Beginning Farmer Program Evaluation Resource Library

The Beginning Farmer Program Evaluation Resource Library is a compilation of materials to assist beginning farmer and rancher training programs to conduct evaluation.

This Resource Library was created as part of the Gaining Results through Evaluation Work (GREW) project, funded through a US Department of Agriculture Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) grant. This project supports the development of strong, effective and long-lasting farmer and rancher training programs so that beginning farmers enter the field of farming and establish successful farm businesses.

This library contains hundreds of resources focused on running effective and thorough program evaluations collected by the GREW team. Some resources focus explicitly on farming projects and others provide more general program evaluation instruction. You can use the topic of interest buttons below to search for the types of materials of interest or you can type a search directly “I’m looking for…” bar.

Please visit again – more resources will be added regularly.

If you have a resource you would like to see, have a resource you’d like to share, or have any feedback about the Resource Library, please contact nesfp@tufts.edu.

Source: ALBA

Beginning farmer survey written by Agricultural Land Based Training Association (ALBA) to confidentially learn how farmers are doing after receiving one year of services from ALBA. Survey includes questions on experience with ALBA, growing practices, and business finances.

Source: North Carolina State University

"With the increasing demand for accountability of Extension programming, Extension professionals need to apply rigorous evaluation designs. Randomized designs are useful to eliminate selection biases of program participants and to improve the accuracy of evaluation. However, randomized control designs are not practical to apply in Extension program evaluation. This article explains how to use the crossover design as a practical tool for evaluating Extension programs rigorously. This design can be used to evaluate any Extension program with two or more curricula presented to client groups in multiple counties."

Source: Cornell Small Farms Program

"Farming successfully requires a comprehensive set of skills from production to marketing and financial management. Assessing a new farmer’s strengths and training needs can be tricky. Many organizations use a checklist internally, or on a one-on-one basis with new farmers, to determine that person’s status on the spectrum of skills and aptitudes necessary to run a successful farm business." This website provide several example assessment instruments.

Source: University of Minnesota Extension - Michael Darger

"Community-driven Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) is a time-tested University of Minnesota Extension program that is benefitting from a new evaluation technique—Ripple Effect Mapping (REM). This BR&E model helps communities create priority economic development projects. REM efficiently captures a community's project outcomes and impacts via community-based focus group discussions. REM results from four Minnesota communities showed the greatest number of effects in human and social capital, out of seven community capitals. For communities, completed ripple effect maps illustrate cumulative accomplishments while motivating participants to keep pursuing their project goals. For Extension, REM enables analysis for program reporting and improvement."

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