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 Connecticut. This program, funded by a grant from the USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmer/Rancher Development Program, was coordinated by Deb Legge and Sherry Simpson of Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association. This group finished their Holistic Management learning sessions in May and their final farm mentor visits in July. Lead instructors were Certified Educators Seth Wilner and Phil Metzger and Whole Farm Planning Instructors Sherry Simpson and Crystal Stewart. Mentors for the program were Allyson Angelini, Christine Farrugia, and Phoebe Browning.
Of the participants responding
- 75% are currently farming and 88% intend to continue to farm
- The average years of farming was 2 years (range: 1 – 8 years)
- The average acres under production was 2 acres under production (range: 0.25 – 5 acres)
- The average age was 42 years old (range: 24 to 67 years old)
- 75% of farm operations were: Vegetable/Fruit/Produce.
- The total customers of all participants: 76
Here’s what some of the participants had to say and the results from this year’s program:
“I have a confidence in my own knowledge and ability to speak up regarding our homesteading.”
“I have enhanced the usage of our space due to our land plan.”
“We have developed a friendship with our mentor and a participant farmer nearby. They are both a wealth of information and excellent resources for us.”
“Through this training, I’ve met many individuals willing to share their knowledge and passion of farming which has increased my own knowledge of farming immensely.”
“All the individuals (peers and instructors/mentors) I have met during this class have taught me something, and have helped me unearth my own self confidence in myself along with the weaknesses I struggle with. And it feels wonderful to have a small group of people who have a similar mindset or love for farming, the land, and good food. All of this has nurtured the flame and love I have for this lifestyle I live.”
“I have folks that I can work with that are in the program and also some I have met through workshops I have learned about as a result of the program.”
To read the full program results for Connecticut, click here.
Elssa Green says
If a local restaurant is interested in buying a local organic farm that is for sale, and they admit they do not have farming skills, but are interested anyway, how does one go about facilitating a matchup?
Sandy Langelier says
Elisa. I spoke with Ann Adams, our Director of Programs and she suggests that they with your local farming non-profits to see if there is a farmer interested in farming for the restaurant. https://www.athenslandtrust.org/community-gardens/farmer-outreach/