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: UC Berkley

UC Berkley has developed possible questions to use in post class surveys at the University, but this can be a useful place to draw questions from for post course surveys in other contexts.

Source: EvaluATE

This worksheet guides "summarizing key evaluation facts in a format that is easily and quickly digestible engages the busy reader and can make your project stand out."

Source: Better Evaluation

This webpage provides a summary of "The Data Party" approach to participatory data analysis along with links to examples and resources.

Source: University of California 4-H Youth Development Program

This 12 page document provides information about how to conduct a "Data Party" as a participatory data analysis approach. It also offers tips, examples, and resources.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics

This research explores the determinants of effective beginning farmer programming and implications for emerging and established programs. We use responses from 100 interviews with participants in the Building Farmers in the West Program, one of the longest-standing beginning farmer training programs in the United States, to understand how key course principles predict improved farm profitability. Results show that specific production changes after taking the course—including the number of cultivated varieties (negative), number of farm enterprises (positive), and length of production season (positive)—are correlated with improved farm profitability. We make recommendations for future beginning farmer programming based on these results.

Source: facilitation & process

"Developing a theory of change for your nonprofit organization is one of the core foundations of strategy.  If your nonprofit does not have a logical and compelling understanding of how you create change then you undermine the success of your organization. It is only when your organization has a “true north” compass point about the change you make that you will be able to credibly evaluation of your organization’s impact on the community you serve." 

Source: WAFERx (scroll down on this webpage to access webinar)

In this webinar, the speakers present their research on the extent to which Sustainable Food Systems Education in the USA and Canada address equity. They discuss their proposed equity competency model and provide examples of activities from their teaching practices that support the development of future professionals capable of dismantling inequity in the food system.