The Sustainable Farming Association was founded as the "farmer-to-farmer" network, based on the idea that another farmer is a farmer's best teacher. Firmly grounded on that idea, SFA offers its members on-farm coaching and consulting. SFA is unique in that all of our consultants are farmer practitioners actively managing their own farms on a daily basis.
There are not many experiences that compare to having another farmer walk your operation with you and dream with you about what your operation can be. Starting with the context of your farm, we aren't afraid to ask the tough questions to help you analyze and see your farm in a new way. Most often, the change occurs in the way that producers think about managing their operations.
We view our role as coaches, cheering you on and helping you see things that aren't obvious when you are hard at work on your farm. Because issues and opportunities are often more clear to those on the outside, we can effectively help you transition your farm to a more profitable operation, both economically and ecologically. It's not uncommon for other industries and businesses to utilize coaches. We believe farmers can benefit from them as well.
Our consultants have expertise in these areas:
Regenerative Crop systems, Cover cropping, Beef Production, Dairy, Adaptive Grazing, Custom Grazing, Small Ruminants, Poultry, Swine, Vegetables, Fruit, Orchard, Garlic, Direct marketing, Business Planning, Employee Management, Infrastructure Design, Fencing, Virtual Fencing, Farm design, Forestry, Silvopasture, Agroforestry, Maple Syrup, Resource Management, Agroecology, Livestock for invasive plant management
Emerging Farmer Support
At SFA, we believe everyone has the potential and the right to become a sustainable farmer. We are committed to ensuring that SFA programs are welcoming and accessible to all by developing and advancing strategies to engage and support new and underserved farmers. We aim to cultivate a more diverse farm community and embrace the knowledge and experience of those most impacted by systemic inequality and injustice in agriculture.
Because we believe that diverse farm communities are fundamental to sustainable agriculture, to a robust farmer-to-farmer network, and to a resilient food system, SFA created the Emerging Farmer Initiative in 2021. A team of SFAers has been meeting consistently since then to explore how our organization can more fully embrace our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Early results of the committee's work include relationship-building with organizations leading in the emerging farmer space, inauguration of the emerging farmers networking lunch at our Annual Conference, and increasing access to our website content by making it available in multiple languages. Farmers who identified as emerging were invited to register free for our 2023 Annual Conference and the conference includes a session highlighting new funding opportunities for emerging farmers. SFA is committed to continuing to explore how we can more meaningfully support Minnesota farmers who have traditionally been underserved.
More resources will be added as we grow this work and webpage. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for information and suggestions for growth.
Check back for upcoming events around farmer support!