Sustainable Communities

Showing 1-20 of 28 results

Supporting Relationships for Farm Success

It is not uncommon that the barriers to implementing changes on the farm are not related to production or marketing but rather interpersonal or "non-technical" issues like effective communication, decision-making, goal setting and time management. This toolkit was created by Dr. Leslie Forstadt, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and Abby Sadauckas, Apple Creek Farm, as […]

Reversing the Downward Trend

Farmers across the Northeast have reported decreases in consumer participation at farmers' markets and reduced sales. This toolkit was developed as a result of survey research that looked at consumer perceptions of shopping at farmers' markets. The publication provides information on marketing strategies and services aimed to help farmers' market managers and farmers understand what […]

Evaluation of the Intervale Center Food Hub

From 2007 to 2010, the Intervale Food Hub grew from a research project to a food hub with 21 participating farms, grossing $280,000 in total and returning 70 percent to participating farmers. The food hub provides the infrastructure needed to aggregate produce from local farms and distribute it to the community. With the help of a 2007 […]

Farm to School Training Toolkit

Farm to School in the Northeast is a training toolkit that provides information and resources for extension educators and other community leaders involved in starting a farm to school program. The toolkit is divided into sections representing the key steps needed to create and sustain successful farm to school connections. The curriculum was designed to […]

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 […]

Baskets to Pallets Teaching Manual

The Baskets to Pallets Teaching Manual was written by Violet Stone, New York state SARE coordinator, as part of a state-based professional development program aimed at addressing the gap of tools to support farmers as they decide if, when and how to sell to a wholesale market. The Manual contains lessons plans and teaching resources that educators […]

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 […]

Social Media Toolkit for Farmers and Agricultural Producers

Juliet Glass of the Maryland Farmers' Market Association created this social media toolkit for farmers, based on the work she conducted through a Northeast SARE Partnership Grant. Glass worked with four Maryland farms to audit their social media channels and make concrete suggestions on how they could improve their social media use to expand their […]

Maine training project focuses on interpersonal relationships for greater farm viability

Providing farmers with expert advice on production and farm management topics is the focus of much of the work conducted by Extension educators, nonprofit staff and other agricultural service providers. But what happens when the conversation with farmers veers beyond soil health, agronomy and animal husbandry to questions around communication, decision-making, goal-setting and time management? […]

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 […]

Food hub faces the challenges of scaling up ethnic produce

The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (NESFP), led by Jennifer Hashley, has a 20-year history of training next generation farmers—including immigrant and refugee growers—to improve local food systems. A recent Northeast SARE Partnership grant supported the Project’s food hub initiative aimed at long-term economic self-reliance among farmers while expanding access of healthy, culturally-appropriate foods in […]