BFRDP Projects

A Collective Approach to Providing Resources, Technology and Assistance to Beginning Farmers
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $711,213
Grant Program: 2015 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Ayanava Majumdar
Organization: Alabama Extension/Auburn University


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

The Alabama Beginning Farms (ABF) Program at Auburn University was initiated in 2015 as a partnership between two nonprofit agencies, three producer organizations, and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System/Auburn University as the backbone organization. This project is specially geared toward low resource farmers and military veterans getting into farming. As part of the ABF program, we have conducted a statewide Stakeholder meeting in Montgomery, AL, and documented the needs of producers statewide through event and newsletter surveys on a continued basis. ACES/AU has also developed a project logo, website, and a broad communication and educational toolkit that include the Farming Basics electronic curriculum and mobile phone app. Crotovina and Farmscape Solutions, along with additional Technical Assistance Providers (TAPs), have developed a unique farm planning tool adapted from the Vermont New Farmer Program. From 2015-2018, ABF program has reached 1,824 participants directly via 45 educational events and 90 educators/crop advisers via 6 professional development events. We have completed 33 webinars reaching 495 trainers/educators and 93 publications consisting of handbooks, slide charts, bulletins, posters, blog articles, independent magazine & newspaper articles. Two social media channels have 1,725 subscribers while the E-newsletter reaches 2,635 subscribers indicating large increase in demand for information and wide support from the farming communities across Alabama. Overall, 82 farmers have started farming, we have helped 120 farmers start farming, and improved farming success of 77 small producers many of whom are low-resource and veteran farms. We have reached 70% white, 20% black (including the Black Belt of AL), and 10% Hispanic & American Indian communities who self-identify as 59% male and 41% female. The ABF has saved $506,00 to small producers in consultancy fees and saved $2.5 million worth of crop statewide. Overall return on investment (ROI) is estimated to be 10:1 which is increasing annually.

Number of Participants: 1824


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success