Farmer Circles are peer learning communities for farmers interested in discussing a particular topic in an informal, supportive environment. Each circle meets for at least 12 hours over the course of about one year and is facilitated by a CT farmer with interest in the subject. There are no teachers or students in the circles, just a community of farmers coming together to learn from each other! The circles are best suited to farmers who have been farming 3+ years, but are open to all.  


Currently all farmer circles meet virtually, but they might meet in person in the future!








Current farmer circles:


 

Hemp Production
Facilitated by Luis Vega
Second Tuesday of the month, 10am
November 2021-November 2022

The revival of hemp as an agricultural crop leaves many questions. Many Connecticut farmers have started to grow it for different purposes, may it be for CBD or for hemp stalks. This new crop opens many questions and challenges we can use some old solutions for. This Farmer’s Circle will be a space to discuss the trials, successes and challenges we face cultivating this new (to us) crop.


Flower Farming

Facilitated by Isabelle Barron
First Wednesday of the month, 6:30pm

November 2021-November 2022

This will be a circle for flower farmers who have at least a few years of experience under their belts. We will create a space to check in, ask for advice and share knowledge on a different topic each circle, and generally build a supportive community of local growers.



BIPOC Affinity Circle
Facilitated by Blessings Kareem
Monthly meeting based on group availability
June 2021-June 2022
This circle is a space for Black farmers, Indigenous farmers, and Farmers of Color to join together, share common challenges and opportunities, and build power. 

The BIPOC Affinity farmer circle is being supported by the Southern New England Farmers of Color Collaborative and the New England Farmers of Color Land Trust. All participants of this circle will receive a $15/hr stipend.



Farm Financials
Facilitated by Jonathan Janeway
Monthly meeting based on group availability

Everyone has a different financial reality on their farm.  Many of us are reluctant to share experiences of both success and failure in our attempts to carve out a living through farming.  We hope this Farmer circle can be a resource to openly share our common financial questions, covering topics like bookkeeping, budgeting, long-term planning and more.

 

 

 

Do you have an idea for a farmer circle?

Farmer Circles can be regional, topic based, or identity based. As long as there's a group of farmers that want to get together in a semi-structured way for discussions, we'd love to support it. We're always looking for facilitators to lead new groups. Interested? Shoot us an email at newctfarmers@gmail.com with a circle proposal. Your proposal should include:

 

  • The circle topic

  • Why this topic is relevant to CT farmers, and any demonstrated interest you've seen that makes you think this circle would be successful

  • Any relevant facilitation experience you might have

  • What are your learning objectives?

  • How often will the circle meet?

  • Will it be virtual or in person?

  • Will you facilitate every meeting or rotate facilitators/encourage participant presentations?

  • A sample meeting agenda

     

We will assess proposals on a rolling basis. Facilitators receive a yearly stipend of $800.


 

The Farmer Circles are organized by: 

  • NCTFA – coordinator & steering committee members

  • CT NOFA – co-coordinator

  • UConn Extension representatives

  • Advisory and Outreach team made up of CT farmers: Dr. Ivette Ruiz, Will Conway, Brittany Conover, Xochitl Ahtziri


Please reach out to NCTFA's coordinator, MC Whelan, at newctfarmers@gmail.com with any questions or comments regarding this project.

This program is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2020-70017-32733