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

Source: North Carolina State University Department of Agricultural and Extension Education - K. S. U. Jayaratne

"Extension educators need simple and accurate evaluation tools for program evaluation. This article explains how to use aspiration as an outcome indicator in Extension evaluation and introduces a practical evaluation tool. Aspiration can be described as the readiness for change. By recording participants' levels of aspiration, we will be able to determine whether the program is effective in achieving desired results. This aspiration-recording tool is easy to use in terms of data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Evaluation data collected from this tool can be used to document accountability and make decisions for program modifications."

Source: Farm Beginnings Collaborative

This resource is a template for primary outcome goals of a farming program/class/course. Question for participants correlate with specific outcome goals: Graduates will be engaged in farming. Graduates will meet their goals for family income from agricultural production. Graduates will use sustainable practices. The number of acres in sustainable production will increase. The amount of sustainably produced food available locally will increase.

Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison

This website provides extensive tools for developing and evaluation programs in Extension.

Source: Program Evaluation Tools

Links to evaluation resources for extention programs - University of Kentucky - Agriculture, Food and Environment

Source: Pennsylvania State University - Richard Stup

"Program evaluation is a powerful tool for demonstrating the value of Extension education to stakeholders. When presenting the results of evaluation, it is important to know exactly who the stakeholder is. As programs increasingly depend on client registration fees, it becomes essential to demonstrate to clients that they will receive return on their investment. This article points out an opportunity for Extension to improve programs and marketing by focusing evaluation to meet the decision needs of business organizations. Core evaluation articles and reports of successful Extension examples are reviewed."

Source: University of Wisconsin-Extension

"When you use open-ended questions, you rely on your respondents to produce their own answers and you do not provide them with responses to choose from. Examples of open-ended questions are: “Please describe one idea you will take home with you from today’s workshop” or “How can we improve this workshop for next time?” Keep in mind that your goal with this technique is to simplify the information you have so you can use it for outcome reporting and program improvement. This is an example of applying the technique to a dairy parlor modernization workshop."