We are so honored and pleased to announce that based upon the success of our Beginning Farmers & Ranchers: Women in the Northeast program, the USDA NIFA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) is awarding us a grant to continue our work in the Northeast and expand the program to the Lone Star State.
This 3-year grant, “Growing Successful Transitions with Beginning Women Farmer Programs in the Northeast and Texas, #2012-49400-19673,” will result in 360 beginning women farmers trained in whole farm planning and drafting a whole farm plan. The grant will continue to build further capacity in the Northeast and pilot a project in Austin, Texas where there is demand among beginning women farmers. HMI’s Holistic Management® whole farm/ranch planning curriculum focuses on business planning skills, time management, soil fertility management, and profitable sustainable livestock and crop farming practices.
Making a Difference in the Lives of Women Farmers & Ranchers
By receiving this grant, HMI can continue to serve a valuable role in training more farmers and ranchers in ways that not only create healthy land – but also improve the profitability and quality of life of the people who live on that land. We’re proud to help these women realize their dreams of becoming self-sufficient farmers and ranchers in sustainable agriculture. ADD Results here
HMI’s work will also helps address the shortage of farmers and ranchers in the United States. You can read more about that in a recent blog post from HMI’s CEO Peter Holter.
HMI will take a two-pronged approach to build greater resilience and success in the USDA’s efforts to provide whole farm planning training to beginning women farmers.
1) HMI will expand the systems, collaborations, and curriculum developed from training 270 beginning women farmers in the Northeast. We’ll improve the efforts of the whole farm planning collaborators to move toward sustained self-sufficiency in providing whole farm planning programming to beginning women farmers in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York and we’ll train an additional 270 beginning women farmers.
2) HMI will address the need for whole farm planning training of 90 beginning women farmers in Texas through a pilot project in the Austin area. We will also build capacity for more whole farm planning programming in other regions of Texas in the future by training four whole farm planning trainers in addition to the 90 participants.
- Small & Beginning Farmers of New Hampshire
- Community Involved in Supporting Agriculture of Massachusetts
- University of Vermont – Women in Agriculture Network
- Women in Agriculture Network – Maine
- Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association
- Central New York Resource Conservation & Development
- Sustainable Food Center – Texas
The total grant amount awarded from USDA NIFA BFRDP is for $671,377 of which HMI is matching 25% through support from foundations and donors. If you would like to make a contribution to the program please do so online or contact our development office at 505.842.5252.
Join the Program
If you are a beginning (less than ten years experience) women farmer or rancher in Texas or the Northeast and you are interested in joining the program, please contact the individuals below. While there is a small fee to join the program, scholarships are available for those in need of financial assistance. Program applications are currently being accepted, so contact these state coordinators now!
- New York—Dan Degear, Central NY RC&D, [email protected]
- Connecticut—Deb Legge, CT NOFA
- New Hampshire—Kate Kerman, Small & Beginning Farmers of NH
- Vermont—Jessie Schmidt, New Farmer Project UVM
- Massachusetts—Devon Whitney-Deal, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)
- Maine—Gail Chase, Women’s Agriculture Network (WAgN) ME
- Texas—Peggy Cole, Holistic Management International
More Information About the Program
Beginning Women Farmer Conference: Exploring Whole Farm Planning – Conference Proceedings. This successful two-day conference was attended by farmers interested in improving quality of life, profitability, and land health. We’ve collected all of the presentations, videos and handouts and put them in one convenient location.
Here’s a fact sheet documenting the outcomes of our previous USDA NIFA funded grant in the Northeast
Many of the women whose lives we’ve changed have are making a difference and people are taking notice. Check out these women featured in the presswww.Start2Farm.gov, a component of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program”.