Second National Small Farm Conference


Edited by:
Denis Ebodaghe, managing editor USDA-CSREES Washington, D.C.

Troy Darden, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension
Nelson Escobarr, USDA-CSREES Langston University
Dave McAllister, USDA-CSREES

Second National Small Farm Conference
October 12 - 15, 1999
Regal Riverfront Hotel
St. Louis, MO

For additional copies of these proceedings, please contact:
Denis Ebodaghe
National Program Leader - Small Farms
USDA-CSREES, Stop 2220
Washington, DC 20250-2220
Phone: (202) 401-4385
Fax: (202) 401-5179


In developing its recommendations, the USDA's National Commission on Small Farms appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman in July 1997, described small farms as farms with less than $250,000 gross receipts annually on which day-to-day labor and management are provided by the farmer and/or the farm family that owns the production or owns, or leases the productive assets.

A farm typology developed by the USDA-Economic Research Service categorizes farms into more homogenous groups than classification based on sales volume alone, producing a more effective policy development tool. The typology identifies five groups of small family farms (sales less than $250,000): limited-resource, retirement, residential/lifestyle, farming occupation/lower- sales, and farming occupation/higher-sales. To cover the remaining farms, the typology identifies large family farms, very large family farms, and non family farms.

On October 12-15, 1999, nearly 700 participants from the public and private sectors, including community-based organizations, the land-grant university system, and small and medium-sized family farmers convened in St. Louis, Missouri at the Second National Small Farm Conference.

The purpose of the conference was to strengthen collaboration and partnerships to work more effectively with the small farm community. Participation was a key to the conference's success.

These proceedings capture major issue areas addressed at the conference to include marketing strategies, value-added enterprises, agroforestry, community supported agriculture and food circles, establishment of cooperatives, meeting the research needs of organic farmers, building stronger ties for research and extension to meet small farmers' needs, cooperative marketing for domestic and international markets, getting and managing credits and grants, grant writing, electronic publishing, coping skills, stress, off-farm work, risk management, business and entrepreneurial skills, and farmer-to-farmer and beginning farmer networks.

We hope you will find these proceedings helpful in strengthening collaboration and partnerships to work more effectively in promoting small farm enterprises as viable businesses.

Denis Ebodaghe
National Program Leader for Small Farms
USDA-Cooperative State Research, Education
and Extension Service, Washington, DC 20250


Proceedings Table of Contents


Luncheon Address~~ October 13, 1999

The Small Farm Revolution  (PDF)
John Ikerd
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO

1. Marketing & Value Added Products

Introduction to Direct marketing: Traditional Approaches and New Directions

Marketing Strategies for Small Farms: Missouri Goats First on Internet Auction (PDF)
Emmanuel Ajuzie
Lincoln University Cooperative Extension
Jefferson City, MO

The Evolution of Farm Direct Marketing
Monika Roth
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Ithaca, NY

Direct Marketing Activities in USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service (PDF)
Eileen Stommes
Deputy Administrator
USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service
Washington, DC

Getting Started in Value-Added Products

Getting Started in Value Added Products from the Farmer's Perspective (PDF)
Jennifer Gleason
Sunflower Sundries
Mt. Olivet, KY

Community Supported Agriculture and Food Circles: New Ways to Direct Marketing
Community Food Circles: Directly Linking Farmers and Consumers (PDF)
Mary Hendrickson
Food Circles Networking Project
University of Missouri Outreach and Extension
Columbia, MO

The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Model Opportunities and Challenges
David R. Lynch
Sunrise Farm and CSA Garden
Loveland, CO

Community Shared Agriculture and Food Circles Small Farm Involvement in the CSREES,USDA Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program: Opportunities through 2002 (PDF)
Elizabeth Tuckermanthy
Washington, DC

Marketing to Institutions to Build Local and Regional Food Systems

Farmer-Direct Marketing on the Internet: An Emerging Institution? (PDF)
J-C. V. Klotz
USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service
Washington, DC

Give Agriculture a Human Face: Strategies to Create Win-Win Direct Marketing Mechanisms for Farmers and Consumers
Richard McCarthy
Economics Institute
Loyola University
New Orleans, LA

Cooperative Marketing for Domestic and International Markets

Steps to Organizing a Cooperative (PDF)
Mike Doherty
USDA-Rural Business and Cooperative Development Specialist
Washington, DC

Exporting for Small-Scale Cooperatives (the Proven Approach) (PDF)
Samuel W. Scott
Small Farm Development Center
Alcorn State University
Lorman, MS

2. Meeting the Needs of Underserved Clients

Fostering Inter-Institutional Collaboration for Improved Technical & Financial Assistance
Financing Young, Beginning, and Small Farmers: The Farm Credit System (PDF)
John J. Hays
Farm Credit Council
Washington, DC

Encouraging Interagency Cooperation to Assist Small Farmers
John A. Winder
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
Ardmore, OK

Meeting the Needs of Underserved Clients: The 1994 Experience
Building a Bridge to Economic Independence: Establishing a 1994 Land-Grant Extension Program (PDF) 
Marie Campos
Institute of American Indian Arts
Santa Fe, NM

A Brighter Outlook for Tomorrow in Indian Country (PDF)
Ronald Reum
Fort Berthold Community College
New Town, ND

Meeting the Needs of Underserved Clients: The 1890 Experience
Building Small Farm Partnership Efforts (PDF)
Samuel L. Donald
University of Maryland-Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, MD

Outreach Programs for Beginning Farmers

Creating Farming Opportunities for the Next Generation (PDF)
Marion Bowlan
Pennsylvania Farm Link
Manheim, PA

New Hampshire Beginning Farmer Resource Guide  (PDF)
Bruce A. Marriott
University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
Amherst, MA

Meeting the Needs of Small Farmers - An Interagency Perspective
The `New American Farmers': Outreach Challenges and Opportunities  (PDF)
Juan Marinez
Washington, DC and
Michigan State University
East Langston, MI
3. Sustainable Ag: Agroforestry & Livestock Alternatives for Small Farms
Sustainable Agriculture: New Approaches for Small Farmers

Opportunities for Combining Small Scale and Sustainability in Farming  (PDF)
Karl North
Northland Sheep Dairy
Marathon, NY

Livestock Alternatives for Small Farms
Alternatives for Small Farms-Beef  (PDF)
Martha Mewbourne
Nickelsville, VA

Opportunities in the Evolving Range/Pastured Poultry Industry  (PDF)
Steve Muntz
Heifer Project International
Mt. Sterling, NY

Environmental Issues Facing Small Farmers

Problems and Solutions to Pesticides' Availability and Their Safe Use by the Small Farmer (PDF)
F.D. Bullock
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service
Nashville, TN

Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) and the Environment  (PDF)
Ronald A. Harris
Animal Husbandry and Clean Water Programs Division
USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service
Beltsville, MD

Agroforestry Income Opportunities for Small Farm Operations: Forest Farming & Alley Cropping

Agroforestry--A Role on the Small Family Farm  (PDF)
H.E. `Gene' Garrett
School of Natural Resources
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO

Trees & More: Short Term Income Possibilities  (PDF)
Shelby G. Jones
Missouri Department of Conservation
Jefferson City, MO

Agroforestry- Forestland Grazing: Windbreaks and Shelterbelts: Riparian Zone Management
Silvopasture Management  (PDF)
T.R. Clason
Hill Farm Research Station
Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station
Louisiana State University
Homer, LA

Agroforestry - Forestland Grazing  (PDF)
George Owens
Chipley, FL

Riparian Forest Buffers Are the Right Thing to Do  (PDF)
Lon Strum
Roland, IA and
Richard Shultz
Iowa State University
Ames, IA

4. Developing Skills

Grant Writing for Farmers and Non-Governmental Organizations  (PDF)
Margaret Krome
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
East Troy, MI and
Cris Carusi
Nebraska Sustainable Agricultural Society
Hartington, Nebraska

Electronic Publishing: How to Put You and Your Programs on the Web
Susan McCue
UC-Davis, Small Farm Center
Davis, CA
Karl Ottenstein
Spring Creek Organic Farm
Sandpoint, ID

Grant Writing for State and County Faculty Addressing Accountability and Evaluation Concerns  (PDF)
Robin Shepard
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI

Accessing Information: Traditional and Non-Traditional Sources  (PDF)
Calvin King
Arkansas Land and Farm Development Corporation
Brinkley, AR
Kim Kroll
Washington, DC
Ron Macher
Small Farm Today Magazine
Clark, MO
Teresa Maurer
Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas
Fayetteville, AR

5. Building Institutional Capacity to Serve Small Farmers
On-farm Research: Incorporating Farmer Innovation into the Research Stream
Guidelines for On-Farm Research  (PDF)
Dan Anderson
College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois

Lessons from the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE)  (PDF)
Jill Auburn
Washington, D.C.

Meeting Challenges in a Developing Production Area  (PDF)
Vincent Russo
South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory
Lane, OK
Alternative Crops: Research Needs for Small Farms
An Application of Systems Engineering for Small Potato Production  (PDF)
William M. Clapham
Appalachian Farming Systems Research Center
USDA-Agricultural Research Service
Beaver, West Virginia

Diversifying with New or Alternative Crops  (PDF)
Robert L. Myers
Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute
Columbia, MO
Meeting the Research Needs of Organic Farmers
BIOS, BIFS, BASIS-OASIS: Acronyms for Success in Agricultural Research Partnerships  (PDF)
C.T. Bull
USDA-Agricultural Research Service
Salinas, CA

Meeting the Research Needs of Organic Farmers: Learning from Experience  (PDF)
Kathleen Delate
Iowa State University
Ames, IA and
James Boes
Heartland Organic Marketing Cooperative
Greenfield, IA

Meeting the Research Needs of Organic Farmers  (PDF)
Jane Sooby
Organic Farming Research Foundation
Santa Cruz, CA

Evaluation and Accountability: Models for Success
A New Agriculture for the New Millennium  (PDF)
Desmond Jolly
University of California
Davis, CA

Evaluating Small Farm Programming in North Carolina  (PDF)
John M. O'Sullivan
North Carolina A&T State University
Greensboro, NC

Overcoming Program Evaluation Challenges  (PDF)
Robin Shepard
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI
Building Stronger Ties for Research and Extension to Meet Small Farmers' Needs

University of Missouri's New "Focus Team" Approach to Setting Research and Extension Priorities and Programs (PDF)
Joan Benjamin
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO

Participatory Relationships: Recipes for Success  (PDF)
Judith F. Gillian
New England Small Farm Institute
Belchertown, MA

Building Support for Small Farms and Sustainable Agriculture: Partnerships Between Community-Based Organizations and Public Institutions  (PDF)
Bonnie Rice
Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network
Bellingham, WA and
Chris Feise
Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources
Washington State University
Pullman, WA
6. Growing the Small Farm Business
Entrepreneurship: A Key to Success in Any Small Business

Entrepreneurial Training for Small Farmers  (PDF)
Vaughn Rasar
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
Newport, ME

Farm Financial Risk and Business Planning
Record Keeping for the Small Farm- a Management Specialist's Perspective  (PDF)
Miles D. Robinson
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee, AL

Managing Risk for Success
Randall Schwake
Security State Bank
Claremont, MN

Cooperatives: A Must for Small Farmers
Rural Business and Cooperative Services' Role in Supporting Small and Beginning Farmers  (PDF)
Jeff Jobe
Rural Business and Cooperative Services
Des Moines, IA

Cooperative Marketing of Alternative Meats in the Mid-Atlantic Region  (PDF)
Jennifer Thorn
University of Maryland Cooperative Extension
Mt. Lake Park, MD

Planning Now for Future Generations of Small Farmers  (PDF)
James L. Gibson
Wisconsin Agribusiness Council, Inc.
Madison, WI

Short-Term Initiatives, Paradigm Shifts, and Real-Time Impacts  (PDF)
Sue Ellen Johnson
Northeast New Farmer Network
Belchertown, MA

Land Retention Project  (PDF)
Edward (Jerry) Pennick
Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund
East Point, GA
7. Networks that Bring Together Farmers, Service Providers and Consumers

Farmer-to-Farmer Networks
The Revolution and Evolution of Farmer Research in Montana  (PDF)
Jan Tusick
AERO Farm and Ranch Improvement Clubs

Building Partnerships with the Organic Community
A training Series in Organic Farming Systems for Cooperative Extension Service Agents  (PDF)
Nancy Creamer
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC

Ten Points to Effective Partnership Between Farmers and Organic Consumers  (PDF)
Debbie Dunbar Ortman
Organic Consumers Association
Duluth, MN

Paraprofessionals: Their Roles in Public and Private Sector Programs
Nathaniel Keys and Ronald Kelley
Cooperative Extension Program
Prairie View A&M University
Prairie View, TX

Working with New Farmers in Your Community
Bringing New Farmers to Your Community  (PDF)
Calvin Graber
Ag Stewardship Committee of the Salem Mennonite Church
Freeman, SD

Bringing New Farmers to an Area and Providing Assistance to Them
Richard Molinar
University of California Cooperative Extension
Fresno County, CA

Access to Land: Farm Linking to Help New Farmers  (PDF)
Kathryn Z. Ruhf
New England Small Farm Institute
Belchertown, MA 


Collaboration and partnership among public and private sector organizations including community-based organizations resulted in a successful Second National Small Farm Conference. The cooperation among the committees and the dedication by the committee chairs is greatly appreciated.

Great thanks to the following for sponsoring the conference:
Farm Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lincoln University- Jefferson City, Missouri, The University of Missouri- Columbia, Missouri, U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Marketing Service, Agricultural Research Service Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Cooperative State Research Education and Extension ServicePlant and Animal Systems and Sustainable Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service, Forest Service, Farm Service Agency, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Office of Outreach, Rural Development, Risk Management Agency.

Great appreciation to Drs. Edward "Ted" Wilson, Daniel Kugler, and Brad Rein for their administrative and program support.

I would like to thank Ms. Stephanie Olson of USDA-CSREES for program support, and Drs. E. Nelson Escobar and Mickie Swisher for their dedication in chairing the Program Committee.

A thank you is most deserving of the host institutions who were involved in the planning and execution of this conference. Thanks to Ms. Troy Darden, Ms. Gladys Tiffany and Dr. Dyremple Marsh of Lincoln University, Jefferson City; and Ms. Debie Kelly, Naomi Schultz and Dr. David Baker of the University of Missouri, Columbia for hosting an excellent conference.

We wish to acknowledge the assistance of the members of the Steering, Program, and Logistics Committees for their patience and resilience during conference planning, and to the conference sponsors for providing the resources to support the conference.

For their assistance in editing the proceedings, many thanks to Mr. Dave McAllister of USDA-CSREES, Ms. Troy Darden and Dr. E. Nelson Escobar.

Many others provided assistance to the overall success of this conference that we are unable to mention, and to all of you, we express our sincere appreciation.