Farmers Helping Farmers
get the resources they need to succeed
GO FARM CONNECT is a farmer-led initiative to build relationships between non-traditional farmers and the agricultural support agencies and experts that can help farms succeed.
Our trained peer Connectors can help farms of all sizes in Minnesota and Wisconsin. For new farmers, new citizens, big dreams or small steps, Go Farm Connect is a peer network of support and information to assist the emerging cohort of farmers America needs to thrive.
“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bonds.”
― Thomas Jefferson
GO FARM CONNECT is a three-year project led by Renewing the Countryside and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), whose aim is to connect farmers in Minnesota and Wisconsin with USDA resources. Our wide network of peer Connectors spread across the region provides one-on-one support to beginning and historically under-represented farmers to help them access the wide range of programs at USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Farmers who work with our Connectors learn about USDA services through individual peer mentoring, workshops, farm field days, and group informational visits to USDA service centers.
This project specifically supports beginning and historically underserved farmers, which the USDA defines as belonging to a group “whose members have been subject to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice … without regard to their individual qualities.” The existence of such prejudice has prevented women and People of Color from accessing USDA services for which they were or could have been eligible. This project aims to remedy this inequitable gap in federal support for US farmers.
Our peer Connectors, many of whom are themselves farmers, are rooted in the communities they serve and often have well-developed networks connecting them to people with expertise in farm finance, soil health, and conservation. Connectors are well versed in USDA programming, and are actively building relationships with local county and state NRCS and FSA staff. When working with individual farmers, connectors take time to get to know each person’s situation; help them identify which programs are right for them; and walk alongside them through the process of meeting eligibility requirements and signing up or applying for programs, including setting up record-keeping systems.
3-Year Goals of
GO FARM CONNECT
Connections to underserved farmers
Events to connect underserved farmers to USDA local staff
New farmers successfully
working with USDA
USDA staff educated about the needs of historically underserved farmers
GO FARM CONNECT is very grateful for the opportunity to partner with UDSA, NRCS and FSA staff in Wisconsin and Minnesota to inform participants from underserved audiences about USDA programs and services. We are also looking forward to educating USDA staff about the needs of historically underserved farmers, and how to better serve them, based on the project research. DA programs and services