A high priority issue that emerged in our surveys of the Beginning Farmer Learning Network (BFLN) members is quantifying the financial impacts that new farmers — even those with very small start-up businesses — have on their communities. We have plenty of heart-warming stories of social and environmental benefits, but often this isn’t enough to help service providers advocate on behalf of beginning farmers with funders, legislators, and planners.
- Download the Sept 30 Session Presentations (all in PDF format):
Stephan Goetz, Penn State, “Documenting the Economic Importance of Small, Local Firms (and Farms”
- How economic data has been used to generate investment
- Do Local Food firms matter?
Todd Schmidt, Cornell University, “Measuring Economic Impacts: Some IMPLAN Examples from the Field”
- What data is needed and how do you collect it?
- Costs of survey methods
- Building a team
- Conner, D.S., W.A. Knudson, M.W. Hamm, and C. Peterson. 2008. The Food System as an Economic Driver: Strategies and Applications for Michigan. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 3(4):371-383.
- Swenson, D. 2006. The Economic Impacts of Increased Fruit and Vegetable Production and Consumption in Iowa. Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University. http://www.leopold.iastate.
- Cantrell P., D.S. Conner, G. Erikcek, M.W. Hamm. 2006. Eat Fresh Grow Jobs, Michigan. Michigan Land Institute. http://mlui.org/downloads/
David Conner, University of Vermont, “Beginning Farmers’ Economic Impact: How to Tell the Story”
- What works for you and what hasn’t been covered?
- What if the data does not tell the story you want, are there inherent risks in this analysis? How can you manage that risk?
Economic Impact-related Goals generated by session participants (PDF)
- The group’s answers to questions like “why is this important?” “what do we need to know?” and “what do we need to demonstrate?”