Helping their Field of Dreams Come True
Empowering Beginning Women Farmers through
Holistic Management® Whole Farm Planning
Meet the New Face of Agriculture
If you’ve missed the deadline for our 2013-2014 season, we can add you to our 2014-2015 interest list, just e-mail us your contact information.
Women are digging in and getting down to business. HMI’s Beginning Farmers & Ranchers Program is helping to show them the way. The objective of this program is to educate and empower these newcomers so they are positioned to apply Holistic Management principles and practices in order to build successful businesses. While the program can be adapted to any group with less than ten years of experience, this implementation is focused on women farmers, where the need is great. Currently in the U.S. there are over one million farms run by women and because the USDA has identified a need for an additional 100,000 farmers in the next five years, the need for effective training programs is immense. That’s why the USDA NIFA BFRD program has awarded HMI 2 three-year training grants totaling $1,166,000.
Learning the Ropes
We teach the Holistic Management whole farm/ranch planning system that helps farm and ranch families integrate economic, social, and ecological factors into their management decisions. Infused in this program are sessions to help farmers learn and implement leadership and communications skills. Participants gain sustainable cropping skills, livestock production skills, whole farm planning skills and gain entrepreneurial focus.
Our past program participants have demonstrated remarkable achievements when they apply what they’ve learned to their farms and ranches.
- Up to a 39% increase in gross revenue
- Improved record keeping systems
- Achieved financial goals
- Improved on-farm decision making
- Improved marketing skills
- Improved animal health
- Increased forage production
- Introduce Holistic Management whole farm program
- Create a whole farm financial plan
- Increase farm profitability
- Business planning basics
- Create a marketing plan
- Manage time
- Understand soil fertility basics
- Plan land and infrastructure
- Improve land health & sustainable soil building techniques
- Examine enterprise’s environmental impact
- Introduce leadership/communication skills
HMI is proud to work with the following collaborators:
- CT NOFA
- Women’s Agriculture Network
- Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture
- Small & Beginning Farmers of NH
- Central NY RC&D
- Vermont New Farmer Project
- Vermont Women’s Ag Network
- University of Vermont
- WAGN Maine
- Sustainable Food Center
- New Hampshire
- New York
Empowering Women in Agriculture
At HMI we don’t just measure the number of people we train, but the impact we’ve had on their lives and their farms. Here are results from our first three-year program.
Knowledge Change by Course*
99% Whole Farm Goal
99% On-Farm Decision Making
96% Time Management
100% Financial Planning
93% Business Planning
90% Soil Fertility
100% Leadership & Communication
98% Planned Grazing
93% Holistic Goal/ Whole Farm Plan
82% Financial Plan
78% Business Plan
68% Marketing Plan
57% Biological Monitoring
92% Increased Network
57% Experienced Increased Net Income
35% Experienced Gross Revenue Increase
*These percentages represent the total number of participants survyed that experienced change.
Learn more about this program….
Beginning Women Farmer Conference: Exploring Whole Farm Planning at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. We’ve published the full proceedings from the conference.