“These tools have brought together the best practices in the country for refugee and immigrant farmer education.”
-Nick Wuertz, Director of Refugee Community Services at Lutheran Services in Iowa
See and search the over 60 training and technical assistance (T&TA) resources (below), primarily for New American audiences and the programs that serve them. New Americans include refugees, asylees, and immigrants who are part of the current and next generation of beginning farmers in the U.S. and Canada.
This resource library is the result of a 3-year partnership between ISED Solutions and 18 beginning farmer incubators, through a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) Educational Enhancement initiative titled Educational Tools and Methods for Beginning Refugee & Immigrant Farmers. Our intent has been to develop and share resources that facilitate high quality instruction and hands-on assistance using a combination of carefully-designed tools and techniques. These resources can be freely downloaded and used as is, or adapted to meet the specific capacities and priorities of a specific program or setting. These teaching resources and handbook are appropriate to use with any beginning farmer audiences whose learning needs and styles vary because of education, language, literacy, and/or cultural factors. ISED expresses gratitude to all the partners who shared in the development of these resources. Individuals and organizations involved in specific resource development are identified within.
This document lists the newly developed and enhanced teaching resource created for projects working with New American farmers, and includes an overview of the core skills taught in that lesson. Core skills refer to concepts and skills that are central to farmer training programs. The teaching resources reference here were developed collaboratively by the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions) and 18 refugee farmer training programs across the country.
Background Information on New Americans’ is a compilation of resources about refugees and special immigrants actively participating in refugee agriculture programs at the International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville, VA. The information originates from a variety of sources including the IRC itself and the Department of Health and Human Services. It provides abbreviated information about the cultural practices and context from which resettled people hail, with an emphasis on diet, food traditions and agricultural
The BCS Safety Checklist and Parts Diagram is a resource designed to be incorporated into a field workshop to train multi-farming and language/literacy farmers how to safely operate and maintain a BCS machine and roto-tiller attachment. This resource should be used by staff as a guide to teach farmers during a workshop, but can also stand alone as a handout or sign after an initial workshop. Staff will use hands-on demonstration to show farmers how to operate machines and attachments.
Shell beans are an important crop to farmers, but (and because of how much they are grown) they face significant pest pressure on the farm. We worked with our local extension agent to put together accurate, useful, and accessible organic management options for the two most important pests on our farm: Mexican bean beetle and leaf hopper.
This Bed Planning tool is used to assist farmers in knowing which crops to plant in each bed and when to plant them. Each bed marker is filled out either by staff ahead of time, or by farmers in a class session using their crop calendars and crop rotation plot maps. The bed markers are then placed in each bed at the farm. This tool was developed to increase farmer independence through simple tools, as farmers were not consulting their notebooks weekly and/or had difficulty reading their crop calendars throughout the season. You can add cover crop rotations, succession planting, and multiseason planting. Using these tools allows farmers to quickly look at the upcoming dates, prepare their beds, and plant their seeds in the right bed and at the right time. They are laminated and tape is used for writing in permanent marker (on top of tape), so that they can be recycled and used year after year.
These best practices are the result of a collaborative process between ten New American farmer training programs. Over a three year period, these programs implemented new teaching resources and methods. These practices represent effective and relevant teaching practices for farmer training with farmers with educationally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
This guide can be used by trainers who want to assist pre-literate and/or English- as a second language-speaking farmers with including cover crops in vegetable production and other crop rotation schedules. It covers three major types of cover crops (mustards, legumes, and ‘other’), and the potential benefits and costs of cover crops. It leads farmers through the process of identifying what they want to accomplish via cover cropping, assists them with identifying opportunities within their production schedule for insertion of cover crops, and assists farmers with selecting the cover crop or mixture of cover crops which best match their needs and goals. Some data is specific to the Southeast region of the United States, but links to resources where data appropriate to other regions can be accessed are provided. This teaching resource was developed by Lauren Bailey of The Nashville Food Project in Nashville, TN in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions).
This guide can be used by trainers who want to assist pre-literate and/or English-as a second language-speaking farmers with including cover crops in vegetable production and other crop rotation schedules. It leads farmers through the process of sorting through the characteristics of specific cover crops to select the best one or mix of cover crops to meet their goals. It introduces farmers to a series of questions that they can answer throughout the growing season to evaluate the performance of the cover crops they have planted. Worksheets are provided so that trainers can assist farmers with this evaluation and with recording the results. Some data is specific to the Southeast region of the United States, but links to resources where data appropriate to other regions can be accessed are provided.This teaching resource was developed by Lauren Bailey of The Nashville Food Project in Nashville, TN in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions).
Guided discussion draws on farmers’ traditional strategies for dealing with catastrophic crop failures to introduce the concept of crop insurance. Participants are introduced to basic concepts and vocabulary related to insurance. USDA’s Whole Farm Revenue Protection is introduced through a discussion of its purpose and benefits.
Participants will review costs and benefits of WFRP crop insurance and learn about eligibility, the application process, required farming practices and record keeping. They will be advised on where to find assistance with accessing information about WFRP, decision making, program application, compliance, and, when appropriate, collecting payments. Trainers may need to begin by reviewing what was learned about Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP), from Module 1: Introduction to Crop Insurance. This teaching resource was developed by Linda Seyler of Global Garden Refugee Training Farm in Chicago, in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions).