Farmers appreciate CNG’s annual peer-review process as an opportunity to meet and learn from others, but it can be a little intimidating for newer members. Plus it can take some practice and coaching in order to do it well.
So we built upon the remote inspections model developed during the pandemic to include Observers. These Remote Observed Inspections (ROI) have helped to achieve two goals at once:
- Help new CNG members to “learn the ropes” of the CNG inspection process
- Increase the number of members receiving inspections from our most experienced farmersIn just six weeks, nine ROIs were conducted, including a total of 60 observers. The remote inspections were all carried out by one of our Senior Inspectors (SIs). The newer CNG members who were observing were very glad to get a feel for the inspection process and learn about another CNG farmer’s practices. One observer shared this anonymous feedback:
I thought it was a great way to see another farm that was outside of my inspection region, especially since there are currently few CNG growers in my area. I really enjoyed hearing the thoughts and reactions of the inspector. It will help me conduct better inspections in the future.
But it wasn’t just facts and techniques shared – it was also our approach. Again and again the observers expressed appreciation for the values that were embodied in these ROIs, including:
- Interest in sharing knowledge and fostering each other’s farming success
- Emphasis on continuous improvement, and sustainability goals,
- The transparency that comes with including observers, which is valuable both as a means of ensuring accountability and as a way to strengthen the CNG community
- CNG”s intention to expand the number of farmers who benefit from a given inspection experience
At the end of our last ROI, another observer reflected:
This is more like a support system; that’s what CNG feels like to me.