- Additional Plants: trees, ornamentals
- Crop Production: forestry
- Education and Training: farmer to farmer, networking, workshop, technical assistance
- Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development, cooperatives, agricultural finance, value added
- Production Systems: holistic management
- Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures
This project will invite farmers who own forested acreage to join an existing forest management, processing, and marketing cooperative that already has FSC green certification. The goal is to help farmers learn about and adopt sustainable practicies, gain access to a network of skilled forestry personnel, remove low-quality material from their forests, increase profit margins, provide guarantees to consumers about their practices, and preserve the ecological integrity of their forests. Agricultural farmers are unlikely to achieve these goals independently since it would be expensive, require knowledge they typically do not have, and takes time away from their other farming responsibilities.
Performance targets from proposal:
Of the 80+ farmers who participate in this project, 40 will agree to adopt sustainable forestry practices and apply to have their forests green certified through the MA Woodlands Cooperative.
Within one year of joining the Cooperative, these 40 participants will develop forest management plans that meet Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards and begin marketing forest products through the cooperative at a 10% increase in revenue over prevailing stumpage prices.