Beginning Farmer Program Evaluation Resource Library

The Beginning Farmer Program Evaluation Resource Library is a compilation of materials to assist beginning farmer and rancher training programs to conduct evaluation.

This Resource Library was created as part of the Gaining Results through Evaluation Work (GREW) project, funded through a US Department of Agriculture Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) grant. This project supports the development of strong, effective and long-lasting farmer and rancher training programs so that beginning farmers enter the field of farming and establish successful farm businesses.

This library contains hundreds of resources focused on running effective and thorough program evaluations collected by the GREW team. Some resources focus explicitly on farming projects and others provide more general program evaluation instruction. You can use the topic of interest buttons below to search for the types of materials of interest or you can type a search directly “I’m looking for…” bar. 

Below are a series of compiled tipsheets that highlight some of the key resources in the library and aggregate them into useful groupings to help navigate through the evaluation content.

Basic Evaluation Tools and Resources
There are many resources available on the web to help people conduct program evaluation. It can be somewhat overwhelming to wade through them all. To make the process simpler, we have highlighted a few key documents. These items offer basic information and guidance for different aspects of conducting evaluation.  Download the .pdf tipsheet here.

Resources for Using Self-Assessment as a Learning and Evaluation Strategy
Self-assessment in beginning farmer programs can help improve learning outcomes for participants and serve programs as an evaluation tool. GREW offers several resources for learning more about, and utilizing, self-assessment in BFR programs.  Download the .pdf tipsheet here.

Surveys, Assessments and Other Tools for Evaluating Beginning Farmer Training Programs
The GREW Resource Library contains hundreds of resources focused on running effective and thorough beginning farmer and rancher program evaluations. More than 75 new resources have been added to the library and more than 40 of these resources are examples of survey tools, reports, assessments and logic models done by peer organizations serving beginning farmers and ranchers.  Download the .pdf tipsheet here.

Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Evaluation Resources

Twelve new articles, webinars, and websites have been added to our Online Evaluation Resource Library that feature information related to incorporating equity, inclusion, and diversity into evaluation work. In this document we highlight three examples from our library as a starting point for your explorations.  Download the .pdf tipsheet here.

Please visit again – more resources will be added regularly.

If you have a resource you would like to see, have a resource you’d like to share, or have any feedback about the Resource Library, please contact

Source: ALBA

Beginning farmer survey written by Agricultural Land Based Training Association (ALBA) to confidentially learn how farmers are doing after receiving one year of services from ALBA. Survey includes questions on experience with ALBA, growing practices, and business finances.

Source: North Carolina State University

"With the increasing demand for accountability of Extension programming, Extension professionals need to apply rigorous evaluation designs. Randomized designs are useful to eliminate selection biases of program participants and to improve the accuracy of evaluation. However, randomized control designs are not practical to apply in Extension program evaluation. This article explains how to use the crossover design as a practical tool for evaluating Extension programs rigorously. This design can be used to evaluate any Extension program with two or more curricula presented to client groups in multiple counties."

Source: Cornell Small Farms Program

"Farming successfully requires a comprehensive set of skills from production to marketing and financial management. Assessing a new farmer’s strengths and training needs can be tricky. Many organizations use a checklist internally, or on a one-on-one basis with new farmers, to determine that person’s status on the spectrum of skills and aptitudes necessary to run a successful farm business." This website provide several example assessment instruments.

Source: Beginning Farmer Evaluation Procedures

This document provides an overview of the evaluation instruments and process of Colorado Extension's Beginning Farmer Program.