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CISA Main Series: Making Sound Decisions with Good Data and Practical Framework

January 27, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Presented by Crystal Stewart-Courtens, Stevie Schafenacker, and Rose Wilson

Series Dates:
Session 1: Wednesday, January 27th 4-6pm
Session 2: Wednesday, February 3rd, 4-6pm
Session 3: Wednesday, February 10th, 12:30-2:30pm
Session 4: Wednesday, February 17th, 12:30-2:30pm
Cohort Gathering: March 10th, 12:30-2:30pm

The main series will focus on the “practical framework” needed to make sound decisions. Rose Wilson, Stevie Schafenacker, and Crystal Stewart combine concepts of Whole Farm Planning, financial analysis, and feasibility study over the course of four sessions, post session assistance, and a late winter peer cohort meeting.

Content in workshop series will be adapted to the needs and experience levels of participants. We will reach out to attendees after registration to get to know your farm and the current challenges you wish to address or opportunities you wish to take advantage.

Sessions 1 & 2: Holistic Management International (HMI) developed a Whole Farm Planning framework that assists farmers with sound decision-making; one that incorporates the diverse factors impacted by our decisions such as social needs, long-term visions, and financial health.

Presenters Crystal Stewart-Cortens and Stevie Schafenacker adapt the core principles of HMI for the first half of the series. In these two sessions we will:

  • Develop working values based goals
  • Practice Holistic Decision-Making process including testing methods and root cause analysis
  • Introduce the holistic approach to prioritizing financial decisions
  • Brainstorm solutions and prioritize next steps for the second half of the session

In Session 3 we will consider the logistical and financial needs to determine the feasibility of actions prioritized in the first half of the series: What questions need to be asked to assess whether an action is feasible? Where and how to find the answers? And what to do with the data? Presenter Rose Wilson will introduce an excel financial workbook designed originally for the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board Farm Viability Program that can be used to store data and create scenarios to test various actions.

In Session 4, utilizing the financial workbook, we will begin assessing whether the idea is feasible and continue an iterative process of evaluating next steps or what changes need to be made after an initial assessment.

After Session 4, participants will take what was learned and work from home with their other farm managers and decision-makers to move forward with their current scenario (or a new one). With the presenters, we will identify next steps and determine if one on one support is needed. We will gather together again in March to share progress and receive small group peer feedback.


See more information here about the Making Sound Decisions with Good Data and Practical Framework series.
See here for other CISA winter programs for farmers.


January 27, 2021
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Categories:
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MA United States


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