About the Profiles in
Sustainable Agriculture Project

Today’s aspiring farmer is confronted with many sustainable agriculture resources, which generally fall into two categories: inspiring narratives and technical bulletins. The Profiles in Sustainable Agriculture project seeks to integrate these two types of resources into a technical case study format that combines a detailed narrative with embedded technical assistance via links to finance, production, and marketing resources. This “one-stop shop” case study format provides beginning and transitioning farmers with both a motivating story and the contextual understanding needed for integrating the nuts and bolts of sustainable farming into a real-life enterprise.

Recent trends related to local food and the changing demographics of American farms are creating a whole new enthusiastic generation of aspiring farmers. While this enthusiasm can carry beginning farmers through many an exhausting day in the field, a healthy dose of realism is essential to long-term success. Although it may seem logical to focus on learning how to grow crops and worry about the rest later, there is a “three-legged stool” of farming: production, marketing, and financial management. When all three components are addressed from the outset, farming dreams can be realized.