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 have been challenged to be cost effective in their educational programming. The cost effectiveness ratio is a versatile evaluation indicator for Extension educators to compare the cost of achieving a unit of outcomes or educating a client in similar educational programs. This article describes the cost effectiveness ratio and its application in Extension. The major implications are 1) learning ways to reduce the cost of educational programming, 2) making Extension educators aware of the cost of educational programming and guiding ways to maximize the cost effectiveness, and 3) promoting pro-evaluation organizational culture."

Source: facilitation & process

"Developing a theory of change for your nonprofit organization is one of the core foundations of strategy.  If your nonprofit does not have a logical and compelling understanding of how you create change then you undermine the success of your organization. It is only when your organization has a “true north” compass point about the change you make that you will be able to credibly evaluation of your organization’s impact on the community you serve." 

Source: Tiger Prints Clemson University

"Within the existing economic development literature, there is a well-established linkage between the presence of skilled human capital and economic growth. A subset of this literature has focused on the role that a specific type of skilled human capital, known as the “creative class,” may play in facilitating regional economic development. This dissertation builds upon the existing creative class literature by examining the factors that have attracted the creative class to the state of South Carolina. In addition, this research gives special attention to the entrepreneurial activities of creative class professionals who engage in small-scale farming. Recent interest surrounding the economic, social, and environmental benefits of small-scale farming has led researchers and development practitioners to increasingly examine the role that local food systems may play in the regional development process. Accordingly, this dissertation examines how small-scale farm operators may be contributing to their communities and local economies by engaging in knowledge-intensive, entrepreneurial activities."

Source: Ronald Hustedde & John Gruidl

"Major Extension programming, whether in community development, nutrition, youth development, small business, or other areas, strengthens organizations by enhancing the capacity of members to work together effectively. Yet evaluating these impacts is difficult and rarely done in practice. In this article, we apply ideas from the Learning Organization model to the evaluation of capacity-building programs. We identify questions that Extension educators can ask in evaluating the impact of their programming on an organization. In our view, a Learning Organization approach to evaluation holds promise in providing Extension educators with tools to demonstrate the value of their interventions with organizations." 

Source: Racial Equity Tools

This website provides extensive tools, tips and resources for conducting program evaluation. It provides resources with a racial equity lens, as well as materials that focus on the technical aspects of evaluation in general.