A Report By Loni Kemp, The Minnesota Project
Whole farm planning is a tool gaining momentum in many places. As a process to
pull together decision making about environmental, economic, and production
concerns, it shows promise of succeeding where past planning tools have failed.
But what does it take for a plan to be “whole”? What features should be part of
the planning process? How should the success of whole farm planning be
measured? Finally, a report recommends just what whole farm planning ought to
This report articulates the consensus of a diverse group of 120 participants in
the Great Lakes Basin Farm Planning Network. Farmers, nonprofit groups,
researchers, and agency staff from seven Great Lakes states and Ontario are
working together to explore, test, and evaluate different approaches to whole
farm planning. The Minnesota Project coordinates the effort.
The report describes why there is so much interest in whole farm planning and
what purposes it can serve. Essential goals, essential qualities of the
planning process, and essential contents are presented. A separate list
clarifies optional components that might be helpful additions to a whole farm
plan. Nine of the best examples of whole farm planning programs now in use or
under development are described.
Using all the wisdom of the Great Lakes Network and the results of an extensive
survey, the report puts some meaningful boundaries around what has become a
popular idea. Successful Whole Farm Planning will be useful to policy makers,
researchers, conservationists, farmers, and everyone interested in tools to help
farmers shift to more sustainable farming systems.
Copies are available for $6.00 (includes shipping) from:
The Minnesota Project
1885 University Ave West, Suite 315
St. Paul, MN 55104
(612)645-6159 Fax (612)645-1262 firstname.lastname@example.org
Or view the text at our Web Site:
Also available on our web site are past issues of “The Whole Farm Planner,” the
bimonthly newsletter that explores innovations, experiences, and policies
related to whole farm planning.
Loni Kemp email@example.com
Senior Policy Analyst, The Minnesota Project
RR 1 Box 81B Canton, MN 55922 (507)743-8300 Fax same
Chair, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture