Increasing the effectiveness of assisting farmers with sustainable on-farm enterprise

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2004: $15,860.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2005
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
Principal Investigator:
Keith Richards
Southern SAWG


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: technical assistance, decision support system, farmer to farmer, networking, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study, agricultural finance, market study, risk management, value added, whole farm planning
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, analysis of personal/family life, employment opportunities, social networks


    Southern SAWG facilitated a planning process that identified some of the most important research, education and other project activities that would increase the effectiveness of sustainable enterprise development assistance for family farmers in the Southern United States. Through phone interviews with people from 23 agencies and organizations that offer assistance to farmers and a meeting of nine leaders, we produced a list of strategic activities that would increase the effectiveness of this work. We distributed this list to over 40 agricultural assistance leaders and developed three project proposals that would address some of these needs.

    Project objectives:

    1. Exchange program approaches, successes, models, and barriers among assistance providers working with farmers on aspects of sustainable enterprise development.

    2. Develop a prioritized list of research and information needs among assistance providers to make their assistance more effective.

    3. Develop a commitment from a core group to pursue projects that will carry out some of the most important research and strategies for delivering needed information.

    4. Develop and submit at least one funding proposal to accomplish needed research and education.

    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.