The North Central Region Small Farm Task Force is composed of University Extension professionals representing the twelve north central states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin. The task force is developing a coordinated effort across the north central area to meet the needs of present and future small-scale agriculture. A major part of this effort is the development of a Sustainable Small Farm Information Network (SSFIN). Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Indiana are acting as lead states in this effort, with input from the other states in the region.


The SSFIN is designed to provide quick and easy access to a wide range of sustainable agriculture information related to small farms. Farmers, educators, agency personnel and other information providers, will be able to explore alternatives to traditional farming systems more easily.

Small farm families clearly need this information so they can explore alternatives to traditional enterprises and ways to fit new alternatives into sustainable whole- farm systems. The 1997 USDA Commission on Small Farms hearings confirmed that traditional agricultural extension programs are not meeting the needs of those on small farms. One of the Commission's major recommendations was to Emphasize Sustainable Agriculture as a Profitable, Ecological and Socially Sound Strategy for Small Farms. The Sustainable Small Farm Information Network will represent a significant positive response to this recommendation in the North Central region.

SSFIN State Contacts

NameEmail AddressState
Deborah Cavanaugh-Grantcvnghgrn@uiuc.eduIllinois
Tom Hansonthanson@ndsuext.nodac.eduNorth Dakota
Debi Kellykellyd@umsystem.eduMissouri
Diane Mayerfelddmayerfe@iastate.eduIowa
Thomas Parslowtparslow@facstaff.wisc.eduWisconsin
Susan Smalleysmalley@msue.msu.eduMichigan
Dave SwaimNot AvailableIndiana
Dave Varnerdvarner@unlvm.unl.eduNebraska
Bill Wilckewwilcke@extension.umn.eduMinnesota

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