- Education and Training: farmer to farmer, focus group, mentoring, networking, participatory research, study circle, technical assistance, workshop
- Farm Business Management: agricultural finance, agritourism, apprentice/intern training, budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study, financial management, grant making
- Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life, community development, community services, employment opportunities, ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, leadership development, partnerships, urban agriculture
The HALO Program incorporated in-class lectures paired with homework assignments, independent research, field trips and immersion experiences for practical application of learning concepts. The 7-month curriculum focused on advanced farm planning, business education and leadership skills as they relate and can be applied to participants' current businesses and initiatives. Subjects included:
- Implementing an Organic Systems Plan;
- Retail Readiness;
- Branding and Marketing;
- Succession Planning;
- Accessing USDA Funding;
- Emotional Intelligence, Relationship Building, and Conflict Resolution; and
- Organizational Development & Management
The HALO Program sets forth the following objectives, which are established to address the environmental , economic and social-emotional components as defined by the program's definition of sustainability. This included:
- Over the first year period, the HALO program provided practical education on how to make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources for 12 farmers on how to write and follow an organic system plan.
- Delivering managerial and business education that focused on the proper use of human, financial, and environmental resources to support operations in a more sustainable way, and also how to identify and engage in business relationships creating more opportunities for economic sustainability and growth.
- Provided leadership training that focused on emotional intelligence, relationship building, conflict resolution, and organizing and planning to expand the leadership capabilities of urban farmers, agriculture-based business owners, and related advocates.