Using farmer-rancher input to develop and implement experiential educational opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2005: $160,056.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Western
State: Idaho
Principal Investigator:
Cinda Williams
University of Idaho Extension

Annual Reports


  • Additional Plants: herbs, native plants, ornamentals, trees
  • Animals: bees


  • Education and Training: participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: marketing management, whole farm planning
  • Pest Management: integrated pest management
  • Soil Management: soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    The goal of the project is to develop experiential educational programs that will foster the economic sustainability of small acreage farmers and ranchers, enhance their quality of life and improve stewardship practices of natural resources. This project is a new research focus of a larger collaborative effort between University of Idaho, Washington State University and Rural Roots that will focus on the on-farm experiential aspects of the overall program called Cultivating Success. This project will review and assess existing experiential educational models; assess the needs of our regional beginning farmers and evaluate the appropriateness of existing models to their needs; and, conduct and evaluate four experiential farmer/rancher educational programs in Idaho and Washington.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Identify and evaluate existing models for delivering experiential learning that have potential for contributing to a whole-farm or whole-ranch systems approach to small acreage farming and ranching.

    Assess the relevance of existing experiential learning models to determine how well they will meet the needs of beginning farmers wanting to learn practical, whole system-based sustainable farm and ranch management.

    Develop the capacity of experienced sustainable farmers and ranchers, extension educators and researchers to offer effective and meaningful experiential educational opportunities on working farms, university farms and research stations.

    Provide experiential education opportunities in small acreage farming and ranching in Washington and Idaho and evaluate their impact on resource management and farm profitability.

    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.