Coordinator: Jennifer Miller, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides
Stakeholders: Idaho organic farmers
The goal of this education and outreach project is to improve the success of organic farmers in Idaho by strengthening the sharing and exchange of production and marketing practices through farmer-to-farmer learning. The Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) will work with leader organic farmers in Idaho to hold two farmer-to-farmer exchange workshops. We are using a model for this type of training which has been used successfully in Oregon for several years.
The day-long farmer-to-farmer exchanges use a facilitation technique called ‘open space.’ ‘Open space’ facilitation is used to empower participants to take responsibility for their learning and encourages engaging and relevant conversations. Prior to the exchange, we will work with farmers to select the topics that they would like to be covered. The selected topics will be shared with the participants and they will then complete homework ahead of the meeting so that they can share their successes and challenges for each topic. In the open space environment, each farmer is recognized as an expert and is encouraged to share.