We provide continuing education for farmers and growers.
Whether your goal is to learn to plant a single seed or to master complex plant soil interactions we have the classes for you. Learn something new and get your hands dirty!
Due to covid-19 we have moved our popular lecture series to YOUR living room via Zoom! Check out our monthly Zoom lecture series.
We support pollinators.
We support increasing pollinator habitat in our area. Rural Roots sponsors bee friendly events; from the 2020 Pollinator Summit to helping Moscow become a Bee City USA.
Our long time Rural Roots Board member, Deborah Berman cofounded the Pollinator Working Group along with Extension Educator Iris Mayes, Extension Educator, Horticulture & Small Farms, and Pat Rathmann of the Palouse Sustainable Environment Coalition. Kelli Cooper, the city of Moscow’s Sustainability Technician is also involved with the Pollinator Working Group.
The Pollinator Working Group puts on the pollinator summit and supports the bee city initiative.
In addition, board member Susan Fluegel is working on pollinator research for farmers.
Vibrant, successful farms enhance the economic viability of sustainable and organic farms, ranches and communities throughout Idaho and the Inland Northwest.
Nutritious, healthy, locally produced food
Encourage the production and consumption of sustainably produced local foods.
Develop relationships, strengthen networks and increase collaboration between producers, consumers, food and agricultural organizations/agencies and policy makers.
How we accomplish our goals.
1) Education and empowerment for beginning farmers
Rural Roots alongside University of Idaho Extension hosts a variety of educational events for beginning farmers and ranchers throughout our region, including courses in vegetable production and livestock production. Future plans include courses on orcharding and small fruit production and urban agriculture.
2) Capacity building for established farmers
Rural Roots co- hosts workshops and courses for farmers, including advanced business courses and courses in farm law, as well as skills-building workshops for established and beginning farmers alike.
3) Farmer to farmer networking and information sharing
Rural Roots facilitates farmer-to-farmer networking and farmer-to-farmer information exchanges in a variety of ways, including farm walks, on-farm workshops, conferences, speakers, and farmer roundtables. We have also developed a program in which established farmers mentor less experienced farmers.
4) On-farm events
Rural Roots sponsors on-farm events that help link farms to communities, such as Art in the Orchard, an event at Wilson Banner Ranch which showcased local food and art in the environment of a working family farm.
5) Strategic partnerships
Rural Roots is a partner, along with the University of Idaho and Washington State University, in Cultivating Success TM, a program which collaborates with other organizations to host a variety of small acreage farming education programs. Past and present sponsors of Cultivating Success TM programs include the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture, Western Center for Risk Management, Risk Management Association, Kellogg Foundation, Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, Family Farmed, and Farm Commons.
6) Community involvement
Rural Roots co-hosts, with University of Idaho Extension, a popular monthly speaker series on a variety of farming and related topics that is open to the community. We were also active in the development of the City of Moscow’s urban farmer-friendly Urban Agriculture Ordinance. Rural Roots is also engaged in the development and planning of the first Edible Food Forest park in Moscow!
Rural Roots has played an important role in the development and success of the Moscow Farmers Market. We have also worked to connect local Palouse producers to LINC, a Spokane based farmer cooperative that enables producers to access larger and institutional markets in our region. https://www.ci.moscow.id.us/197/Farmers-Market
8) Linking farmers to farmland
In 2017, Rural Roots, as a project of Cultivating Success TM, and in partnership with University of Idaho Extension, established Idaho Farm Link, a website that enables farmers who are looking for land to farm to connect with people who have land that is available to be farmed. www.cultivatingsucess.org/farmlink
Sustainable Small Farms Education
Due to covid-19 we are taking our grower education online. Check out our zoom topics for interesting and new presentations you can join from the comfort of your living room!
Want more? Get a certificate in Sustainable Small Acreage Farming and Ranching. More about the Cultivating Success™ program below.
Interest in sustainable agriculture, in particular small acreage farming, ranching and market gardening, has increased steadily over the past decade. While there has been a slight increase in opportunities to study sustainable small acreage systems in Washington and Idaho, for-credit agricultural programs which offer on-farm experiential education are rare.
In 1997, Rural Roots began partnering and pooling resources with the University of Idaho and Washington State University to offer a wide range of small acreage educational programs. Since that time we have been collaboratively offering workshops, farm tours and conferences, and conducting direct marketing research.
Throughout each of these activities, participants were surveyed, formally and informally, to determine their educational needs and priorities. These audiences continually say they want and/or need: 1) more in-depth programs on all aspects of small acreage production and business planning; 2) to learn from successful farmers and others that are “doing it;” 3) more on-farm experience; and 4) programs that allow people with full-time jobs and families to participate.
In Spring of 2000, Rural Roots and the University of Idaho began focusing efforts in the area of sustainable food systems through a grant from Kellogg’s Partnership 2020 which allocated funds for the creation of a pilot year-long on-farm education program (OFEP). At the same time, funds were also awarded to WSU for the development of two distance education sustainable food systems (SFS) courses.
One year later, a USDA Higher Education Challenge Grant was awarded jointly to Rural Roots, UI and WSU to combine the two sustainable food systems and the three OFEP courses to offer a certificate in Sustainable Small Acreage Farming and Ranching. This program is now called Cultivating Success™.