In a resource-limited state, it is essential that organizations collaborate and build off each other’s work, and avoid redundancies. In late 2019, a group of 17 New Hampshire agricultural organizations came together to express a desire to work collaboratively to better meet the needs of the state’s farmers.
The one-year project, therefore, seeks to organize a “New Hampshire Farm Network” for agricultural service providers (ASPs), modeled on provider networks in other states. Led by the state SARE coordinator at the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, the project is aggregating information from NH ASPs to create a resource website for farmers. The team is assessing professional development needs of the state’s ASPs through focus group and by offering a Reading the Farm training, a professional development program designed to bring together agricultural service providers from different backgrounds to explore whole-farm interactions and sustainability through hands-on, case-study learning with farm families.
The resulting network of participants will help experienced agriculture professionals transfer knowledge to new staff, while allowing new staff to showcase their talents and skills to the farm community. The network will also improve farmer referrals through a better understanding of who to turn to with farmer questions.
Want more information? See the related SARE grant: