Training for Farmers

Plain Language Guide to Finding, Assessing, and Securing Farmland in MA

In this Guide to Finding, Assessing, and Securing Farmland in Massachusetts, written in Plain Language, you will learn about:

•Determining the right kind of farmland for you
•Deciding what type of land tenure situation is right for you
•Starting the networking process
•Conducting farmland site visits
•Understanding your land by using the Web Soil Survey and other online information tools
•Negotiating with landowners and signing an agreement to use the land
•Beginning to farm your land!

NIFTI Fact Sheet: Considerations for High Tunnel Design and Construction

NIFTI Fact Sheet: Considerations for High Tunnel Design and Construction. Compiled from 2017 NIFTI Listserv Contributions.

Recordkeeping 2: Harvest and Post-Harvest Records for FSMA Compliance

Media:

  • Digital Download

This guide can be used to assist trainers who want to make good farm recordkeeping practices accessible to farmers with limited English and/or low literacy skills. It covers the reasons for and benefits of keeping good records for harvest and post-harvest activities, including compliance with food safety requirements. It explains what kinds of information need to be recorded and provides recommendations for when and how to collect that information. Tools which allow farmers with low-literacy skills to keep good records of on-farm activities are provided. This teaching resource was developed by Craig Demi of the Southside Community Land Trust in Providence, RI in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions). 

Recordkeeping 1: Crop Planning and Planting Records for FSMA Compliance

Media:

  • Digital Download

This guide can be used to assist trainers who want to make good farm record keeping practices accessible to farmers with limited English or low-literacy skills. It covers the reasons and benefits of keeping good records for planning and planting, including compliance with food safety requirements. It explains what kinds of information need to be recorded and provides recommendations for when and how to collect that information. Tools which allow farmers with low-literacy skills to keep good records of on-farm activities are provided. This teaching resource was developed by Craig Demi of the Southside Community Land Trust in Providence, RI in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions).

Irrigation 2: Irrigation System Design

Media:

  • Digital Download

This guide will assist trainers who want to teach non-literate and/or non-English speaking farmers about how to select the best irrigation system (flood, drip, or overhead sprinkler) for their situation. The advantage and disadvantages of each system are discussed using illustrations and examples from the farmers’ field experience. It covers how to distinguish between sources of sanitary drinking water which can be used for washing vegetables and sources of water which are only appropriate for irrigation, laws and regulations governing water use and access rights, and how to assess the potential for irrigation on a new parcel of land.This teaching resource was developed by Katie Painter of Global Gardens Refugee Agriculture Program at the Idaho Office for Refugees, in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions).

Irrigation 1: How Much Water and How Often

Media:

  • Digital Download

This guide will assist trainers who want to teach non-literate and/or non-English speaking farmers about how to use irrigation to deliver the optimal amount of water for different weather conditions, soil types, specific crops, and stages of growth. It is especially appropriate for farmers from tropical and subtropical regions who must adapt traditional practices to temperate conditions. This teaching resource was developed by Katie Painter of Global Gardens Refugee Agriculture Program at the Idaho Office for Refugees, in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions).

Crop Insurance 1: Introduction to Crop Insurance

Media:

  • Digital Download

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.

Crop Insurance 2: Introduction to Whole Farm Revenue Protection

Media:

  • Digital Download

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).

Cover Crops 2: How to Select Cover Crops & How to Track the Benefits of Cover Cropping

Media:

  • Digital Download

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).

Cover Crops 1: Which Cover Crops Will You Use?

Media:

  • Digital Download

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). 

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