Training for Farmers

Bean Pests

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  • Digital Download

Shell beans are an important crop to farmers, but (and because of how much they are grown) they face significant pest pressure on the farm. We worked with our local extension agent to put together accurate, useful, and accessible organic management options for the two most important pests on our farm: Mexican bean beetle and leaf hopper.

Tracking Group Finances

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  • Digital Download

Accurately tracking money between group members who share expenses and/or market together can be cumbersome, even for people who regularly use computers and do calculations. This spreadsheet makes the job more manageable. Staff or farmers only need to enter “raw data” and the spreadsheet will calculate the rest automatically. This may be an especially useful tool for farmers who are going into business together, as in an LLC or cooperative. Two spreadsheets are given, depending on how farmers have agreed to share
expenses.

ESL Test

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  • Digital Download

This is a lesson for identifying a new farmer’s English skills, particularly related to farming and selling produce. This lesson includes a series of activities to test English comprehension and speaking as well as an activity to let farmers identify the farming topics where they need more English language skills.

Planting Calendar Tool

This tool aids gardeners in working with a calendar and knowing the planting dates for various crops. A large format (3’x 4’), laminated 2-month blank calendar is used (purchased from office supply store). Throughout the season, the months and dates are filled in with whiteboard marker. Laminated pieces are taped onto the calendar to show last and first frost dates, last and first dates to plant different crops, last dates to plant winter cover crops, etc.

Bed Planning Tool

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  • Digital Download

This Bed Planning tool is used to assist farmers in knowing which crops to plant in each bed and when to plant them. Each bed marker is filled out either by staff ahead of time, or by farmers in a class session using their crop calendars and crop rotation plot maps. The bed markers are then placed in each bed at the farm. This tool was developed to increase farmer independence through simple tools, as farmers were not consulting their notebooks weekly and/or had difficulty reading their crop calendars throughout the season. You can add cover crop rotations, succession planting, and multiseason planting. Using these tools allows farmers to quickly look at the upcoming dates, prepare their beds, and plant their seeds in the right bed and at the right time. They are laminated and tape is used for writing in permanent marker (on top of tape), so that they can be recycled and used year after year.

Farm Tax Preparation

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  • Digital Download

This guide is an introduction to reporting farm income for taxes. This lesson can be used as part of the larger Financial Literacy curriculum developed by All Farmers, or it can be done independently. While this lesson was designed to be two hours long, it can be done in two one-hour sessions, or activities can be used independently to suit programmatic needs. This teaching resource was developed by All Farmers in CT River Valley, MA in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions). Refugee farmer training programs across the country provided feedback on this lesson, which is now integrated throughout the guide.

Financial Literacy: Reflection and Planning

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  • Digital Download

This is a one-hour reflection-based, hands-on workshop where most of the farmers’ learning will take place in pairs and in-response to reflection questions. This user’s guide will help trainers to lead this reflection session and how to use the reflection worksheet and PowerPoint. Cash flow is an important but sometimesdifficult concept, and is the primary focus of this lesson. This module is the last core module of the Financial Literacy curriculum, though you may choose to add an optional session on farm financing options. This teaching resource was developed by All Farmers in CT River Valley, MA in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions). Refugee farmer training programs across the country provided feedback on this lesson, which is now integrated throughout the guide.

Financial Literacy: Financial Decision Making

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  • Digital Download

This user’s guide will prepare trainers to teach farmers new ways of considering financial decisions. This lesson focuses specifically on maximizing profit by changing how farmers think about income and expense decisions. Farmers can also (optionally) learn about enterprise budgets. This lesson should ideally be used as part of the financial literacy curriculum. This teaching resource was developed by All Farmers in CT River Valley, MA in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions). Refugee farmer training programs across the country provided feedback on this lesson, which is now integrated throughout the guide.

Financial Literacy: Budgeting and Record Keeping

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  • Digital Download

This user’s guide will prepare trainers to teach farmers the foundations of budgeting and record-keeping. This is the foundation module to other financial literacy modules. You will start by teaching concepts in a classroom setting, then reinforce concepts and skills throughout the season. The farm records here are set-up to match categories for Federal taxes (taught through the Farm Taxes module). This teaching resource was developed by All Farmers in CT River Valley, MA in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions). Refugee farmer training programs across the country provided feedback on this lesson, which is now integrated throughout the guide.

Weed Management and Hardpan

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  • Digital Download

Using this guide, farmers will learn about weeds, why it is important to manage them, and about different tools, techniques, and approaches for weed management they can use in their fields. They also review the effect of tilling on soil health. This teaching resource was developed by Global Gardens in Boise, Idaho in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions). Refugee farmer training programs across the country provided feedback on this lesson, which is now integrated throughout the guide.

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