niftiGreetings!

Hello from Charleston, South Carolina. I have already met and know most of you but for those that are not familiar, I am with Lowcountry Local First and oversee the Growing New Farmers and Dirt Works Incubator Farm programs.

I’m writing today to introduce you to new resources available through the National Incubator Farm Training Initiative (NIFTI) in partnership with Lowcountry Local First. NIFTI provides free one-on-one consulting, resources and trainings to beginning farmer training projects nationwide and is currently working to develop and strengthen regional collaboration amongst mission-aligned programs.

If you are already engaged in the network, apologies for any duplication of information. If you are not working with new farmers, I have sent you this email so you can be in the loop and help me connect with relevant people in your service area.

New Resources Include

Regional Listservs that will provide a forum in which to share:
· Questions about program operations.
· Announcements about upcoming events.
· Releases of new materials and resources.
· Postings of opportunities for involvement.
· Announcements about regional calls and initiatives.
Join your regional listserv hosted by NCState here. (Thanks Joanna!)

Quarterly Web-Calls open to beginning farmer training projects across the region.
These calls will be an opportunity to stay informed about what other projects are working on and explore opportunities for cooperation and collaboration. Calls will be held in April, June, September and December.

Save the date for April 14th at 2:00pm EST for our first call.
Quarterly Partnership & Activity Surveys distributed to beginning farmer training programs nationwide.
These surveys will be used to develop Regional Partnership Guides that will assist programs in identifying potential partners or organizations that can contribute to the success of beginning farmers in your area.

Shared Metrics for Evaluation more info coming soon! To be released in Fall of 2016.

Signing up for the Regional Listserv is the first step in becoming involved in your Regional Community of Practice. We hope you will also help share this network with other new and developing programs in our service area (see attached map).

We need YOU to make this network strong, so please join and actively participate in our programming. I hope you’ll join us today!

In partnership,

Nikki

Nikki Seibert Kelley
Director of Sustainable Agriculture