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Abstract

Economic viability is challenging for most small-scale agricultural producers, perhaps especially in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. Profitability, a key determination of long-term sustainability, is particularly difficult to achieve. Since 2008, we have been conducting a combination of structured business planning educational programs while supporting the creation of producer-to-producer networks to support further inquiry into production and business management topics, provide feedback on key decisions, and bring about accountability. Past participant surveys have demonstrated that these programs improve the likelihood of profitability compared with nonparticipant producers. We specifically describe two case studies, the Foothill Grazing Geeks and the Mandarin Growers Collaborative.

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