For farmers, growing crops is just one step in running a successful farm—making the farm or market garden economically viable requires another suite of skills, including finding land, planning what crops to grow, marketing the crops, and managing income and expenses. This resource builds on our experience educating hundreds of apprentice growers in organic production, farm and business planning, direct marketing at a roadside farm stand, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) management through hands-on training in the running of our 100-member CSA program. Teaching Direct Marketing and Small Farm Viability: Resources for Instructors is organized into six units, three focusing on marketing and three covering other topics related to making a small farm economically viable. Included are lessons and resources for running a CSA project, selling at farmers' markets, forming collaborative marketing groups and grower cooperatives, and selling to restaurants. Also covered are strategies to improve small farm planning, including enterprise visioning and market assessment; creating a business plan, including marketing and crop plans; and managing cash flow. Land tenure options such as cash-rent leases from non-profits, shared ownership models, conservation easements, and community land trusts are reviewed as additional mechanisms for addressing the complex issue of the economic viability of small-scale agriculture. This resource also reviews the trends and factors that influence small-scale agriculture's economics, and provides an overview of produce marketing in the U.S. The training manual is designed for – •Instructors at college and universities, agriculture organizations, farm-training programs, apprenticeship programs •Agricultural extension personnel •Farmers with interns •Growers, teachers, and organizers at urban farms, community gardens, and food projects with direct-marketing outlets This instructor's resource features class and field demonstration outlines, trainee exercises, and resource materials, with a focus on CSA. The manual can be used in a classroom setting or adapted for other training formats, such as short courses, conferences, and field days.
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Published by the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food ...
Published by the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, the 600-page manual covers practical aspects of organic farming and gardening, applied soil science, and social and environmental issues in agriculture. Units contain lecture outlines for instructors and detailed lecture outlines for students, field and laboratory demonstrations, assessment questions, and annotated resource lists. Although much of the material has been developed for field or garden demonstrations and skill building, most of the units can also be tailored to a classroom setting.The training manual is designed for a wide audience of those involved in teaching farming and gardening, including colleges and universities with programs in sustainable agriculture, student farms or gardens, and on-farm education programs; urban agriculture, community garden, and farm training programs; farms with internships or apprenticeships; agriculture extension stations; school gardening programs; organizations such as the Peace Corps, US AID, and other groups that provide international training in food growing and ecological growing methods; and master gardener programs.