New American Farmer Teaching Resources

These tools have brought together the best practices in the country for refugee and immigrant farmer education.”

-Nick Wuertz, Director of Refugee Community Services at Lutheran Services in Iowa

See and search the over 60 training and technical assistance (T&TA) resources (below), primarily for New American audiences and the programs that serve them. New Americans include refugees, asylees, and immigrants who are part of the current and next generation of beginning farmers in the U.S. and Canada.

This resource library is the result of a 3-year partnership between ISED Solutions and 18 beginning farmer incubators, through a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) Educational Enhancement initiative titled Educational Tools and Methods for Beginning Refugee & Immigrant Farmers. Our intent has been to develop and share resources that facilitate high quality instruction and hands-on assistance using a combination of carefully-designed tools and techniques. These resources can be freely downloaded and used as is, or adapted to meet the specific capacities and priorities of a specific program or setting. These teaching resources and handbook are appropriate to use with any beginning farmer audiences whose learning needs and styles vary because of education, language, literacy, and/or cultural factors. ISED expresses gratitude to all the partners who shared in the development of these resources. Individuals and organizations involved in specific resource development are identified within.

Record Keeping and Financial Planning

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


The What to Wash and What Not to Wash signs are visual aides to assist farmers at the wash station in order to recognize which vegetables should be washed in water and those that should not be washed with water. This resource can be used by staff as a guide to teach farmers during a workshop on post-harvest handling, but then will stand alone as a large sign in a farm wash station area. Staff will use hands-on demonstration to show farmers how to utilize the wash station and follow food safety procedure; this is one piece of that education.

Weed Management

Soil Fertility Management

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.


Global Growers developed a series of resources related to providing technical assistance to farmers with previous experience in commercial agriculture. Our technical assistance process begins with the Wholesale Readiness Assessment Tool. After the tool is implemented, theservice provider creates an individualized education plan (IEP) together with the farmer to map learning objectives. As we began to identify individual farmers’ learning goals, we started to create one-pager information sheets on market-readiness themes. The goal of the process and approach is to be learner-centered, rather than content-driven. While content is available, it is shared based on readiness and willingness of the learner to engage based on individual objectives identified.

Teaching Methodology

This training of trainer’s workshop is designed for refugee farmer incubator interpreters and/or staff who work together to deliver trainings and technical assistance. It is also useful for outside service providers and partners (e.g. extension educators) who provide trainings with refugee farmers using interpreters. The two role-play activities can be used regularly when working with interpreters throughout the season. This teaching resource was developed by the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions)in collaboration with 18 refugee projects from around the country. Refugee farmer training programs across the country provided feedback on this lesson, which is now integrated throughout the guide.

Pest Management

This is a slide show that introduces three insect pests and one disease which singly or together can destroy a zucchini crop (striped cucumber beetle, squash bug, squash vine borer, and powdery mildew). Trap crops and rogueing are suggested as control method strategies. Slides can be printed (and laminated) for field instruction.