BFRDP Projects

Training, Developing, and Mentoring Beginning Organic and Conventional Dairy and Feed Producers
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $100,000
Grant Program: 2014 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: David Reed
Organization: NFO, Inc. (National Farmers Organization)


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

We developed presentations tailored to  the location and the expected audience for each of the planned 5 seminars. We added a 6th seminar at the request of interested individuals who had heard of our previous meetings. We projected reaching 125 beginning farmers during this Developmental Grant. Total attendance at our 6 meetings was 186 of which 144 qualified as beginning farmers. We used live speakers, Skype and recorded video/PowerPoint presentations during the seminars. Our presenters were veterinarians, soil agronomists, marketing experts, certified financial planners, crop insurance experts and active organic farmers. While the "experts" were well received, the real stars of the seminars were the actual farmers who could give first hand knowledge of any and all of the seminar topics. Surveys of the attendees taken before the start of the program and following the program showed that live presentations were the most effective  form of communication and that recorded PowerPoint presentations without the presenter in attendance were the least effective. Skype video conference was much better accepted than the prerecorded sessions. Results measured by post seminar surveys showed 70 of the 144 participants felt they had improved their understanding of basic financial reports and  financial aspects of operations. 95 felt they had significantly improved their knowledge of organic grain marketing methods. 97 felt they had significantly increased their understanding of organic operating methods. Only 21 felt that they had increased their understanding of using crop insurance as a risk management tool. There ere comments regarding the complexity of the crop insurance topic. While we have not established any one-on-one mentoring relationships, 34 participants definitely want to set up such relationships. Another 42 said they may be interested. 50 were not at all interested, and 18 did not respond to that question. Overall we are extremely pleased with the results.

Number of Participants: 144


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