New England Farmer-to-Farmer Soil Health Cohort - American Farmland Trust

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New England Farmer-to-Farmer Soil Health Cohort Program

Soil health is key to long-term farm viability and climate resilience. When implemented correctly, soil health management practices can help to reduce inputs and irrigation needs while improving marketable yields.  

The New England Climate and Agriculture team at American Farmland Trust is offering several one-year peer-to-peer soil health planning programs for farmers of various scales and operation types. Courses run from either April – April or September – September, with most program activities concentrated in the winter. Participants should expect to spend 10 hours per month on project activities in the winter and approximately 5 hours per month during the growing season. Most classes will take place virtually on Zoom; however, each cohort will meet at least once for a field trip to a farm in their state, and each participant will receive a farm visit from a soil health specialist to conduct soil sampling and assessment.   

Participants will: 

  • Receive $2500 in financial assistance.
  • Complete a soil health plan for their own farm.
  • Build community with other farmers.
  • Receive input from peers on their soil health plans.
  • Learn from regional experts about diagnosing soil health constraints, the science, and practice of building soil health, and planning approaches for soil health and climate adaptation.
  • Learn from local experts to diagnose and address soil health constraints.
  • Learn with a specialist how to collect soil health samples and complete a field soil health assessment.
  • Be guided through a process of thinking holistically about your farm’s mission and priorities.

See below for more information on open applications. 

Note: Space in these cohorts is limited. Applicants that rank highly will be invited to participate. Applicants will be ranked and selected based on interest, farm operation criteria, best fit for the cohort, and answers to the narrative questions. This program is not limited to, but will prioritize, farmers who have been historically underserved by USDA programs.  Applicants should be actively producing crops or raising livestock either for sale or donation. Individuals producing entirely for their own household consumption are not eligible.   

Cohort Timelines

  • Massachusetts Livestock Producers Cohort, September 2024 – September 2025.
  • Connecticut Livestock Producers Cohort, September 2024 – September 2025.
  • New Hampshire Livestock Producers Cohort, April 2025 – April 2026.
  • Vermont Cohort, starting winter 2024 – 2025, precise timeline coming soon.

Available Applications

Apply now for the MA and CT cohorts! Applications due August 5, 2024.

Apply now!


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