The Ask Aunt Nellie Project - A Crowd-Sourced Connecticut Farm Management Knowledge Base

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2023: $15,797.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2026
Grant Recipient: Cobblestone Farm
Region: Northeast
State: Connecticut
Project Leader:
Diane Dorfer
Cobblestone Farm


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: decision support system, farmer to farmer

    Proposal summary:

    The Ask Aunt Nellie Project seeks to provide Connecticut farmers, especially beginning farmers, access to a wealth of farm management knowledge through a dynamic, crowd-sourced collection of online spreadsheets. These spreadsheets will include farm inventory & agricultural suppliers, farm-friendly professionals, CT-appropriate seed varieties, wholesale price lists, and group ordering opportunities. Multi-faceted outreach via virtual work meetings, in-person and virtual conferences and workshops, and written materials will engage farmers with the project and help CT farmers make more sound decisions in their farm management. The Ask Aunt Nellie Project will help farmers save time, money, and build their confidence and community bonds.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The Ask Aunt Nellie Project seeks to build replicable, dynamic, crowd-sourced resource spreadsheets for Connecticut farmers. 

    To achieve this goal I plan to:

    1. research and test spreadsheet hosting platforms
    2. build and test spreadsheet templates
    3. launch the spreadsheets through the NCTFA website
    4. conduct outreach activities for farmer engagement
    5. simultaneously manage the spreadsheets
    6. work with experienced farmers to review the spreadsheets and fill in gaps
    7. make comprehensive, well-organized, user-friendly spreadsheets available to farmers through the NCTFA website, and other farmer education portals
    8. write a “user’s guide” for NCTFA
    9. conduct end-project outreach via articles and meetings 
    10. write a tutorial for other new-farmer groups who’d like to replicate the project
    11. do final NE SARE reporting


    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.