Active Learning to Build Resilience During COVID-19

Offering you news, resources and opportunities to develop farm skills during this time of physical distancing.

Like farming, learning is, at its core, an optimistic act. 

When we set out to learn something new, we are making a pact with the future. We may have many different goals for our active learning, such as improving our productivity, changing our direction, or strengthening our resilience in the face of uncertainty. Ultimately, we are empowering ourselves to understand, make better decisions, and act to shape a new future.

As spring approaches, we embrace our usual farm chores, like starting seeds, raising young animals, pruning trees or maintaining equipment. But, this is not a typical year. We are also trying to manage our anxiety and uncertainty around what our markets might look like or if we will have enough help to get the farm jobs done. Should we shift to online marketing? Should we change our crop mix?

You are not alone in this uncertainty, and you can actively learn strategies that might help you through this unusual time. Focus on what you can do today.

Here, we highlight some opportunities to learn new skills and information to help your decision making in the near future. Some of these may even be helpful to engage the kids! 

You can visit our curated resource page for more support through this challenging time.

Thinking about online marketing?


Interested in how to implement a shipping program for your farm? GrazeCart is opening their Perishable Shipping Course for 60 days at no charge to fellow farmers (normally valued at $1,500 per person). Limited time free access will not include live coaching calls or free setup packages. Offer closes on April 2nd. 

Online Sales Platforms: What You Need to Know

Oregon Tilth presented a webinar about online sales platforms for direct-to-consumer sales. Hear from representatives from four online food sales platforms and see the list of common questions when considering online sales

List of Online Sales Platforms and Pricing

Trying to sift through the many different options for online sales? This list assembled by the National Young Farmers Coalition provides links, features and pricing for 14 platforms for farmers.

Other Marketing Resources

We’ve also compiled a short list of resources on building market resilience in light of COVID-19 impacts on marketing of farm products.

Adding new enterprises? 

Cornell Small Farms Program Youtube Channel

Our Youtube channel features tutorials for mushroom growing, videos on farmer veterans, and much more. Find webinars that review everything from financing a farm to advanced vegetable production.

Our Free Plan Your Farm Hub Course

This always free self-paced course helps guide aspiring farmers to take the first steps toward developing a farm. Working through the topics, videos, readings, and planning activities will give you a solid foundation for the start of your farm business

Free Seed Starting Academy

Fruition Seeds is now offering their popular Seed Starting Academy for free (normally $98). The course tutorials and resources will be shared over ten weeks and include easy approaches to thin, pot up, harden off, and transplant seedlings, strategies for successful direct sowing all season long with tips for optimal seed storage, and easy solutions to common seed starting mistakes.

Now Free! ATTRA Publications Available to Download

The ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program has over 500 publications for farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, and more. Formerly for a small fee, the paywall is now gone and .pdfs and hard copies (with the cost of shipping) are available. 

They also offer free weekly podcasts, a YouTube channel, and Ask an Ag-Expert service

USDA Resources and Policy Updates has information and free educational materials regarding farm management, conservation, and more. The home page also features timely COVID-19 updates

Kacey Deamer

Kacey is the Communications Manager for the Cornell Small Farms Program. In this role, she manages all storytelling and outreach across the program’s website, social media, e-newsletter, magazine and more. Kacey has worked in communications and journalism for more than a decade, with a primary focus on science and sustainability.