We will continue our involvement with University of Idaho’s small farmer education program, Cultivating Success, and with the team that is working on a renewal of our Beginning Farmer & Rancher grant. A portion of this year’s funds will be used to support the development of an online farmers market exchange that we hope to extend to other communities throughout the state. This is a continuation of the local food system development funded by WSARE in 2018. Helping local producers connect with buyers and plan their production accordingly will improve access to local foods and improve profitability for producers. Buyers will be able to order their products online, with delivery either at the local farmers market during the regular season or at an alternative location. This project will be modeled on the Six Rivers Market that operated in Northern Idaho for six years. Funds will be used for marketing the project and support staff. A Steering Committee has been working on this idea for several months. We will also support surveys and at several farmers markets in Idaho to provide feedback on consumers’ willingness to participate.
We will also continue to support professional development opportunities for Extension professionals and others working in sustainable agriculture, including support for mini-grants and travel to conferences for professional development in the area of sustainable agricultural. We will continue to support a small administrative staff to support our SARE activities, including our Advisory Committee meetings. We will also use the funds to travel to annual SARE PDP meetings.
Project objectives from proposal:
-Promote our support of sustainable agricultural programs, workshops, and conferences for Extension Educators and other professionals working in the area of sustainable agriculture research and education.
-Continue our successful program of providing professional development opportunities in the form of travel grants and mini-grants.
-Launch an online farmers market based on the Six River Market for the 2020 farmers market season in northern Idaho.
-Continue our collaboration with Cultivating Success, a program for educating small farmers
Winter – Spring 2020: Using the Six Rivers Market platform, which is available to us and is based on the Oklahoma Farmers Market program, we will be testing our online farmers market software program.
Spring – Fall 2020: Education and promotion of the online farmers market for consumers and producers in northern Idaho using pamphlets, fliers, banners, and booths at appropriate venues for reaching local food system participants.
Summer 2020: Rapid Market Assessment (RMA) and other farmers market surveys to include questions gauging interest in online farmers markets in 2-3 additional markets. RMA with questions on online farmers markets is scheduled for North Idaho in Summer 2019.
Ongoing: Promotion of WSARE opportunities in the form of regional and state level grants and opportunities. Support of farmer education programs focusing on sustainable agriculture. Support of PD opportunities for those working in sustainable agriculture.