Best Practices for Safe, On-Farm Educational Programming: A Cheesemakers Perspective

Project Overview

FNC18-1110
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2018: $22,100.00
Projected End Date: 04/30/2019
Grant Recipient: Baetje Farms
Region: North Central
State: Missouri
Project Coordinator:
Veronica Baetje
Baetje Farms LLC

Information Products

Commodities

  • Animal Products: dairy

Practices

  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: agritourism, value added, educational classes

    Summary:

    On-farm agricultural education, including classes and demonstrations, is growing in the U.S.. Little farmer-focused information is available on how to develop and execute food educational programming for farmers. This project develops a “toolkit” for developing on-farm educational initiatives that can be used by farmers for planning farm-based demonstrations and visits.  The “tool-kit” will be beta tested on educational initiatives being launched by two working processing facilities: a farmstead cheese processing facility and a winery. A case study will be developed for the benefit of other farmers who may want to give agritourism a try on their own farm. The project will highlight food safety and biosecurity issues related to on-farm tourism.

    After reviewing available literature in the public domain, we will create a technical curriculum describing topics that we will cover in the class, including background information and hand-outs. A post-evaluation survey will be developed and completed by our students. We will develop a case study, in the format of a short article and power point, discussing our experiences with on-farm tourism. The case study article and power-point presentation describing our curriculum “tool-kit” will be made available to other farmers, especially cheese makers, interested in launching on-farm educational initiatives.

    Project objectives:

    1. Expand the knowledge base on hosting on-farm agricultural education
    2. Develop a tool-kit that guides the farmer host through the on-farm educational event
    3. Develop a curriculum mapping template that guides the user through the planning
    4. Evaluate the usefulness of the toolkit and curriculum mapping template on a series of three on-farm cheese making initiatives to be held at Baetje Farms Chaumette
    5. Communicate project results using a case study approach and Powerpoint presentation, so that others involved in farm tourism can provide helpful feedback on tool-kit and curriculum mapping
    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.