Comprehensive and accessible technical assistance (TA) is critical to helping producers improve their economic and environmental outcomes. AGree convened technical assistance providers and recipients to document regional differences in TA needs and generate creative ideas for how the TA system could better assist farmers in transitioning to climate-smart agriculture.
In 2024, a project opportunity emerged from AGree’s TA work; Meridian received a two–year grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to assess the TA landscape nationwide and provide recommendations for how the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) may improve TA availability and accessibility. The Meridian project team will assess the state of TA through desk research, interviews, and convenings looking at the spectrum of regions and production types.
Through this research, the team seeks to understand producer and TA providers’ needs, the conservation workforce pipeline, and future workforce projections. Meridian will synthesize this data to identify successful TA delivery models and develop recommendations that address the need for skilled, comprehensive, and accessible technical assistance. The project team will also prioritize the needs of new, beginning, and underserved producers throughout. The project team will also propose pilot projects to test these recommendations. AGree will continue to provide guidance for the project team in an informal capacity.