BFRDP Projects

Ultra-Niche Crops for the Progressive, New Farmer
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $460,170
Grant Program: 2015 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Jenny Carleo
Organization: Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

The project goal is to teach new and beginning farmers nationwide (virtually and in-person) about the cultivation, marketing and
business management of farming 10 "ultra-niche crops". Of 2,380 participants, 90% will have a knowledge gain, 147 will make
beneficial changes and 69 will start farming. We define "ultra-niche" as exceptionally high-value crops that can provide a
significant source of income to the farmer while using minimal land area such as strawberries and basil. Empowering these new
and beginning farmers to achieve early crop and financial success will promote sustainability of our next generation of food producers.
We developed training, education, outreach and technical information on specialty-crop production. Educational programming includes crop selection, entrepreneurship and business training- including financial and risk management, as well as diversification and marketing techniques. A series of in-person and online educational materials were developed.
Deliverables include:
• "Virtual Field Trips" (10): On-farm interviews on production and marketing of each crop.
• "Video Fact Sheets" (13): On components of a farm business plan.
• "Crop Profiles" (12): Fact Sheets

Business Planning Fact Sheets (2): SWOT Analysis and Writing SMART goals For your farm
• Feasibility Analysis Worksheets: SWOT analysis template, food safety compliance worksheet.
• A Rutgers website to host these deliverables.
• 10 workshops that will utilize the above educational materials.

Program outcomes: 2,142 (90%) of the new and beginning farmers educated will gain knowledge; 210 in-person participants will
be equipped with technical and business skills to net a minimum of $25,000 per acre; 147 participants will make beneficial
changes; 69 participants will start new farms.

Number of Participants: 9261


Promotional Materials

There are no promotional materials available for this project.

Educational Materials

There are no educational materials available for this project.

Reports & Evaluations

There are no reports or evaluations available for this project.

Delivery Area

Describe any unexpected results of the project:

How would you improve the project if you were to do it again?

What were the keys to success for your participants?

Individual Stories / Examples of Success