2014 Maine Beginning Women Farmer Program Results

Beginning women farmers learn about grazing and animal husbandry as part of on-farm sessions
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We’ve just tabulated more results of our Beginning Farmers & Ranchers: Women in the Northeast & Texas program. These are from the 2013-2014 season in Maine. This program, funded by a grant from

On-farm learning activities as part of the Maine Beginning Women Farmer Soil Fertility session

On-farm learning activities as part of the Maine Beginning Women Farmer Soil Fertility session

the USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmer/Rancher Development Program, was coordinated by Gail Chase of Women’s Agricultural Network of Maine. This group finished their Holistic Management learning sessions in June and their final farm mentor visits in July. Lead instructors were Whole Farm Planning Instructors Gail Chase and Diane Schivera. Diane was also the mentor for the program as a collaboration with Maine Organic Gardeners and Farmers Association.

Of the participants responding to the final evaluation

  • 70% are currently farming
  • The average years of farming was 3 years
  • The average acres under production was 7 acres under production
  • The average age was 39 years old
  • The types of farm operations were as follows: Cattle/Cow/Calf (2), Vegetable/Fruit/Produce (4), Poultry (1), Goat (1), Pork (2), Flowers (2), Eggs (1).
  • The total customers of all participants was 72
  • 100% plan to continue farming

What Participants Had to Say:

“I now have tools to help me determine what enterprises to start.”

“I have better relationships with my customers because I needed to talk to each of them about raising prices. I learned how much they value my product.”

“Because of the class teachers and class members, I have much more confidence in my ability to really figure out my finances. I think this confidence has helped me approach wholesale markets.”

Some of the key outcomes noted were:

BWF PARTICIPANT BEHAVIOR CHANGE % of participants
Forge Relationships That Positively Impacted You 100%
Holistic Goal/Whole Farm Plan 100%
Financial Plan 100%
Marketing Plan 86%
Biological Monitoring 86%
Grazing Plan 50%
Business Plan 17%

 

 

Key Post Program Outcomes: Participants Experienced Increase In % Participants Experiencing Change
Satisfaction with Communication 100%
Satisfaction with Time Management 100%
Satisfaction with Ability to Determine Needed Profit 100%
Satisfaction with Ability to Make Complex Decisions 100%
Satisfaction with Quality of Life 83%
A layer hoophouse at Glass Horse Farm

A layer hoophouse at Glass Horse Farm

To read the full report, click here.

 

NY Senator meets with women farmers

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Senator Tkaczyk, Senator Gillibrand, and HMI’s New York Beginning Women Farmer Coordinator, Sarah Williford.

Senator Tkaczyk, Senator Gillibrand, and
HMI’s New York Beginning Women Farmer
Coordinator, Sarah Williford.

On Sunday July 20th graduates of the HMI’s Beginning Farmers & Ranchers: Women in the Northeast  program as well as a wider group of NY women farmers gathered for a roundtable event with U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and New York State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk. Twenty-five women farmers of all ages, stages and production, plus fifteen or so agency folks and local politicians were there to represent a diversity of experience at the Crossroads Brewery in Athens NY. They discussed affordable and secure access to land including wanting land held by non-profits to ensure that farmland will be farmed in perpetuity, access to capital for women farmers, migrant labor ,and  excessive regulations creating obstacles and high costs for slaughterhouses to exist. Senator Tkaczyk, a NY woman farmer herself, offered that access to capital is a major  obstacle for women farmers, and suggested looking for alternative lending institutions outside of banks. Senator Gillibrand noted that women have the gift of collaboration and can use it to support one another. Both Senator Tkaczyk and Senator Gillibrand will be following up with the group through an Agriculture working group

Whole Farm Marketing and Business Planning in Mora, New Mexico

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HMI completed the 3rd and final module of our Whole Farm Business Planning Series with 25 participants involved with the Los de Mora Local Growers Cooperative near Whole Farm Business Planning, Mora, HMIMora, New Mexico at the end of March.  The focus of this session was on marketing and business planning including how to do market survey, determine market demographics, complete a competition analysis, determine appropriate markets, develop SMART goals, and develop the outline of a business plan within the context of whole farm planning.

Cindy D, Holistic Management Certified EducatorHolistic Management Certified Educator, Cindy Dvergsten was the instructor for this module. Evaluation of this session showed that participants experienced a significant knowledge increase in identifying logjams and how to create a profit, as well as how to prioritize and cut expenses.

Our thanks to the Thornburg Foundation for their grant in support of this series.

Testimonials

“The one-on-one help was great!”

 “I learned that numbers make a big difference once in   place and to always ask why.”

“Key learnings were the significance of planning for profit, cooperation, clarity, wise mentoring, and professionalism.”

 “I learned key pricing guidelines and the relationship to  competition.”

“I better understand customers and competition.”

“I learned how to reach a breakeven point.”

Whole Farm Marketing and Business Planning Results

Knowledge/Confidence Increase

% Increase

Understanding of how your whole farm goal and financial plan help you develop a marketing plan   that fits your farm

100%

Your knowledge about where to turn for resources to assist in developing a business/strategic plan   for your farm

100%

Your ability to develop a business plan for your farm

100%

Your ability to use your holistic goal  to guide your business/strategic plan

100%

Your ability to use your financial plan to determine viable markets for your farm

100%

Your ability to implement systems and projects to move you toward your whole farm goal

100%

Developing a business/strategic plan

100%

Identifying resources to assist you in developing a business/strategic plan

100%

Implementing important strategic systems and projects on your farm

94%

Pricing your products

94%

Promoting your farm products

94%

Your attitude towards the value of having a business/strategic plan to guide your farm

91%

Understanding your competition

90%

How your marketing outreach reflects your whole farm goal

90%

How to develop a Marketing Plan

90%

Developing a marketing plan that meets your farm needs and goals

83%

How to use your financial plan to profitably price your products/services

80%

How to effectively promote your products/services

80%

Assessing your competition to understand your farm strengths

72%

Intended Behavior Change

% of Participants

Intend to complete or modify a marketing plan for your farm

100%

Intend to complete or modify a business plan for your farm

100%

Do you intend to change management practices as a result of this session?

90%

Do you intend to change any marketing practices as a result of this session?

56%

Participant Satisfaction

Satisfaction with Session

90%

Satisfaction with Instructor

90%

Whole Farm Business Planning Program Continues in Mora, New Mexico

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

HMI completed the 2nd module of our Whole Farm Business Planning Series with 25 participants involved with the Los de Mora Local Growers Cooperative near Mora, New Mexico in the middle of March.  The focus of this session was on financial planning—particularly gross profit analysis, enterprise investment analysis, determining net worth, and mapping out a cash forecast.

Holistic Management Certified Educators, Ann Adams and Cindy Dvergsten were the instructors for this module. Evaluation of this session showed that participants experienced a significant knowledge increase in identifying logjams and how to create a profit, as well as how to prioritize and cut expenses.

Certified Educator Cindy Dvergsten explaining financial management to Mora Co-op growers.

Our thanks to the Thornburg Foundation for their grant in support of this series and to Farm Credit and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union for their support of the Financial Planning Module.

Introduction to Whole Farm Planning Results

Knowledge/Confidence Increase % Increase
Identifying logjams and adverse factors on your farm 97%
Getting the profit you need from your farm 85%
Prioritizing and cutting farm expenses to guide reinvestment in your farm 84%
Monitoring Financial Plan 76%
Determining your farm’s projected revenue 75%
Developing a whole farm financial plan 73%
Assessing the cash flow of your plan 67%
How to increase farm net worth 55%
Determining viable profitable enterprises for your farm 53%
Intended Behavior Change % of Participants
Intend to complete or modify a financial plan for your farm

94%

Record keeping

78%

Determining profit upfront and capping expenses

67%

Using the annual income and expense template

61%

Involving decision makers in financial planning

61%

Strategically reinvesting in your farm

56%

Entering financial data regularly

56%

Prioritizing and cutting expenses

56%

Monitoring the annual income and expense template

56%

Enterprise assessment

50%

Participant Satisfaction  
Satisfaction with Session 90%
Satisfaction with Instructor 90%

 

 

Whole Farm Planning Training for Ag Educators Results

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Our Whole Farm Planning Training for Ag Educators program began this winter and we are pleased to report on  initial results from the participants. This unique distance learning program is being funded by Western Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education (WSARE). We started in  January with 40 agricultural educators and professionals  throughout 12 western states and we just finished the Introduction to Whole Farm Planning course taught by Certified Educators Phil Metzger and Seth Wilner.

Here are the results.

Introduction to Whole Farm Planning Results

Knowledge/Confidence Increase

% Increase

Ability to develop a Whole Farm Goal

103%

Ability to integrate social, economic and environmental factors into your decisions

79%

Ability to identify needed systems and protocols to create a successful farm

94%

Ability to make complex on-farm decisions

67%

Behavior Change

% of Participants

Partial completion of whole farm goal

97%

Participant Satisfaction
Satisfaction with Instructors

90%

 

Participants also noted some of the following things they liked about the course:

“I have TOTALLY enjoyed this course and am eagerly looking forward to the next one.”
“The information was very useful and the instructors were excellent. Really appreciated their willingness to schedule extras time and comment on resubmitted assignments.”
“Overall I thought it was great and I look forward to continued conversation and interaction.”
“The webinars were excellent. Seth and Phil did a great job of giving the content via stories and personal experience which is always much easier to stay engaged with and retain.”
“This program was just right, well done, and if you wanted to put more time into it nobody is stopping you. The workbook was a wonderful addition and allowed one to easily go deeper. There is a lot of information in the manual, which meshed nicely with Internet-based training.”
“I learned a very well thought out process for assessing a farming operation and making smart decisions that move you in a direction you and all your management team want to go. It’s a very powerful process and it allows me to utilize all my disparate knowledge in a very structured and directed process that makes information easily available and apparent to my clients.”
“It helped me to see that brittle environments are more common in farming than I realized. I’m more aware of the systems and cycles and the concept of “holistic” than previously. It’s interesting to participate in the class with folks from different states/bioregions. I’m on the lookout for more indicators of ecosystem health, than before. It makes me look at client’s farm/production issues with “new eyes”. I attended a meeting on farming in the drought—what measures producers can take to survive this low water year—and I kept thinking “holistic management”!”
“I’m raving to friends and family about what I’m learning and practicing on them to the point of annoyance. The amount of information I’ve received and the “wider view” of the course are priceless.”
“I think the most useful things have been learning about the triple bottom line and incorporating that in to the decision making process on the farm. I will definitely look more at the whole picture when clients come in with questions.”

Featured Participant

dave mDave Muehleisen

Dave is a member of the Faculty at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington where he teaches Sustainable Agriculture. Dave was the Education Director and Farm Manager at 21 Acres Sustainable Living Center in Woodinville, Washington. Prior to that, Dave was the Research and Outreach Coordinator for the Washington State University (WSU) Small Farms Program located in Puyallup, Washington. While at WSU his research focused on alternative nontoxic control of cabbage maggot and carrot rust fly, focusing on the strategic uses of bio-pesticides, cultural and mechanical control of insect pests.

Dave was born in Paterson, New Jersey and moved to South Carolina at the age of 17. He received his BS in Zoology and MS in Botany at Clemson University, and his PhD from Texas A&M University in Entomology with a focus on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Toxicology. Prior to coming to work for the WSU Small Farm Program, Dave was an Associate Professor of Biology at The University of Utah teaching Human Physiology, Entomology and biochemistry. Dave was a National Institute of Mental Health Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, working on Insect Developmental Neuroendocrinology.

 

 

HMI Offers Whole Farm Business Planning in Mora, New Mexico

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Lunch time allows time for participants to network.

Lunch time allows time for participants to network.

 

HMI is excited to announce the beginning of a Whole Farm Business Planning course near Mora, New Mexico. 30 participants involved with the Los de Mora Local Growers Cooperative committed to taking this 5-day series focused on On-Farm Decision Making, Financial Planning, Marketing Planning, and Business Planning. Many of the participants are also involved with the Sangre de Cristo Livestock Grower’s Association. Participants involved in that program are eligible for a gift of livestock if they complete HMI’s Whole Farm Business Planning course. Likewise, New Mexico Farm Service Agency (FSA) also recognizes this program as fulfilling their Borrower Training requirement for those borrowing from FSA.

Newcomers to the area had time to talk with long-time residents

Newcomers to the area had time to talk with long-time residents

Coordinator of the Los de Mora Local Growers Cooperative, Roger Gonzales, was instrumental in coordinating this event. Roger was a participant in an HMI educational program last year and was eager to offer HMI’s training for the producers who are involved in the Cooperative. The Cooperative also provided support for this programming by finding facilities and refreshments for the training sessions. The Cooperative buys from its members and sells to a variety of wholesale markets throughout New Mexico. They are also engaged with the Value-Added Partnership, La Coseche del Norte of Expanola, and Una Vida Buena y Sana Local Growers.

Participants broke into small groups to begin exploring on-farm decisions

Participants broke into small groups to begin exploring on-farm decisions

Certified Educators Ann Adams and Cindy Dvergsten are the instructors for this series that runs through February and March with additional offsite mentoring on draft business plans through the month of April. All participants completing draft plans will receive a certificate of completion at a graduation ceremony in May.

Evaluation of this session showed that participants experienced a significant knowledge increase in how to develop a whole farm goal and how to integrate social, economic and environmental factors into decision making.

Our thanks to the Thornburg Foundation for their grant in support of this series and to Los Alamos Connect for sponsoring the lunch for the On Farm Goal workshop.

Introduction to Whole Farm Planning Results

Knowledge/Confidence Increase % Increase
Ability to develop a Whole Farm Goal 115%
Ability to integrate social, economic and environmental factors into your decisions 104%
Ability to identify needed systems and protocols to create a successful farm 96%
Ability to make complex on-farm decisions 90%
Are you more confident in your ability to make complex decisions on your farm as a result of today’s class? 88%
Intended Behavior Change % of Participants
Do you intend to complete or modify a written whole farm plan as a result of this course? 88%
Do you intend to use the testing questions in your farm decision making? 88%
Do you intend to change management practices as a result of this course? 81%
Participant Satisfaction  
Satisfaction with Session 89%
Satisfaction with Instructor 95%

HMI Open Gate at Cornelsen Ranch in Oklahoma

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Enthusiastic participants at HMI’s Cornelsen Open Gate in Oklahoma

 

 

After a large thunderstorm drenched Major County, Oklahoma the evening before, Saturday morning October 5th dawned with an overcast sky and a cold north wind. Even so, approximately 40 hardy land managers arrived at Cornelsen Ranch to learn about holistic grazing planning and ways to mitigate long-term drought as well as improving marketing for profitability.

Kim Barker talks about land management practices at the Cornelsen Ranch

The group was very interactive and event speakers were busy fielding questions all day. Participants especially enjoyed the ecosystem monitoring exercises in the pastures led by Richard Teague of Texas AgriLife and Peggy Sechrist of HMI. Kim Barker, who leases the grazing on the Cornelsen Ranch, showed the group places where native Eastern Gama grasses were returning, bare ground decreasing, and it was clear that this type of recovery would increase the carrying capacity of the ranch. The recent rain also made it easy for the participants to see how covered ground helped the rain soak in faster and easy to see evidence run off and soil erosion on bare ground.

Thanks to ranch host, Bill Cornelsen, our speakers, Kim Barker and Richard Teague of Texas A&M Agrilife, and our grantors and sponsors: The CHS Foundation, Dixon Water Foundation, American Farmers & Ranchers, and Farmers & Merchants National Bank.

Participants manage a total of 9,425 acres of crop and grazing land.  Results for the event are summarized below.

Outcome % of   Participants Experiencing
Satisfaction with program

100%

Knowledge change

89%

Expanded network

100%

Would recommend program

100%

Intend to change management practices

95%

 

Testimonials

“Excellent event”
“Positive. Pleased with experience and quality of instruction.”

“Very informative.”

KTS Farm and NODPA Field Days

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KTS Farm Day participants exploring forage management options

 

 Open Gate Farm Day Report

When the heavy fog burned off by 9 am on September 26th at KTS Farm in Mansfield, PA a crowd of almost 40 participants had the opportunity to hear about how Kress Simpson and Mike Geiser now divide management and assets on KTS Farm, an organic dairy. After an introduction about how Holistic Management has influenced Kress’ decision on KTS the group headed out to the field to see the result of the grazing planning and implementation. Jim Weaver from Tioga County Planning and Troy Bishopp from Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District helped with the forage assessment activity which prompted a great conversation about forage quality and management.

Jim Weaver, Kress Simpson, and Dave Johnson sharing forage management goals and principles.

The group then moved to the New Zealand swing style parlor to learn how that has made a major difference in labor needs and quality of life on the farm.  In the afternoon, the conversations continued at the Mansfield Hose Company Hall as Kress shared how he developed the management transfer of his farm to Mike Geiser as well as some of the asset transfer while also supporting his son, Alec, in beginning his own dairy. This presentation was followed by a grain crop enterprise analysis presentation by Dave Johnson of NODPA. The last part of the afternoon was a whole farm goalsetting presentation with exercises by Ann Adams, HMI’s Director of Community Services.

KTS milking parlor

Evaluations of the event showed that 75% of participants intend to complete a whole farm goal and 80% intend to change management practices. 85% of participants expanded their network and 90% would recommend program to others. In total 3,820 acres will be influenced by this program.

 

Topic Covered Percent Change in Knowledge/Confidence
How to use Holistic Management to   help with succession planning

55%

How to use goal setting and testing   questions to determine priorities

34%

Ability to create a grazing plan

55%

Ability to determine plant recovery

50%

Ability to determine forage inventory

50%

Ability to increase forage productivity

50%

Ability to create a whole farm goal

65%

Ability to test decisions

50%

Intend to create or modify grazing plan

45%

 

Troy Bishopp discussing management of Queen Anne’s lace

Thanks to Kress and Tammy Simpson and Mike Geiser of KTS Farm for hosting the farm day and to our grantors CHS Foundation and Simply Organic Fund for their generous support and to NODPA for this opportunity for collaboration. Thanks also to Doug Wright of Dairymaster Parlors for supplying the morning refreshments for the day.

Testimonials

“Well done in a short amount of time.”

“Rewarding. Time well spent.”

 

Vermont Whole Farm Planning Gathering

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Participants in the Vermont Whole Farm Planning Gathering

Twenty whole farm planning enthusiasts showed up on September 24th for a Whole Farm Field Day at Cedar Mountain Farm in Hartland, Vermont. This event was organized by Jessie Schmidt of University of Vermont (UVM) New Farmer Program (she is also HMI’s Beginning Women Farmer Vermont State Coordinator). The event was an additional educational program for participants from that program (which has been funded by USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program).

Cedar Mountain Farm milking parlor

The day included a dairy and vegetable CSA tour by farm owners/managers Stephen Leslie and Kerry Gawalt as well as an environmental assessment exercise led by Ann Adams, HMI’s Director of Community Services. Further discussion about Holistic Management whole farm planning continued until dark while the group ate pizza from the VT Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) portable pizza oven.

Stephen Leslie of Cedar Mountain Farm showing a draft horse implement.

Thanks to Stephen Leslie and Kerry Gawalt of Cedar Mountain Farm, UVM New Farmer Program, and Vermont NOFA for making this event possible. If you are interested in applying for HMI’s Vermont Beginning Women Farmer program, contact Jessie Schmidt at: Jessie.a.schmidt@uvm.edu. Application deadline is November 15th.

VT NOFA wood-fired pizza oven

2013 Connecticut Beginning Women Farmer Report

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2013 Connecticut Beginning Women Farmer Program

HMI’s Beginning Women Farmer Training Program in Connecticut began in October 2012 and ran through May of 2013. This program was part of HMI’s Beginning Women Farmer Program funded by the USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. 15 women were accepted into the program for the 2012-2013 program year and 11 completed the program successfully. The State Coordinator was Sherry Simpson working with Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association. Program mentors were Elysa Bryant, Allyson Angelini, and Christine Farrugia.

 

Connecticut State Coordinator Sherry Simpson (left)

 

The data below demonstrates that a high level of knowledge and attitude change occurred and that the women completed or modified numerous farm plans (actual behavior change) which resulted in many benefits. Most participants experienced increased confidence in key farm/ranch management practices (81-100% participants) for such practices as developing a whole farm goal, communicating with workers, managing time, identifying logjams, pricing products, prioritizing expenses, and developing plans or implementing production in such areas as finances, business, land planning, and grazing. Participant behavior change was in the 20-90% range with 80% completing a whole farm goal, 70% a financial plan, and 60% a marketing plan.

 

Elysa Bryant (center) a farmer/educator mentor for the Connecticut Program

 

There was an 84% satisfaction rating for the program mentors and a 92% satisfaction rating for the state coordinator. 83% or more of the participants noted knowledge change in all sessions. That knowledge change varied depending on content of session with a 39-128% increase in knowledge change for key topics. Overall satisfaction of the program was 88%.

Participant Demographic Information

  • The average years of farming was  2 years (range: 0 – 5 years)
  • The average acres farmed was 2 acres under production (range:. 0 – 4 acres)
  • The total customers of all participants was 251

 

Testimonials

“We got to see how others do things and then implement new ideas into my farm.”
“We learned new methods, had a sounding board, and expanded our network of information.”
“I liked having a strong community of other women working on solving problems, living by their values to have productive farms.”
“Everyone I met throughout the session has proven to be both an inspiration and a valuable resource for information.”

 

Knowledge Change Summary Per Session

Course

Average % of Knowledge Change

% Participants Experiencing

Knowledge Change

Session One – Goal Setting
Defining Effective Management Team

78%

100%

Inventory Farm Resources

78%

100%

Develop a Whole Farm Goal

102%

100%

Define What You Are Managing Towards

72%

100%

Identify Needed Farm Systems and Protocols

105%

92%

Integrate Social, Economic, and Environmental Factors into Decision-Making

59%

77%

Session Summary

 

100%

Session Two – Time Management
Ability to Make Complex On-Farm Decisions

71%

100%

Effectively Manage Time on Your Farm

87%

100%

Assess How Time is Spent on Farm

71%

88%

Understanding   Seasonal Time Demands/Flows

85%

88%

Session Summary

 

100%

Session Three – Financial Planning I
Determining Viable Profitable Enterprises for Your Farm

87%

86%

Identifying Logjams and Adverse Factors on Farm

113%

86%

Ability to Develop Balance Sheet

61%

71%

How to Increase Farm Net Worth

71%

71%

Determining Your Farm’s Projected Revenue

73%

71%

Session Summary

 

86%

Session Four – Financial Planning II

 

 

Delineating Farm Expense Categories

71%

100%

Assessing Farm Cash Flow

44%

92%

Monitoring Your Financial Plan

55%

92%

Skills in Developing Whole Farm Financial Plan

63%

85%

Getting Profit You Need from Your Farm

47%

85%

Prioritizing and Cutting Farm Expenses to Guide Reinvestment

68%

85%

Session Summary

 

100%

Session Five – Marketing

 

 
Effectively Promote Products and Services

128%

100%

Using Whole Farm Goal and Financial Plan to Develop Marketing Plan

121%

100%

Marketing Outreach Towards Your Whole Farm Goal

105%

100%

Profitably Price Products and Services

95%

100%

How to Develop a Marketing Plan

95%

100%

Understanding Your Competition

73%

100%

Session Summary

 

100%

Session Six – Business Planning
Attitudes Towards Value of Having a Business Plan to Guide Farm

59%

100%

Knowledge of Resources for Developing Strategic Plan for Farm

52%

92%

Ability to Develop a Business Plan for Farm

47%

92%

Ability to Use Holistic Goal to Guide Business Strategic Plan

58%

92%

Ability to Use Financial Plan to Determine Viable Markets for Farm

39%

83%

Ability to Implement Systems and Projects to Move Towards Whole Farm Goal

44%

83%

Session Summary

 

100%

Session Seven – Leadership and   Communication
Awareness of Communication Patterns on Farm

60%

80%

Effective Communication Tools for Farm

60%

80%

Conflict Resolution Skills for Farm

64%

80%

Incorporating Diverse Learning Styles toward More Effective Leadership and Communication

77%

80%

Understanding Diverse Ways People Seek Recognition and Affirmation

69%

80%

Sense of Yourself as a Leader

53%

60%

Using Whole Farm Goal to Guide Communication on Farm

53%

60%

Session Summary

 

100%

Session Eight – Land Planning
How to Incorporate Social/Legal/Contractual into Land Planning

110%

89%

Assess Management Considerations to Guide Land Planning

105%

100%

How to Incorporate Natural Resource Issues into Land Planning

105%

89%

Prioritize Land and Infrastructure Development/Investments

100%

100%

Design Strategies to Build Resilient, Diversified Farms

100%

100%

How Permaculture Fits into Holistic Land Planning

86%

78%

Session Summary

 

100%

Session Nine – Grazing
Value of Grazing Planning

100%

100%

How to Determine Grazing Periods

100%

100%

How to Assess Recovery Periods

118%

83%

How to Assess Quantity of Forage in Pasture

108%

83%

How to Improve Land Health with Livestock

79%

83%

How to Determine Number of Animals Your Pasture Can Support

82%

83%

How to Determine the Number of Paddocks

90%

83%

Session Summary

 

100%

Session Ten – Soil Fertility
Importance of Improving Soil Fertility Sustainably

69%

83%

Value of Organic Matter in Soils

50%

83%

Benefits of a Covered Soil

47%

83%

Benefits of Biodiversity

47%

83%

Understanding Eco-system Processes on Your Farm

69%

83%

Indicators of a Healthy Farm Eco-System

69%

83%

Ability to Monitor Farm Eco-System Health

80%

83%

Session Summary

 

83%

 

Increased Confidence as a Result of   Program

Confidence In. . .

%   of participants
Human Resource Management
Manage Your Time on Your Farm

100%

Make Complex Decisions on Your Farm

100%

Communicating with Decision Makers

100%

Communicating with Farm Workers

100%

Providing Recognition for Farm Workers

100%

Providing Leadership on Your Farm

100%

Developing Written Whole Farm Goal

81%

Using Testing Questions for On-Farm Decisions

75%

Implementing Important Strategic Systems and Projects

75%

Identifying Systems and Protocols for your Farm

69%

Delineating Farm Resources for Management

50%

Building an Effective Management Team

50%

Financial Management
Assessing Your Competition to Understand Your Farm’s Strengths

100%

Getting Profit You Need From Your Farm

92%

Prioritizing Cutting Farm Expenses to Guide Re-investment

92%

Identifying Resources to Assist You in Developing a Business/Strategic Plan

92%

Determining Weak Link in Farm Enterprises

92%

Promoting Your Farm Products

89%

Developing a Marketing Plan that Meets Your Farm’s Needs and Goals

89%

Ability to Identify Logjam/Adverse Factors

86%

Developing a Business/Strategic Plan

83%

Identifying Cash Flow Issues on Farm

77%

Monitoring Your Farm Financial Plan

77%

Determine Your Farm’s Net Worth

71%

Increase Your Farm’s Net Worth

71%

Determine Viable Profitable Enterprises

71%

Pricing Your Farm Products

44%

Determine Your Farm’s Projected Revenue

43%

Natural Resource Management
Ability to Prioritize Land/Infrastructure Improvements on Farm

100%

Ability to Incorporate Natural Resource Issues into Land Planning

100%

Ability to Incorporate Social/Legal Considerations into Land Planning

100%

Assessing Quantity of Forage and Pasture

83%

Monitoring Your Farm’s Eco-System Health

83%

Improving Eco-System Health on Your Farm

83%

Ability as a Grazer

83%

Building Organic Matter in Your Soils

83%

Assessing Recovery Periods

67%

Determining the Number of Animals Your Land Can Support for Grazing

50%

 

Top Intended Behavior Changes as a   Result of Program

% of   participants

Develop a Whole Farm Goal

100%

Implement Time Management Tools or Processes

100%

Complete or Modify a Marketing Plan

100%

Complete or Modify a Financial Plan

100%

Conduct Biological Monitoring on Farm

100%

Complete or Modify Written Land Plan

100%

Change Marketing Practices

89%

Change Record-Keeping

86%

Enter Financial Data Regularly

77%

Using Testing Questions

75%

Change Management Practices

73%

Change Enterprise Assessment

71%

Monitor Financial Plan

69%

Prioritize and Cut Expenses

69%

Strategically Reinvest in Farm

46%

Complete or Modify a Business Plan

75%

Change Business Planning Practices

67%

Change Leadership Practices

60%

Change Land Management Practices

89%

Complete or Modify Written Grazing Plan

67%

Change Grazing Practices

67%

Change Eco-System Health Practices

67%

 

 

Plans Completed or Action Taken as Result of Program

% of participants

Forge Relationships That Positively Impacted You

90%

Holistic Goal/Whole Farm Plan

80%

Financial Plan

70%

Marketing Plan

60%

Business Plan

40%

Grazing Plan

40%

Biological Monitoring

30%

Land Plan

20%

 

 Top Post-Program Outcome Changes

Topic

% Participants Experiencing

Change

Increased Satisfaction with Time Management

100%

Increased Satisfaction with Ability to Determine Needed Profit

100%

Increased Satisfaction with Ability to Make Complex Decisions

100%

Increased Satisfaction with Quality of Life

83%

Increased Satisfaction with Communication

80%

 

 


Session Satisfaction

Session

Class Percent rated good or   excellent

Session   One—Whole Farm Goal

94%

Session   Two—Time Management and Decision Testing

100%

Session   Three—Financial Planning Overview

100%

Session   Four—Enterprise Analysis

85%

Session   Five—Market Planning

100%

Session   Six—Business Planning

91%

Session   Seven—Leadership & Communication

100%

Session   Eight—Land Planning

100%

Session   Nine—Grazing Planning

100%

Session   Ten—Soil Fertility

100%

 

Top   Post-Program Impacts

 

Impact Percent of Participants
Human Resource Management

 

Clearer sense of what your farm is managing towards

90%

Better Ability to Determine Resources Available to You

80%

More Efficient Use of Resources

80%

Improved Communications on the Farm

60%

Improved Decision Making

80%

New Policies and Systems Implemented

80%

Better Relationships

60%

Increased Efficiency of Farm Chores as a Result of Land Planning

40%

Less Stress for Farmers

30%

Financial Management
Improved Ability to Articulate Goals and Objectives of Business to Others

80%

Improved Understanding of your Market and How Your Business Fits In

70%

Clearer Sense of How Your Business Is Projected to Grow in Future Years

60%

Ability to Identify Business Challenges from Previous Years

50%

Strategies for More Effective Reinvestment in the Business

50%

New or Improved Record Keeping Systems

50%

Enhanced Understanding of Your Farm Finances

50%

Changes in Farm Enterprises

50%

Changes in How Your Prioritize Expenses

50%

Reduced Farm Expenses

50%

Prioritized investments

50%

Improved ability to determine most effective enterprises

50%

New Business Systems (Improved Understanding of your Market and How Your Business   Fits into These)

40%

Greater efficiencies realized

40%

Improved ability to discern most appropriate market channels

40%

Improved ability to effectively market products

40%

New ways of displaying or packaging product

30%

New marketing methods you have employed

30%

Improved ability to receive desired price for your products/services

30%

Changes in the prices you are getting for your products or   services.

30%

Increased Farm Profits

20%

Increased Net Worth

20%

Enrollment in Government Programs to Support the Business

20%

Access to New Capital Including Private or Government Loans

20%

Natural Resource Management
Improved Ability to Prioritize Land Planning Investments

50%

Improved Ability to Incorporate Social, Environmental, and Financial into Your Land   Plan

40%

Proved Profitability through Your Land Plan

30%

Enhanced Production as a Result of Land Planning

30%

Improved Understanding of Your Farm’s Eco-System

30%

Less Stress for Animals

30%

Implementation of Specific Management Practices to Remediate an Environmental Issue

30%

Improved Understanding of Your Forage Composition

30%

Improved Herd Health

30%

Improved Environmental Conditions as a Result of Land Planning

20%

Improved Environmental Conditions

20%

Improved Ability to Manage Animals

20%

Longer Grazing Seasons

20%