BFRDP Projects

Cultivating Triple Bottom Line Resilience for Beginning Farmers in Maine and Vermont
[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $725,112
Grant Program: 2022 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Education Projects
Project Director: Ryan Dennett
Organization: Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

New England’s beginning farmers face unprecedented challenges – climate change and the resulting erratic and extreme weather, increasingly precarious economic conditions for small family farms, and a lack of strong social networks for farmers, particularly those operating in remote geographic areas. This project provides, through the guidance of farmers themselves, a suite of customized programs and services designed to enhance the environmental, economic, and social resilience of 500+ beginning farmers in order to help them overcome these challenges and achieve long-term farm sustainability – our ultimate goal.

To ensure that farmers have all the tools they need to implement new climate adaptation practices, we have provided Climate Forums, multiple workshops, mentorships, a comprehensive Soil Health Cohort Program, and one-on-one Technical Assistance. We are also working to develop a climate assessment tool. To promote financial resilience, we have worked with farmers through one-on-one business coaching and in Journeyperson and Farm Beginnings sessions to develop and implement business and financial resilience plans. Farmer-to-farmer learning models have effectively transferred skills and built lasting “social resilience” networks for beginning farmers.

The target audiences are beginning farmers of all ages, races, gender identities, ethnicities, farm size, and income levels in Maine and Vermont.  This is a collaboration between the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), building on 100 years of mutually successful beginner farmer training programs, as well as four previously funded BFRDP projects. 

This project aligns with BFRDP’s primary goal plus program priorities of (IB3), (1B6), (1B9), and climate smart agriculture in (1B15); (Page 7, RFA).

Number of Participants: 95


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