- Education and Training: general education and training
- Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, cooperatives, value added
- Production Systems: agroecosystems
Behind every successful cooperative is a good facilitator. Fifty-two agents who are living proof of this fact volunteered to pool their experience. Our purpose was to stimulate training programs to help traditional county agents become good facilitators. We began by collecting profiles of successful enterprise facilitators from the Delta states. These agents' experiences in becoming good organizers were the core of a design conference held in October 2001, several planning sessions, a training manual, and a continuing list serv. Results are: 1) a network of agents from the South, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, and Missouri; 2). a multi-state integrated research/education project to improve organizing/facilitation.
1. Build awareness of the need for facilitation of collaborative enterprise & recruit participants.
2. Define the process of successful development of collaborative, sustainable rural enterprises.
3. Integrate research design with training plans in each agency.