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: New Entry

This guide is for current Community Food Project grantees to prepare them for the Indicators of Success survey. This survey is the data collection method for the annual Indicators of Success report that documents the collective impact of all current grantees in a particular fiscal year. This report is distributed widely as well as sent to the USDA to support future CFP funding.

Source: The Berryman Institute - Ben C. West

"Program evaluations are becoming a more important responsibility for most Extension professionals. Despite an abundance of supporting resources, many Extension educators still fail to conduct meaningful evaluations of their programs, presumably because of time constraints and doubts about the quality of input received from evaluations. Web-based evaluations may be a tool to help educators conduct evaluations that are time-efficient and provide better results. Here I discuss my experience with Web-based evaluations and compare their advantages and disadvantages with traditional pen and paper evaluations." 

Source: Community Science

Evaluation is no longer just about identifying measures, collecting and analyzing data, and reporting the findings. It is also about helping stakeholders confront the complexities of intersecting systems and dichotomous thinking, have difficult and uncomfortable conversations, be realistic about their expectations, be reflective and learn, and be open to new ways of thinking about scientific rigor and evaluation. This webinar will begin with a framework for understanding this process of continuous strategy improvement, followed by a discussion among panelists and responses to audience questions.

Source: North Carolina State University Department of Agricultural and Extension Education - K. S. U. Jayaratne

"Extension educators have been challenged to be cost effective in their educational programming. The cost effectiveness ratio is a versatile evaluation indicator for Extension educators to compare the cost of achieving a unit of outcomes or educating a client in similar educational programs. This article describes the cost effectiveness ratio and its application in Extension. The major implications are 1) learning ways to reduce the cost of educational programming, 2) making Extension educators aware of the cost of educational programming and guiding ways to maximize the cost effectiveness, and 3) promoting pro-evaluation organizational culture."