- Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, networking, study circle, workshop
- Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
The creation of farmer-to-farmer networks is an important tool for agricultural professionals to reach sustainable agriculture producers. This project aimed to accomplish a number of objectives related to farmer networks. The first objective was to design a toolkit for developing farmer-to-farmer networks. The toolkit, now complete and available for download, contains information on the relevance and impacts of farmer networks, a facilitation manual, and corresponding outreach materials including sample fliers, a list of potential activities and class offerings, possible organizational structures, and an explanation of on-line social networking opportunities. Second, we designed and conducted four half-day trainings in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana for agricultural professionals on the nuts and bolts of starting a farmer network. In addition, we designed and conducted four half-day meetings with pilot women farmer networks in WA, OR, ID and MT. All of these objectives were accomplished. Evaluation and impact data has been collected over the last year and referenced in this final report as a way to measure success of the project.
- Train a total of 40 agricultural professionals on the nuts-and-bolts of developing successful farmer networks in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana. Trainings will occur in 4 locations, with an average participation of 10 individuals per site.
- Hold four half-day meetings with pilot women farmer networks in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
- Hold 16 consulting sessions (four with each state partner) with leaders of the pilot women farmers’ network. There will be additional consulting sessions as needed with a minimum of 10 during the second and third years of the project.
- Produce an on-line and paper toolkit for developing farmer-to-farmer networks. The toolkit will include information on the relevance and impact of farmer networks, facilitation manual, and outreach materials including sample fliers and brochures, a list of potential activities for farmer networks, sample list of class offerings, a list of options for organizational structure of the network, an explanation of on-line social networking opportunities and other resources available to farmer networks.