WSU Extension

Washington State Impacts

Washington State University -- Impact 2006
Farm Family Support Network

SUMMARY

Washington State University Extension's Farm Family Support Network (FFSN) is helping agricultural producers and their families decide their futures. This free and confidential service is available to ag producers in the state of Washington.

ISSUE

Rapidly changing economic conditions have had a profound effect on Washington's agricultural community. The family farm is viewed as an endangered species and is disappearing as an institution.

WHAT HAS BEEN DONE

Eight FFSN consultants based at the WSU Extension office in Wenatchee have been trained and are serving clients throughout the state of Washington. The consultants, including one who speaks Spanish, are assigned to clients and meet with them at the client's convenience and at a location that is comfortable to them, usually at the kitchen table. Generally the consultant acts as an information resource, but when the occasion demands, will assist with business plans and do financial analysis of the ag operation. The Network is not prescriptive but serves as a resource for the client's decision-making process. Requests for service can be arranged by calling a toll-free line. A special toll-free phone number has been arranged for Spanish speaking clients. Consultants have counseled farm families regarding family communication and dealing with change, prepared financial packages for families to assist them in obtaining loans, have helped farm families establish sounds business practices, and have sponsored, prepared and presented risk management workshops to dairy and tree fruit producers. All visitations are free and confidential. Clients include tree fruit producers, dairy producers, small organic farmers and others in the ag producing arena.

IMPACT

In two-and-half years of operation, The Farm Family Support Network through its various activities has served 652 farm family members in a positive and direct manner. The FFSN has also reunited a family, assisting them with goal setting to reestablish their organic produce farm. More than 50 percent of the calls for service were initiated by a farm wife. Five Hispanic families were served by a Spanish-speaking consultant. The Network is expanding efforts to serve the Hispanic-American population.

PRIMARY AREA OF IMPACT

Extension

FUNDING:

Risk Management Agency
Wash. State Dairy Products Commission
Wash. State Growers Clearinghouse (in kind)
Chelan Fruit Co.(in kind)
Wash. State Hort. Assoc. (in kind)
KOZI Radio, Chelan, Wash.

COUNTIES:

The principal counties served are Chelan, Douglas, Lewis, Okanogan, Skagit, Whatcom, Yakima

CONTACT:

None
WSU Extension, PO Box 646248, Hulbert 411, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6248, 509-335-2837, Contact Us