Three of the largest organizations in farmed animal welfare have joined forces to launch The Farmer Toolkit – a first-of-its-kind online information hub to help US farmers transition away from industrial animal agriculture.
Mercy for Animals’ Transfarmation project partnered with Animal Outlook and Miyoko’s Creamery Dairy Farm Transition program to construct the Toolkit, which provides extensive guidance and support for farmers looking to shift from animal agriculture to plant-focused farming.
Among many benefits, The Farmer Toolkit provides:
- State-by-state resources
- Funding opportunities
- Marketing guidance for selling products
- Information on growing specialty crops
- Enterprise budgets
Facilitating better farming
Through its programs, Mercy for Animals’ Transfarmation has already assisted numerous animal farmers to successfully shift their farms to grow sustainable crops like hemp and mushrooms.
As former contract poultry farmer Greg Carey says, “I was looking for alternatives to the contract poultry industry…I wanted something that was entirely mine, where I didn’t have to worry about a huge corporation cutting me off and losing my income. That’s what I found in Transfarmation. I talk with the staff and their technical consultants regularly and together we’re creating a business that I fully control.”
Animal Outlook’s Farm Transition program similarly seeks to remove exit and entry barriers for farmers to productively grow plants.
“The Farm Transitions Program aims to provide farmers with equitable access within plant-based markets by assisting with comprehensive business planning; agronomic assistance and technical support, legal advocacy, finance and debt relief options; as well as publicity and farm visibility components,” says Dr. T.J. Bradford, director of the Farm Transitions Program.
Founded in 2019, Miyoko’s Dairy Farm Transition (DFT) has engaged with forward-thinking dairy farmers to support their transition to regenerative crops.
“The small family dairy farmer is getting squeezed out between competing with Big Ag and the declining consumption of fluid milk over the years,” says Miyoko Schinner, founder and CEO of Miyoko’s Creamery. “As a growing food company, we have a responsibility to directly support and engage farmers, especially when they are struggling. By helping a forward-thinking dairy farmer transition to growing regenerative specialty crops, we can uplift farmer livelihoods in the emerging plant-based food economy.”