What are Farm Teams?
The mission of the Farm Team program is to support farmers’ decision making and coordinate agricultural services, while increasing farm viability and adoption of on-farm conservation practices. Farm Teams are designed for farmers who work with multiple service providers (i.e. NRCS, UVM Extension, grazing specialists, business planners, seed/fertilizer consultants, bank-loan representatives, veterinarians). The Farm Team concept is a management strategy for Vermont farms, employing a team approach to problem solving. We know that keeping service providers up-to-date on your operation can be burdensome and time consuming. We believe that by streamlining coordination with your partners, we can provide more useful assistance to you and your farm!
Farmers in the Farm Team (FT) program work with their District facilitator to identify their team of professionals who will provide advice and information to address farm management priorities and implement farm plans (Conservation Plans, Business and Succession Plans, Nutrient Management Plans, etc.). The farmers and their teams work with the District facilitator who coordinates with service providers, scheduling team meetings at strategic times throughout the year, taking notes and monitoring progress of the farmer and the team. Farmers present farm goals and challenges to the group, and following group discussion, the team offers recommendations and potential solutions. The farmer then decides on the best course of action to move forward with their farm plans.
Benefits of Farm Teams
- No extra cost to the producer
- Streamlined work flow
- Meeting coordination
- Two meetings per year
How Do Farm Teams Work?
- A Farm Team is an advisory group that includes a farmer’s most trusted advisors and consultants, service providers, and agency personnel who coordinate financial support and provide technical assistance to improve environmental conditions, conservation efforts and overall farm viability.
- The core team typically has 4-8 team members. Additional consultants or advisors may be added at times to help address some specific problem or issue.
- A Farm Team meets two times a year, virtually or in-person, with more meetings possible if needs arise. Meetings are usually 1 - 1.5 hours in length.
- Communications are set up to help keep efforts moving forward and track progress.
- There is no cost to the producer to participate in the Farm Team program.