Community Development

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Guide to Financing Community Supported Farms

Since it is not always easy to obtain loans from traditional financing sources, farmers are exploring alternative funding opportunities to meet their needs. Unconventional financial arrangements, which are new to the agricultural sector, include a variety of mechanisms where financial transactions take place between the community and farmers. Community financing, represented by both monetary and […]

Cheshire Labor and Infrastructure Needs Assessment

In 2011, New Hampshire's Cheshire County Conservation District explored the labor and infrastructure needs for farms in the county to provide farmers, agricultural service providers and community members with the information they need to promote economic viability of agriculture. The needs assessment reports on labor-related barriers faced by farmers in Cheshire County as well as […]

Case Studies on Setting Up Microloans

According to a study conducted by The Carrot Project, 25 percent of farmers that request financing are denied access to credit needed for start-up and expansion costs. In 2009 and 2010, the Massachusetts-based nonprofit set up collaborative microloan programs in Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont. They facilitated 15 loans, with a median loan size of $12,300, […]

Good Food Farmers Network Guide

The guide, written by farmer Henry Corsun of Dog Wood Farm in Old Chatham NY, documents the work to develop Good Food Farmers Network as a replicable model of farmer-owned joint marketing and sales. The model was designed to require little start-up capital and utilizes nationally available resources to make it more readily available to […]

A Guide to Sharing Farm Equipment

Hudson Valley New York farmer Faith Gilbert of Letterbox Farm Collective wrote this guide for farmers, service providers, cooperators, and organizers of shared equipment pools. The guide covers an array of practical concerns for equipment sharing. Contents include case studies, a review of different ownership and management arrangements, financial considerations, annotated budgets, sample fee structures, […]

Sowing the Seeds of Justice Food Manual

This manual offers strategies and insights to help farmers run a small farm business that supports the needs of low-income communities. It is drawn from the lived experiences of farmers at Soul Fire Farm, a family farm working to end racial and economic injustice in the food system, and partner farms as well as research […]

Scaling Up Pastured Livestock Production

This research report, authored by Pasa Sustainable Agriculture staff Franklin Egan and Brooks Miller of North Mountain Pastures, summarizes land and feed efficiency benchmarks for grass-finished beef, pastured pigs, and pastured broilers. It explores the implications of these benchmarks for scaling-up pastured livestock to become a dominant method of livestock farming in Pennsylvania.

Racial Equity Toolkit

This toolkit was developed by the Caitlin Arnold and the National Young Farmers Coalition as part of a Northeast SARE Partnership Project to train farmers interested in confronting and dismantling racism and inequity in Northeast farm and food systems. The project and this toolkit were initiated in response to requests from majority white Coalition chapters […]

Guild by association: Partnership grant organizes Maryland cheesemakers

Although consumer demand for local Maryland artisanal and farmstead cheeses is high, state regulatory hurdles have created significant barriers for this emerging industry. Working with Ginger Myers, agricultural marketing specialist with the University of Maryland Extension, a committed group of farmstead cheese producers and agriculture support specialists teamed up to form the Maryland Cheesemakers' Guild […]

Fair Trade Strategy for Northeast "Eco-Growers"

For Northeast apple farmers it was a matter of survival. Facing a perfect storm of rising land, oil and labor prices, along with fierce competition from China and Chile, the apple farmers needed to find new revenue streams fast. They began a collaboration with Red Tomato, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization that helps connect consumers to […]

Large-Scale Help for Small-Scale Farmers

Lydia Sisson had worked on farms before, but when it came to taking the next step—going into business for herself—she hesitated, unsure of how to navigate the complexities of acquiring land, keeping the books, analyzing the market and more. But after taking a business training course through the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project in early […]