actively seek input over the project period and will build in flexibility to respond to the needs identified. To remain accountable to our farmer audience, we will involve beginner farmer representatives in the trainings and organizing meetings. As such this program has been designed with flexibility in mind, with the core goal of creating a community of learning that will allow New Hampshire to develop a stronger and tighter network of ASPs. Our secondary goal is to develop professionally in the areas of diversity equity and inclusion, and other “soft skills” (ie: mediation). In recognition that ASPs have varying skills and participate in their own ongoing professional development, the specific topics for the trainings will be outlined as the event nears. In lieu of traditional surveys to verify learning where participants are asked to rate the quality of a program, we will utilize self-assessment skills and knowledge lists. This self-assessment will ask participants to measure skill or knowledge in DEI and other “soft skills” as previously utilized by the NH SARE PDP coordinator in the Honey Bee Health Diagnostic Training, and originally piloted by Richard Brzozowski of University of Maine Extension. The “skills and knowledge list” will build off the ongoing project from the Northeast Agriculture Viability group identifying Core Competencies for ASPs. This “skills and knowledge list for agriculture service providers” will be tracked over time to measure progress.

In year one and three the cohort and NH SARE coordinator will utilize the Michigan State University tool: Measuring Racial Equity in the Food System: Established and Suggested Metrics. We will utilize the second section of the toolkit “food and farm business: ownership of land and means of production and business support” to evaluate progress in the NH food system. Additionally we will repeat our network analysis evaluation that was conducted in 2021 to measure connectivity between ASPs in New Hampshire.

Milestones

Milestone #1 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

16 ASP participants (the Cohort) and 3 beginner farmer representatives will review the 2021 needs assessment and network analysis to identify professional development needs of NH Ag service providers. Building off these assessments, we will prioritize needs across the service provider industry to develop a strategic professional development plan. During this meeting, we will establish network goals, meeting frequency and time. Additionally the NH SARE PDP coordinator will use the original needs assessment, integrating the Core Competencies from the Northeast Agriculture Viability group, to develop a “skills and knowledge list for agriculture service providers” (self-assessment tool). This tool will be used throughout the project to measure growth and development of the individual ASPs.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
3
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
16
Proposed Completion Date:
December 20, 2021
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
March 31, 2022
Accomplishments:

The NH SARE coordinator had initially planned on utilizing the core competencies from the Northeast Agriculture Viability group that was to be developed by the start of this project. The Agriculture Viability group did not complete the Core Competencies project, and therefore we could not utilize the resource for this project. In lieu of the skills assessment checklist, we held multiple listening and input sessions on the utility of the network, and explored through conversation with a diverse array of service providers what would be most helpful to them in their work. Specific skills vary by position and organization. This baseline assessment is an item we hope to revisit during the winter 2022 planning session, and hope to explore the future utility of such an assessment.

Milestone #2 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

16 cohort participants and 3 beginner farmer representatives will attend a 1-day workshop providing a DEI framework with an agricultural context and engage in a goal setting exercise outlining purpose and mission for the future of the network. Prior to this 1-day training all participants will receive DEI related readings and study material to provide framework and grounding for these conversations. Participants will fill out the “skills and knowledge list for agriculture service providers” at the start of the training.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
3
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
16
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
3
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
69
Proposed Completion Date:
March 31, 2022
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
October 17, 2022
Accomplishments:

Two professional development webinars were conducted for the NH Farm Network. The goals for both of these were to be conversational and informative, challenging how we work as a state and as a network to build a more inclusive and equitable farming support system in New Hampshire. Preparation and input for these was provided through conversations with historically underserved farmers, including new and beginner farmers.

The first on June 6th focused on understanding the baseline racial equity assessment conducted for New Hampshire. 39 agriculture service providers attended. We covered how the project came to be, why building a network with a racial equity lens is important, and then presented the tool, the approach we took in finding data, and shared some of the key findings. Once we presented the data, we included the following prompts for discussion:

  • How do you see yourself or your organization using these data / assessment?
  • What resources might you need to center racial equity in your work?
  • How might you contribute to the data set?
  • What would our collective work look like if we operated thru a racial equity lens?

The second, held on October 17th, 2022 with 33 attendees, focused on hearing from underserved farmers. This Open Forum was designed to allow space for service providers to listen to historically underserved farmers in New Hampshire. We invited a panel of three farmers to speak to the group about their unique experiences as new farmers in New Hampshire. We asked service providers to listen for what structural barriers these farmers faced as they told us their stories, being careful not to provide specific recommendations to the individual, but to identify what at the system level prevented success.  Invited guests were Paolamantina “Paola” Grullon Livingstone of Living Stone Farm in Wentworth, NH, Nasteho Mohamed - Farm and Food Youth Program at the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success, and Andal Sundaramurthy of Nalla Farm in Wilmot, NH. Speaker prompts were:

  • How could you have been better supported?
  • What would you have wanted service providers to understand about your journey?
  • Is there anything you want to share with a group of service providers to help us better serve others in your same situation?
  • Were there certain steps along the process that felt more challenging than they should have?

*This was not a time for service providers to suggest specific advice to farmers, but rather to listen and identify systemic barriers to entry or and long-term success. What about the system prevents farmers from entry? What about the systems prevents farmers from success? How, as a community of service providers, can we uproot these?

We closed with a conversation on where do we need to put the work in? Given what you heard today what would be a short/medium/long-term goal? This could be a self-reflection on your own work or organization.

Milestone #3 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

As a baseline measure to track changes over the course of this project, the NH SARE Coordinator will use the Michigan State University tool: Measuring Racial Equity in the Food System: Established and Suggested Metrics. We will utilize the second section of the toolkit “food and farm business: ownership of land and means of production and business support” to evaluate food system equity in the networks’ work. This analysis and data collection is anticipated to take 6-months and will be contracted out. Once complete, the metrics report will be shared widely and is likely to inform future programming by NH ASPs. (March 2022).

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
3
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
3
Proposed Completion Date:
April 1, 2022
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
June 6, 2022
Accomplishments:

The Measuring Racial Equity in the Food System: Established and Suggested Metrics report was completed, and posted, and a supplemental webinar was offered on June 6, 2022. Much work went into selecting data points to collect, aggregating and locating the data, and finding a consultant to complete this work. Six meetings were held in collaboration with the NH Food System Racial Equity Team, who provided support for the project. Specifically this group helped identify which data points and metrics would be of greatest value to the NH food and farming system, and helped share the results once finalized.

The SARE PDP coordinator along with the hired consultant pulled together the report, now published with the UNH Library system and available online for download. https://scholars.unh.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2249&context=extension

A public webinar was held to present the findings and the report on June 6th with 60 people registering and 39 individuals in attendance.

 The NH SARE PDP coordinator has also been working with the NH Food Alliance, which will be providing financial support to complete the full MSU assessment using staff at the UNH Carsey Institute. This project only supported the collection of agricultural and farming metrics, not nutrition, food insecurity or food service workers.

Milestone #4 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

The NH SARE PDP Coordinator will host/co-host 6 NH Farmer Open Forums, with minimum 10 participants per forum, to create a more cohesive network and knowledge sharing, to benefit both ASPs in their networking ability, and individual farmers who participate in the calls. Forum topics will be identified by the beginner farmer representatives, and focus on food system and agriculture equity topics. These “ag service provider office hours” will be actively promoted thru the UNH Extension Newsletter and social media to the farming public. The open forum structure also functions as an opportunity for continuous feedback from grower constituents. Ongoing input from the grower participants will inform both cohort network meetings and future open forum topics. As grower needs arise, the forum will provide opportunity for immediate input to ASPs (April 2022).

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
20
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
96
Proposed Completion Date:
April 29, 2022
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
October 17, 2022
Accomplishments:

In an effort to build support and understanding for the network, we focused initial efforts on small informal meetings or listening sessions with partnering agencies and collaborators before launching a publicly advertised meeting.

These efforts began in October 2021 with a one-on-one meeting with a farm coordinator working with underserved farmers. This was in an effort to understand how the formation of a new support network could best serve underserved farmers, and what their specific needs were in New Hampshire. In March 2022 we met with the NH conservation districts who had expressed the need for a more collaborative networking program. Conversations with District staff helped provide input on the future website build and how the network meetings would be held. Later in March, we discussed the formation of the network with UNH Extension Food and Agriculture staff, again providing input and support on the future of the network, who to invite, and how to roll out the program. Our fourth meeting was May 13th, at the NH Food Alliance Statewide Gathering, as an invited speaker and small group facilitator for the breakout session on Farm Support Networks. The NH SARE coordinator led this session in collaboration with the UNH Extension New Farmer Coordinator, with 22 service providers in attendance. Again, we shared news and plans for the network, collected contact information, and received input on the future utility of the network. On May 19 we met with the NH Agriculture Financiers to report out on the project, as this group provided initial support for the project at its inception.

Once this groundwork was completed and grassroots networking for the project finished, we launched the publicly advertised 'open forum' on September 12th, 2022, with 27 attendees. During this session we shared a draft version of the farm network webpage, and our vision for the network in the future.

Milestone #5 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

16 ASP participants (the cohort) and 3 beginner farmer representatives will engage in two professional development trainings which were identified and prioritized in year one. These PDP events will be organized and promoted by the NH SARE Coordinator 4-weeks prior to the events. We will target the cohort, but will not restrict participation if other ASPs wish to attend. One training will develop ASPs skills in DEI, and one training will meet the express needs of the network at that time. Participants will revisit their “skills and knowledge list for agriculture service providers” to track progress and identify needs. (March 2023).

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
3
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
16
Proposed Completion Date:
March 31, 2023
Status:
In Progress
Milestone #6 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

The NH SARE PDP Coordinator will host/co-host 6 NH Farmer Open Forums, with minimum 10 participants per forum, to create a more cohesive network and knowledge sharing, to benefit both ASPs in their networking ability, and individual farmers who participate in the calls. Forum topics will be identified by the beginner farmer representatives, and focus on food system and agriculture equity topics. These “ag service provider office hours” will be actively promoted thru the UNH Extension Newsletter and social media to the farming public. The open form structure also functions as an opportunity for continuous feedback from grower constituents. Ongoing input from the grower participants will inform both cohort network meetings and future open forum topics. As grower needs arise the forum will provide opportunity for immediate input to ASPs.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
20
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Proposed Completion Date:
April 28, 2023
Status:
In Progress
Milestone #7 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

16 ASP cohort and 3 beginner farmer representatives will participate in a meeting to review input received from the Open Forums. Input will be used to re-identify knowledge and programming gaps within ASP offerings, trainings and one-on-one assistance for NH Farmers. The NH SARE coordinator will create a report that summarizes this review for those in the network. (June 2023).

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
3
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
16
Proposed Completion Date:
June 9, 2023
Status:
In Progress
Milestone #8 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

The 16 Participants of the 2023 PDP training events will revisit their “skills and knowledge list for agriculture service providers” to track progress and identify needs. Input from this survey will inform the PDP trainings for the network in year-3.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
3
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
16
Proposed Completion Date:
July 28, 2023
Status:
In Progress
Milestone #9 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

Using data from the Year-2 evaluation summary, the NH SARE Coordinator will work with the cohort and 3 beginner farmer representatives to prioritize Year-3 PDP needs of the ASP network. The NH SARE Coordinator will then organize two PDP trainings for the ASP network, with 16 participants. One training will develop ASPs skills in DEI, and one training will meet the express needs of the network at that time. Participants will revisit their “skills and knowledge list for agriculture service providers” to track progress.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
3
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
16
Proposed Completion Date:
April 30, 2024
Status:
In Progress
Milestone #10 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

The NH SARE Coordinator will use the Michigan State University tool: Measuring Racial Equity in the Food System: Established and Suggested Metrics. We will utilize the second section of the toolkit “food and farm business: ownership of land and means of production and business support” to evaluate food system equity in the network. This analysis and data collection is anticipated to take six months, and will be contracted out. Once complete, the metrics report will be shared widely and is likely to inform future programming by NH ASPs. The cohort will meet to evaluate progress based on the 2022 report from milestone 3.

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
3
Proposed Completion Date:
September 30, 2024
Status:
In Progress
Milestone #11 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

The NH SARE Coordinator will conduct a network analysis to measure progress. Results of the analysis will be compared with those from 2021. The results will then be written into a report, shared with the ASP cohort, and made publicly available. (September 2024)

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
3
Proposed Completion Date:
September 30, 2024
Status:
In Progress

Milestone Activities and Participation Summary

Educational activities conducted by the project team:

ActivityYear 1Year 2Year 3Total
Online trainings 3 3
Published press articles, newsletters 1 1
Study circle / focus groups 4 4
Tours 1 1
Webinars, talks and presentations 3 3

Beneficiaries who particpated in the project’s educational activities and events:

AudienceYear 1Year 2Year 3Total Individuals
Extension 20 0 0 0
NRCS 15 0 0 0
Researchers 4 0 0 0
Nonprofit 15 0 0 0
Agency 11 0 0 0
Service providers (other or unspecified) 4 0 0 0

Participation Summary:

69 Number of agricultural educator or service providers reached through education and outreach activities

Performance Target Outcomes

Performance Target Outcomes - Service Providers

Target #1

Target: Number of service providers who will take action to educate/advise farmers:
16
Target: The educational action(s) they will take:

16 agriculture service providers will develop skills to serve 80 farmers (in advising farm businesses, with improved cultural competencies. These may include: mediation, having difficult conversations, conflict resolution, farm stress, enterprise budgeting, or whole farm planning.)

Target: The number of farmers who will be educated/advised by the service providers:
80
Target: Total size/scale of the farms these farmers manage (e.g. total acres or animal units managed, gross sales or production volume, etc.):
The educational action(s) taken:

Target #2

Target: Number of service providers who will take action to educate/advise farmers:
16
Target: The educational action(s) they will take:

16 agriculture service providers change attitudes and increase awareness to serve 32 farmers (in diversity, equity and inclusion and in the structural racism present in the food system and importance of building networks to address social challenges in the food system and respond appropriately).

Target: The number of farmers who will be educated/advised by the service providers:
32
Target: Total size/scale of the farms these farmers manage (e.g. total acres or animal units managed, gross sales or production volume, etc.):
Verified: Number of service providers who reported taking the targeted action(s) to educate/advise farmers in each year:
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
69
The educational action(s) taken:

Two DEI focused webinars were held with a total of 69 participants from across the agriculture service provider network in New Hampshire. Participants learned about systemic barriers historically underserved farmers face, and were challenged to think about how we as a network and as individuals within our organizations can address and eliminate these barriers.

Target #3

Target: Number of service providers who will take action to educate/advise farmers:
16
Target: The educational action(s) they will take:

16 agriculture service providers will increase their knowledge on resources and organizations, and expand their professional network of ASPs serving farmers to benefit 80 farmers.

Target: The number of farmers who will be educated/advised by the service providers:
80
Target: Total size/scale of the farms these farmers manage (e.g. total acres or animal units managed, gross sales or production volume, etc.):
Verified: Number of service providers who reported taking the targeted action(s) to educate/advise farmers in each year:
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
96
The educational action(s) taken:

Through a combination of networking meetings where service providers can get to know each other and each other's organizations, and the web-based platform that provides a single website for all service providers to be listed, ASP's have deepened their knowledge. The opportunity for these 'open' format meetings where all are invited has allowed new staff members, and folks new to the state to integrate more quickly and make client referrals more readily.

SARE Outreach

Outreach about SARE:

1. Each UNH Cooperative Extension Field Specialist meets one on one with the NH SARE Coordinator to understand the full offering of the Northeast SARE Grants. Each field specialist is empowered to share about the grants, espeically the farmer grant, when they are out on site visits or meeting with clients. This form of grassroots outreach is most effective for us in "selling" SARE.

2. Each UNH Cooperative Extension Field Specialist is provided with the full SARE library when they are hired to better understand what SARE offers and relay that information to farmer clients.

3. All Grant deadlines and openings are shared in the UNH Extension, FOod and Agriculture Newsletter, the NH Food Alliance Newsletter, and the Weekly Market Bulleting as published by the NH Department of Agriculture Markets and Food.

4. The NH PDP coordinator in Collaboration with the PDP Staff hosted Northeast SARE staff, State Coordinators and the Advisory Council for a state tour. The tour was written about in a blog post on the UNH Extension site: https://extension.unh.edu/blog/2022/09/northeast-sustainable-agriculture-research-education-supports-new-hampshire-farmers-researchers

5. The SARE PDP coordinator fields calls and inquries about the grants from the public, from growers and from university scientists.

 

Recieved information about SARE grant programs and information resouces:

Audience Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Total
Service providers 18 0 0 18
Farmers 33 0 0 33

Information Products

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.