March 2009


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Alex Wylie <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont New Farmer Network <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 23 Mar 2009 11:51:45 -0400
text/plain (82 lines)
I just went to sign up for the Poultney meeting on the 25th and did not see 
it on the survey monkey. Has it been canceled?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Beth Holtzman" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 4:05 PM
Subject: Beginning Farmer Focus Groups

> Hello New Farmer Network members,
> I'm writing to invite you and colleagues at your organization to
> participate in one of four upcoming focus groups on beginning farmer
> needs.
> These focus groups are part of a SARE-funded project is designed to
> educate agricultural professionals about the challenges that beginning
> farmers face; stimulate changes in service delivery to make it more
> responsive to beginning farmersí needs; and develop a corps of service
> providers better skilled at assessing stakeholder needs and using that
> information to develop programs. An unofficial goal of this project is to
> engage key stakeholders in defining what an effective, statewide,
> beginning farmer program would look like, and which would help inform
> Vermont proposals to the new Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development
> Program.
> Additionally, any agricultural service providers who participate in a
> focus group will be eligible to apply for a $1000 mini grant to conduct
> beginning farmer programming in the next year.
> The focus groups will use a fishbowl approach (in which farmers serve as
> educators) to explore the interconnected challenges that beginning farmers
> face in terms of access to land, capital and credit, and building
> production, marketing, business planning, and financial management
> knowledge and skills. The focus groups will be held on farms and will
> include lunch and a farm tour. Last January, we conducted a pilot focus
> group which was very well received by both service providers and farmers.
> All of the service providers reported learning something new, and all the
> farmers reported feeling comfortable and respected during the process. "I
> liked the opportunity to brainstorm and connect with other farmers," one
> producer said afterwards."The conversation from the group of farmers was
> quite different than talking to each one individually," observed a service
> provider. "I enjoyed the dynamic."
> The four focus groups will be held at the following dates and locations:
> -- March 25 at Cerridwen Farm in Poultney at Green Mountain College;
> -- March 27 at The Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick;
> -- April 2 at the Harlow Farm in Westminster
> -- April 9 at Applecheek Farm in Hyde Park.
> You can this link:
> to sign up for one of the focus groups. Please forward this message both
> to farmers and service providers you think might be interested in
> participating.
> Thanks in advance for your help.
> Beth
> --
> ********************************
> Beth Holtzman
> Outreach Education Coordinator
> Women's Agricultural Network
> University of Vermont Extension
> 617 Comstock Rd.
> Berlin, VT 05602
> 617 Comstock Rd.
> Berlin, VT 05602
> [log in to unmask]
> 802-223-2389x15
> ********************************