Economic/Community Development


Investing in Regenerative Agriculture Infrastructure Across Value ChainsCroatan Institute

This report identifies finance opportunities and pathways to build resilient value chains for regenerative farms.

2022economic-community-development farm-business-planning-and-finance farm-finance-policy policy-and-regulation rural-urban-value-supply-chains
Food Sovereignty & Farmworker StorytellingNot Our Farm

In this discussion hosted by Regenerative Ag Idea Network Weaver Jahia, Anita Adalja shares their work and experience in farmworker rights, the often overlooked plight of labor abuses on small farms, and their QBIPOC-focused work through the Not Our Farm collective and on Ashoka Farm.

2022economic-community-development farm-and-food-business-cooperative-development farm-business-planning-and-finance minority-and-women-farmer-rancher-support organizational-development-and-partnerships racial-equity-and-justice rural-community-leadership
Exploring Farm-Based EducationMichelle Gilman

Listen to Michelle Gilman (Food Fluency, REGAIN Network Weaver) and Shelby Geitner discuss the highlights of Shelby’s study of farm-based education in the U.S. and France. 

2022economic-community-development education employment-and-volunteers farm-and-food-business-cooperative-development leadership-development organizational-development-and-partnerships racial-equity-and-justice
Using EDDMapS to understand Future Invasive Species of the MidwestMidwest Invasive Plant Network

In this webinar, Clair Ryan, Midwest Invasive Plant Network (MIPN) Coordinator, discusses MIPN’s work, what dictates plant distribution and spreading potential, climate modeling for the upper midwest, and application for predicting terrestrial invasive plants distribution with EDDMapS. Clair distills EDDMapS modeling methodology and provides a demonstration on how to use EDDMapS to predict range expanding species. She explains how being proactive in detecting these range expanding species is essential to making early detection and eradication …

2021climate-change-adaptation economic-community-development ecosystem-services invasive-species-management rural-community-leadership
REGAIN Office Hours: Organizing for Food & Climate Justice in FloridaFlorida Food Policy Council

Erica Hall, Board Chair of the Florida Food Policy Council and longtime advocate for climate justice, social equity, and economic resilience, shares the Florida Food Policy Council’s work in community organizing for climate change resilience.

2022climate-change-adaptation crop-rotation-diversification-and-intercropping economic-community-development ecosystem-services farm-business-planning-and-finance farm-conservation-practices leadership-development local-regional-food-systems-and-access minority-and-women-farmer-rancher-support organizational-development-and-partnerships partnerships-and-networking policy-and-regulation racial-equity-and-justice rural-community-leadership rural-urban-value-supply-chains state-level-policy strategic-planning water-quality-improvement-and-management
Wisconsin Cover Crop and Conservation Conversations Webinar SeriesCover Crops Research and Outreach Project (CCROP) & UW-Madison Nutrient and Pest Management

This webinar series consists of three sessions: (I) Highlights from Farmer-led Projects Across Wisconsin, (II) Engaging Diverse Audiences in Cover Crops, Soil Health, and Conservation Education, and (III) Research Highlights on Cover Crops and Conservation from Across the State. Each has lightning-style talks that highlight the work and lessons learned from watershed groups, farm networks, land conservation departments, and more. View the webinar collection here. Learn more about CCROP …

2021cover-cropping economic-community-development farm-conservation-practices watershed-councils
Ear to the Ground 265: Diving into Safer WatersLand Stewardship Project

Ear to the Ground Podcast, hosted by Brian DeVour at the Land Stewardship Project, covers family farming, regenerative agriculture, regional food, and local democracy through conversations with farmers, scientists, land professionals and advocates. In this episode, Dayna Burtness from Nettle Valley Farm talks about their three year incubator program’s “informed sink or swim” approach. Dayna and graduating incubatees talk about how the incubator program can serve the land and beginning farmers. Additionally, lessons learned, like the importance of setting expectations through a written document and having an off farm mediator to help resolve conflict, from the first incubator program are discussed. Listen to the podcast here. Nettle Valley Farm is featured in Ear to the Ground 261 and in a magazine article, Hatching Farms and Community, with Practical Farmers of Iowa Listen to more Ear to the Ground Podcasts here. The podcast is also available on numerous streaming …

2021beginning-farmer-and-rancher-support economic-community-development farm-and-food-business-cooperative-development farm-business-planning-and-finance leadership-development organizational-development-and-partnerships partnerships-and-networking
Producer-led Group Roadmap: Finding Success in Farmer-Led Watershed OrganizationsWI DATCAP, Farmers for Sustainable Food, & The Nature Conservancy

Guided by steps taken by successful existing producer-led groups, the roadmap provides nine sections on how to establish a farmer-led watershed organization that works towards shared goals such as improved water quality and soil health. Read the roadmap …

2020economic-community-development ecosystem-services soil-and-crop-health-and-management soil-health water-quality-improvement-and-management watershed-councils
Field Walkover Guide: A practical on farm conservation toolAmber Radatz, Callie Herron, Kevan Klingberg, Todd Prill, Discovery Farms Wisconsin

The guide emphasizes the how visual assessments on farm are useful in gauging potential for erosion and is broken into three categories: no signs of erosion, moderate signs of erosion, and substantial signs of erosion. These walkovers can be used in addition to models on erosion potential. The guide includes decision trees beginning with the questions: (1) Does water come together/concentrate and exit the field? and (2) Are there any of the following signs of erosion: soil-covered plants, firm and crusted soil, ditches, rills? These questions guide adjustments that can be made to limit erosion. Learn more about Discovery Farms Wisconsin, a farmer-led research and outreach program focused on the relationship between agriculture and water quality. View the Walkover Guide …

2016cover-cropping economic-community-development ecosystem-services farm-conservation-practices no-till-and-conservation-tillage soil-and-crop-health-and-management soil-health water-quality-improvement-and-management watershed-councils
Land Policy ReportHolly Rippon-Butler, National Young Farmers Coalition

Barriers to land access are laden with interconnected challenges of climate change, food sovereignty, structural racism and discrimination, cost of living, and public health. However, resistance to inequitable practices and the opportunity for reform are substantial. The Land Policy Report sheds light on the importance of land access and lays a policy driven path forward governed by 15 principles and numerous key actions. Learn more about the National Young Farmers Coalition here. Read the report …

2020economic-community-development farm-and-food-business-cooperative-development farm-business-planning-and-finance federal-level-policy minority-and-women-farmer-rancher-support organizational-development-and-partnerships partnerships-and-networking policy-and-regulation racial-equity-and-justice
Young Farmers Racial Equity ToolkitNational Young Farmers Coalition

The Racial Equity Toolkit (1) introduces the toolkit and the vast systems of racism in our agriculture system, (2) offers guidance on organizing around and having conversations about racial justice, and (3) exhibit examples of direct action such as allyship, resource sharing, and reparations. Each avenue for transformative action includes valuable resources to help you and your community take action. Notably, the toolkit structures conversations around specific questions related to thirteen informational books, podcasts, and other materials. Learn more about the National Young Farmers Coalition here.  Read the Toolkit …

2020economic-community-development federal-level-policy leadership-development organizational-development-and-partnerships partnerships-and-networking policy-and-regulation racial-equity-and-justice rural-community-leadership tribal-nations
Land Access Solutions in the Agrarian Commons ModelFarm Commons

Why work with a land trust to preserve or access farmland? And, how do we navigate the creativity AND limitations of easements on farmland? Farm Commons talks with Ian McSweeney, Director of Agrarian Trust, to answer these questions with explanations on how land trusts work, what agricultural easements are, and how the Agrarian Trust supports land access for the next generation of farmers. Learn more about Farm Commons and view additional podcasts. Listen to the podcast …

2021beginning-farmer-and-rancher-support conservation-program-funding-and-cost-share economic-community-development farm-and-food-business-cooperative-development farm-business-planning-and-finance legal-and-finances minority-and-women-farmer-rancher-support organizational-development-and-partnerships policy-and-regulation racial-equity-and-justice state-level-policy
Social Justice through Non-traditional Land Access StrategiesFarm Commons

The Farm Commons team discusses inequities in who has access to land, who owns the land, and strategies farmers and farm-advocates pursue to secure land that honors how they want to farm. With a focus on reducing barriers to entry, they dive into the legal mechanics of farm land gifting, crowdfunding, cooperatively purchasing land, and long term leases. Learn more about Farm Commons and view additional podcasts. Listen to the podcast …

2021beginning-farmer-and-rancher-support economic-community-development farm-and-food-business-cooperative-development farm-business-planning-and-finance farm-finance-policy local-regional-food-systems-and-access minority-and-women-farmer-rancher-support organizational-development-and-partnerships policy-and-regulation racial-equity-and-justice
Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food ProgramsNational Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

This collection of current programs and policies breaks down who is eligible, success stories, application information, resources, and history. Originally released in 2014, the guide is continuously updated to ensure farmers, advocates, entrepreneurs, researchers, and rural and urban community groups have the resources they need to build a more sustainable ag system. The Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs seeks to support farmers in navigating federal programs around the following topic areas: Beginning & Socially Disadvantaged Farmers Conservation & Environment Credit & Crop Insurance Food Safety Healthy Food Access Local & Regional Food Systems Organic Production Renewable Energy Rural Development Sustainable & Organic Research The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition also features a reference sheet of programs discussed, glossary and acronyms, and additional resources. Access the guide here. Learn more about the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition …

2014beginning-farmer-and-rancher-support conservation-program-funding-and-cost-share crop-insurance economic-community-development energy-and-forestry farm-and-food-business-cooperative-development farm-business-planning-and-finance farm-credit farm-enterprise-planning federal-level-policy food-safety-and-inspection grants-and-funding-proposals minority-and-women-farmer-rancher-support organizational-development-and-partnerships policy-and-regulation
Guide to Illinois Laws Governing Direct Farm MarketingIllinois Stewardship Alliance

Developed by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance with assistance from the Illinois Department of Agriculture and University of Illinois Extension, this guide informs farmers and producers on the federal, state, and local government regulations that apply to direct farm marketing. The guide includes (1) general overview, (2) key regulatory points, (3) specific food regulations, (4) a checklist for farmers and growers to consider before selling farm products directly, and (5) a state and federal resource section. Download the guide here. Learn more about the Illinois Stewardship Alliance …

2021economic-community-development farm-and-food-business-cooperative-development farm-business-planning-and-finance farm-enterprise-planning federal-level-policy legal-and-finances marketing-and-communications organizational-development-and-partnerships policy-and-regulation rural-urban-value-supply-chains state-level-policy
REGAIN Office Hours: Tackling Food Insecurity and land access in MinnesotaSharing Our Roots

Antonio Alba Merez is the Program Director for the Community Land Share, Community Connector, and Neighborhood Garden initiatives. In this call, Antonio and his colleague Lina Nyaronge share how these programs work to address food insecurity and land access in Northfield, MN.

2022beginning-farmer-and-rancher-support economic-community-development farm-business-planning-and-finance farm-enterprise-planning leadership-development minority-and-women-farmer-rancher-support organizational-development-and-partnerships rural-community-leadership
Right Business Structure for Reducing Legal Risk and Leveraging OpportunityFarm Commons and Quivira Coalition

Rachel Armstrong, founder and Executive Director at Farm Commons, discusses the importance of establishing the right business structure and writing the proper organizing document for your farming or ranching operation. The webinar features the nuances between a LLC and corporation, advice on how to build legal resiliency, and bonus content about anti-corporate farming laws, when to consult a separate business structure, and trusts vs business entities. Learn more about Farm Commons here. Learn more about the Quivira Coalition here. Watch the webinar recording …

2022beginning-farmer-and-rancher-support economic-community-development farm-and-food-business-cooperative-development farm-business-planning-and-finance farm-enterprise-planning farm-finance-policy federal-level-policy legal-and-finances organizational-development-and-partnerships policy-and-regulation state-level-policy strategic-planning
REGAIN Office Hours: Landowner Leadership on Climate in the Upper MidwestSharing Our Roots

Teresa Opheim, Project Director of Climate Land Leaders with Sharing Our Roots, shares her work to bring landowners together to help tackle the climate crisis by establishing conservation goals for their land.

2019agroforestry climate-change-adaptation cover-cropping crop-rotation-diversification-and-intercropping economic-community-development ecosystem-services edge-of-field-practices farm-conservation-practices leadership-development managed-livestock-grazing-systems no-till-and-conservation-tillage organizational-development-and-partnerships rural-community-leadership small-grains water-quality-improvement-and-management
REGAIN Office Hours: Monroe County Climate Change Task ForceMonroe County Land Conservation Department

Bob Micheel, Monroe County Land Conservation Department Director, shares his work on the Climate Change Task Force with Monroe County in Wisconsin.

2021climate-change-adaptation economic-community-development ecosystem-services leadership-development organizational-development-and-partnerships partnerships-and-networking rural-community-leadership soil-and-crop-health-and-management soil-health water-quality-improvement-and-management
Expanding Grass-Based Animal Agriculture in the Midwest: The Pasture ProjectWinrock International

The report explores the market, benefits, and barriers related to grass-fed beef production, outlining a clear way forward for transitioning acreage to more sustainable management.

2012aggregation capital-development distribution economic-community-development end-market-development-and-access farm-conservation-practices federal-level-policy local-regional-food-systems-and-access managed-livestock-grazing-systems policy-and-regulation processing rural-urban-value-supply-chains state-level-policy value-added-products value-chain-logistics-and-infrastructure
The State of Grass Fed Value Chains in IllinoisPasture Project & Delta Institute

This webinar, a collaboration between the Pasture Project and Delta Institute, digs into the report “The State of Grass-Fed Value Chains in Illinois” and discusses the continuing work to advance grass-fed value chains in the state.

2020aggregation economic-community-development labeling-and-marketing processing rural-urban-value-supply-chains value-chain-logistics-and-infrastructure policy-and-regulation
Illinois Grazing White PaperPasture Project

This paper explores the current state of cattle grazing for beef and, to a lesser extent, dairy production in Illinois resulting in grass-fed and grass-finished products that serve markets in and beyond the state.

2019beef-cattle economic-community-development farm-conservation-practices livestock_management managed-livestock-grazing-systems rural-urban-value-supply-chains value-chain-logistics-and-infrastructure