ACRE: STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR AGRICLUSTERS

AgriCluster Resilience and Expansion - or ACRE for short - is a professionally-facilitated strategic planning process to help groups of farmers, especially those in value-chains, work together and compete more effectively in an increasingly complex world. 

By identifying shared concerns, shared histories, shared values, shared opportunities, and developing a strategic work plan, ACRE helps local and regional groups of farmers and their stakeholder allies - including fisheries, mariculture, agroforestry and timber production, food handlers, food processors and packagers, distributors, and retailers, as well as nonprofit and municipal allies - begin to transform into more resilient "AgriClusters." 

The ACRE Facilitator Training Program provides instruction specifically designed for food and agriculture systems professionals to facilitate and guide the ACRE Process with farmers and other community stakeholders. We aim to have trained ACRE Facilitators working in all Northeastern states and Washington D.C. by 2024. Eventually, the program will expand to other regions of North America and Europe.

We invite food system and agriculture development professionals (such as Extension staff, consultants, and nonprofit staff) in the Northeast U.S. to apply. By joining this first cohort of trainees, you will help beta test the three-part coursework, and become trained in strategic planning for agricultural clusters.

Those who complete certification will be eligible to train other professionals who are working with farmer-led value-chain projects.

What is AgriCluster Resilience and Expansion?

Click here to watch the video.

THE ACRE FACILITATOR TRAINING & CERTIFICATION PROGRAM 

COMPLETE THE APPLICATION HERE.

DEADLINE IS MON, OCT 3, 2022, 5PM ET.

THE ACRE Program is dedicated to equal access and engagement. Women, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+ candidates, people who are differently-abled, as well as rural and urban candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.  

TIMELINE

* The selection of individuals for this training will be announced in mid-October.

* Online training will begin in November.

* Weekly meetings will also begin in November and will be 1.5 hours/week for five weeks.

* In total, the training will take about three months.

Please inquire here with questions.

COLLABORATORS & FUNDERS

The ACRE Facilitator Training and Certification Program is a Franco-American collaborative of the Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems, VetAgro Sup (in France), Cornell University's Cooperative Enterprise Program, and the North American Food Systems Network (NAFSN).

Funding for ACRE has come from the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development Program (NESARE), and the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD).