Alternative Links of InterestNational -- North Central Region -- Illinois -- Indiana
Iowa -- Kansas -- Michigan -- Minnesota -- Missouri
Nebraska -- North Dakota -- Ohio -- South Dakota -- Wisconsin
Other Regional Small Farm and Sustainable Agriculture Web Sites
AgNIC is a distributed network that provides access to agriculture-related information, subject area experts, and other resources. It was established by an alliance of the National Agricultural Library, land-grant universities, and other organizations committed to facilitating public access to agricultural and related information.
Welcome to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's science magazine, published monthly by the Agricultural Research Service and now available electronically.
The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) is one of several topic- oriented information centers at the National Agricultural Library (NAL). The Library, located in Beltsville, Maryland, is the foremost agricultural library in the world, and is one of four U.S. national libraries along with the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, and the National Library of Education. AFSIC is supported, in part, by USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program.
ATTRA - Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas - is the national sustainable farming information center located at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. On-Line Publications include: fundamentals of sustainable agriculture series, agronomy series, horticulture series, livestock series, pest management series, soil and fertility series, marketing & business series, value-added & processing series, alternative farming systems series, resource series, planting your farm's future leaflets
USDA agricultural research center
As the Nation's primary source for agricultural information, the National Agricultural Library (NAL) has a mission to increase the availability and utilization of agricultural information for researchers, educators, policymakers, consumers of agricultural products, and the public. The Library is one of the world's largest and most accessible agricultural research libraries and plays a vital role in supporting research, education, and applied agriculture.
Agroforestry combines agriculture and forestry technologies to create more integrated, diverse, productive, profitable, healthy and sustainable land-use systems. Major agroforestry technologies practiced in North America include: Windbreaks, Riparian Forest Buffers, Alley Cropping, Forest Farming, Silvopasture, Special Applications
The Small Farm Program at the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is committed to meeting the needs of the small farm community. The goal of the CSREES small farm program is to improve the income levels and the economic viability of the small farm enterprises through partnerships with the Land Grant System, public and private sectors by encouraging research, extension, and education programs that meet the specific needs of small farmers.
The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) is a cooperative effort of university, government, farm, business and non-profit organizations dedicated to the exchange of scientific and practical information on sustainable agricultural systems. It was developed by a committee from diverse organizations to facilitate the exchange of information with a variety of printed and electronic communications tools. The committee's vision is that of a decentralized system that encourages the sharing of sustainable agriculture-related information among a diversity of information providers and users. SAN is funded by the USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program.
Agencies, Services and Programs at USDA
CSREES has research and education information about many subjects, and staff specialists who can answer your questions or refer you to someone at state or county level who possesses the information you need. Click on the subject matter area below that most closely describes what it is you are seeking information about. If a subject has more than one resource, you will be taken to a secondary screen where you may make a more precise selection.
The mission of Cooperative Services Program is to promote understanding and use of the cooperative form of business as a viable organizational option for marketing and distributing agricultural products.
North Central Region
Information on aquaculture -- For Beginners, Discussion Groups, Publications, Regional Centers, Newsletters, Associations, Internet Sites, Aquaculture Sites, List Servers
The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, located at Iowa State University, is one of four regional centers coordinating rural development research and education throughout the United States. It is supported by the land-grant universities of the North Central region, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and grants and contracts from private foundations.
SARE works to increase knowledge about - and help farmers and ranchers adopt - practices that are economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible. To advance such knowledge nationwide, SARE administers a competitive grants program first funded by Congress in 1988. The North Central includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
A central focus of research and outreach initiative to investigate and then implement the cooperative business model in rural farm communities. The premise is that as harvested crops move along the commodity chain from the farm, through processing, distribution, and retailing, the farmers who produced the crops are receiving a disproportionately small share of the value added to the final product. Hence, the IIRA is working with economic developers and ag producers in rural communities to investigate whether or not farm commodities can be processed locally. By forming so called new generation cooperatives (NGCs) or producer alliances, farmers can add value to their commodities by processing and marketing crops themselves. By forming NGCs or producer alliances, the farmers can collectively achieve market control that they could not garner as individuals.
ASAP facilitates and promotes research and education which protects Illinois' natural and human resources while sustaining agricultural production forever. This web-site contains exhaustive information about the ASAP program and sustainable agriculture in Illinois and beyond, but if you need further information, please feel free to contact us directly using the contact information at the right.
The mission of the IIRA is to improve community and economic development including public education, health care, transportation, and public management concerns in rural Illinois by working with public and private agencies to provide value-added information and technical expertise.
The Value project explores strategies for improving farm incomes through specialty farm products and value-added processing. Research studies are being carried out on specialty crop marketing, specialty crop technology, including on-farm trials, and pilot projects to assess the economic potential in different parts of the state to produce, market, and/or process different types of specialty farm products.
The Web site of the Center for New Crops & Plant Products, at Purdue University. NewCROP provides windows to new and specialty crop profiles
The Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, Inc., is a nonprofit, tax- exempt, membership research and education organization established in 1983 to encourage and facilitate the adoption of low-cost, resource-conserving, environmentally sound, and economically viable farming systems. Wallace Institute programs include: Policy Studies Program, Agriculture Policy Project, Ward Sinclair Memorial Internship Program, Educational Outreach; Wallace Institute publications include: Alternative Agriculture News, American Journal of Alternative Agriculture, Policy Studies Reports, Occasional Papers and Scientific Symposium Proceedings, Annual Reports - 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, Henry A. Wallace Annual Lecture Series. Other information includes: Agricultural Biotechnology, Livestock Concentration, Organic Production, Pesticide Regulation.
Seven manuals published by Iowa State University Extension.
IDALS is responsible for regulating agricultural operations, including enforcement of Iowa's Organic Food Act of 1998. The department also tracks organic production and provides eductional programs on organic standards, certification, and marketing. IDALS also maintains a directory of farmers markets, specialty meat producers, and fruit and vegetable growers in the state and coordinates the "Taste of Iowa" campaign to encourage support of Iowa-grown and processed agricultural products. Contact: Maurie Wills (515) 281-5783.
This web page contains a calendar of events such as conferences, field days, and workshops related to sustainable agriculture in and near Iowa, a list of Iowa organizations involved in work related to sustainable agriculture, a listing of related web sites and information sources, and other information on sustainable agriculture in Iowa.
The goal of the network is to support programs that foster the next generation of farmers and ranchers.
Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to "farmers helping farmers make better decisions." The organization's mission is to promote farming systems that are profitable, ecologically sound, and good for families and communities.
QUERRI is an online database with bibliographic information on more than 15,000 educational resources produced by Extension specialists from 13 north central land-grant universities.
A national USDA value-added center and provide information on such a wide variety of commodity and business information.
To support small family-owned farms in Kansas through research, education and outreach focused on production, storage, processing, and marketing technologies that will boost small farm profitability, protect natural resources, and enhance rural communities.
This Alternative Field Crops Manual addresses the need for detailed information on the production of a number of agronomic crops adapted to the upper Midwest. Our intent is to provide county extension agents and others in educational roles a concise, uniform source of information on those field crops which may be considered as alternatives to traditional farm commodities.
We are an interdisciplinary center in the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Minnesota. One of our most important functions is to provide information. We encourage you to call or write us with questions. We maintain a library on alternative crops and animals and we are always happy to talk to you and send out information.
The Minnesota Grown Opportunities (MGO) project provides one-stop access to information, project development support, and business planning for Minnesota agriculture as a service of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, and the University of Minnesota.
The Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA) is a unique partnership between the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Minnesota and the Sustainers' Coalition, a group of individuals and non-profit organizations. The purpose of MISA is to bring together the diverse interests of the agricultural community with interests from across the University community in a cooperative effort to develop and promote sustainable agriculture in Minnesota and beyond.
University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri Botanical Garden, developed HortLine. This joint venture provides a web based 24 hour Help Desk for the Home Gardener. It also has a toll free number.
The Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute is a non-profit agricultural education and research center working in support of family farmers. With a focus on crop diversification, the Jefferson Institute provides farmers with information on how to grow and market alternative crops
Agricultural Alternatives, Small And New Farm Options - The Missouri Alternatives Center serves as a communications center for Missouri farmers, Extension staff, government personnel and people who want to begin farming, diversify their current operation, or find ways to profit from small amounts of acreage.
MO-BIS is a collection of documents and links addressing the concerns of small businesses. Material has been organized to help you find what you need quickly. Sources range from Missouri universities to international trade associations.
The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry (UMCA) is an interdisciplinary research, teaching and technology transfer program that draws on the expertise of MU faculty in forestry, fisheries and wildlife, entomology, plant pathology, agronomy, animal science, agricultural economics, rural sociology and horticulture. The Center coordinates agroforestry activities for use in Missouri and adjacent areas of the Midwest.
The Sustainable Agriculture Extension Program of the University of Missouri and Lincoln University 's goal is to sustain a desirable quality of life for people through agricultural systems that are ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially responsible. Through our state partnerships, and the North Central Region, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, we conduct educational programs and conferences, assist the Sustaining People through Agriculture Network and other Missouri farm organizations, serve on the leadership council for the Sustainable Food and Farming Systems Focus Team, and administer the Missouri Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Awards Program. We believe strongly in serving the needs of the farmers of Missouri, and involve farmers at every level of planning and programming as trainers and guides.
The Missouri Watershed Information Network or MoWIN provides assistance in locating and accessing information relative to Missouri watersheds. We intend to make it easier for you to find the information you need.
Results of research programs conducted at the State Fruit Experiment Station and the Department of Fruit Science are disseminated through this program.
We are a farmer-managed network working to develop sustainable agriculture systems that support people, families, and communities.
The Center for Rural Affairs is committed to building communities that stand for social justice, economic opportunity, and environmental stewardship. We encourage people to accept both personal and social responsibility for creating such communities. We provide opportunities for people to participate in decisions that shape the quality of their lives and the futures of their communities. The Center engages in research, education, advocacy, and service work to further this vision of rural America.
Center for Sustainable Agricultural Systems at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln -- The overall goal of the Center is to enhance the capability of the University of Nebraska to design and evaluate sustainable production systems, and to incorporate this focus into current and future research, teaching, extension and international activities. Evaluation of systems focuses on their capacity to improve productivity and resource use efficiency, reduce environmental degradation, and promote short- and long-term economic viability
NSAS is active in collaborative projects that support rural communities and the environment. These projects offer mentoring opportunities for beginning and experienced farmers, and opportunities for on-farm research, demonstration, and education. Each year, NSAS sponsors a Healthy Farms Conference, workshops, farm tours, and field days. NSAS is a member of the Midwest Sustainable Agriculture Working Group.
Rural Routes is a University of Nebraska Web site designed to help farmers and ranchers and our state's rural communities maneuver through today's changing agricultural maze. The challenges they face are great and varied from low commodity prices again this year to changing domestic policies, new technologies and a more global agriculture.
Agripreneur is a virtual educational newsletter. The focus of the bi-monthly newsletter is on small to medium sized business entrepreneurship and the policies that affect them. Topics to be covered include raising venture capital, the applied economics of business and business management, steps in the process of starting a new business, and the importance of a business plan.
Innovative Farmers of Ohio is dedicated to promoting, through research, education, and community-building activities, an agriculture that preserves and strengthens the economic, social, and environmental well-being of Ohio’s farms, farm families, and rural communities and protects and improves the health and productivity of Ohio’s land’s and waterways.
Welcome to the Midwest Small Fruit and Grape Network. This is the source for information on management, commercial production, harvesting, and marketing of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, high bush blueberries, and grapes. Link to newsletters, weather, current research reports, market prices, and business reports. Specialists in insect, disease, and weed control from the Midwest Land Grant Universities are available to answer questions through Ask the Expert.
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) was founded in 1979 as a broad-based membership association of farmers, gardeners and consumers working together to promote a sustainable, permanent, accountable and healthful agriculture in Ohio and elsewhere.
The UWCC's Mission is to study and promote cooperative action as a means of meeting the economic and social needs of people. The Center works in rural and urban settings in the United States and internationally. It develops, promotes, and coordinates educational programs, technical assistance and research on the cooperative form of business. The UWCC serves as facilitator for faculty and staff within the University System who have educational, research and extension activities involving cooperatives.
CIAS is a sustainable agriculture research center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that brings together farmers, researchers, policy makers, and others to study farming practices, farm profitability, the environment, and rural vitality.
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute is a public nonprofit education and research organization committed to promoting resource-conserving, ecologically sustainable and economically viable food and farming systems. Its mission is to enhance the fertility of the soil, the quality of food, the health of animals and the strength of the human spirit by revitalizing the culture of agriculture. The institute admits students of any race, color and national and ethnic origin.
The Team's mission is to help farmers and communities identify and take advantage of opportunities in new and emerging farm and agricultural markets.
Other regional small farm and sustainable agriculture web sites
This web site was developed by the Agricultural Alternatives Project at Pennsylvania State University with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Extension Service.
E-answers is a searchable Web site that provides reliable, research-based information on a wide range of Extension or Outreach-oriented subjects. From this source you can access the knowledge of Land Grant universities around the nation. Search E-answers for information on a variety of topics, including: agriculture, forestry, fishing, family/consumer issues, lawn and garden, child development, 4-H/youth, environment, public policy, economics, water quality and communities.
Horticulture and Crop Science information from 46 different colleges, universities, and government institutions across the United States and Canada. Over 20,000 pages of Extension fact sheets and bulletins provide a concentrated source of plant-related information for answering your questions or helping you teach others about plants.
Cornell's Agriculture Development and Diversification Program. Publications for sale.
The broad goal of the farming systems research venture is to develop and test an approach for assessing the health and sustainability of Ontario's farming systems. The project seeks to define and understand interactions between environmental, economic, and social phenomena at the spatial scale which is most relevant to decision making and resource management - the farm. Thus an important objective of the project is to provide applied research and practical information in a form that is of direct benefit to producers and agricultural advisors.
Mission Statement - The Kerr Center seeks ways to sustain our world rather than to exhaust natural resources that are vital to future generations. We provide leadership, technical assistance, farming demonstrations, applied research, and education for farmers and ranchers who seek ecologically and economically sound methods of producing food and fiber. We try to strengthen rural communities and support efforts to make our world and its food supplies more enduring and self- sustaining. The Kerr Center seeks to influence and call to action by example and education. We pursue programs and link ourselves with farmers, ranchers, and other institutions around the globe who are actively concerned about the environment, energy, and a sustainable future as they farm.)
The New Crop Opportunities Center at the University of Kentucky was established in July of 2000 to provide farmers with production and marketing information on new crops and value-added versions of current crops.
Information on all breeds of livestock. including cattle, goats, horses, sheep, swine, and other. Lists breeds alphabetically under each category. Provides basic breed information, association contacts, and pictures if available.
The Organic Farming Research Foundation is a non-profit foundation founded to sponsor research related to organic farming practices, to disseminate research results to organic farmers and to growers interested in adopting organic production systems, to educate the public and decision-makers about organic farming issues.
University of California - Small Farm Center. Links include: The Small Farm Program, Small Farm-Related, Research, On-line Expert Databases, Online Publications, For-sale Resources, Postharvest Fact Sheets, Agricultural Tourism, Small Farm News Newsletter, Small Farm-Related News, Specialty Crops
Comparing Productivity and Long Term Sustainability among Conventional, Low- Input and Organic Farming Systems in California's Sacramento Valley.
You'll learn about what's being farmed, how to grow or raise it, and where to sell it. Each article includes farm profiles, so you'll hear from the individuals behind the ventures. Industry leaders of national associations will also provide you with an overview of marketing opportunities and an overall industry overview. Most articles also include an "industry resource sidebar," which includes contact information such as national associations and organizations, the farms mentioned in the article, subject related publications, websites, etc.
Our goal is to provide readers with information that will help them make their farm more efficient, more profitable and the work easier. We write about the business and science of agriculture. Our stories attempt to share the values and opportunities inherent to small farms. We invite readers to share ideas.
In the course of writing The Farmer's Guide to the Internet, TVA Rural Studies, a cooperative program operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, compiled nearly 2,000 different links to useful sites all around the Internet. These site listings for the Farmer's Guide are continually being updated and maintained here, on our web site
Green Horizons is published quarterly by the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
Growing for Market has become a trusted resource for information about growing and marketing produce, herbs and cut flowers. Here you'll find information about how you can join the thousands of successful farmers who network through Growing for Market. You'll find a list of books and special reports to help you get started in market farming or expand your business. And you'll find links to a variety of web sites that can help you solve problems, research suppliers, and exchange information with other growers.
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Small Farm Today® was founded by a small farmer in central Missouri in 1984, and is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of small farming, rural living, community, sustainability, and agripreneurship. It is published on a farm, by a farmer, for farmers. Most of our readers are full- or part-time small family farmers, and many are using alternatives, such as growing high- value crops, raising unusual livestock, and direct marketing their products to bring in more income. Readers are extremely loyal - most read the magazine from cover to cover, including advertising, and pass the magazine along to neighbors, friends, and relatives.
This site, conceived and managed by former staff members of "The New Farm" magazine, will help you tame costs, add value to what you sell, and keep you informed of the latest news from the sustainable farming community.
The Community Farm is a quarterly newsletter especially for people interested in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), sustainable agriculture, and family farms.