Global Farm Metric

Farm Sustainability Assessment Tool

OAK has begun a US adaptation of the Global Farm Metric (GFM) framework and resulting Farm Sustainability Assessment Tool (FSAT), created by the Sustainable Food TrustThe GFM framework measures social, economic and environmental indicators on farms to assess sustainability across 11 categories.

Based on globally recognized research, OAK staff are adapting this tool by embedding it with measures, benchmark scoring and practices from USDA NRCS, including alignment with COMET-Planner, Environmental Impact Quotient and NRCS Practice Standards for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction and Carbon Sequestration. The GFM-FSAT establishes a common language, supported by quantitative measures, that enables all stakeholders in food and farming to drive positive change.


Six OAK member farmers participated in Spring 2023 trials, completing the GFM-FSAT for their operations. Initial results showed variability from farm to farm across measured categories and indicators. And while differences emerged among the variety of commodities, soil types and scale particular to each farm, across the board those operations using organic practices scored high for sustainability. Farmer feedback and insights on the GFM-FSAT will be integrated into tool adaptions and another 25 specialty crop farms will have the opportunity to participate in the research trial in Fall 2023. If you are interested to learn more and participate in the trial email us. This research is supported by a Specialty Crop Block Grant through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Owsley Brown II Family Foundation. 

On December 12, 2022, this project was tentatively awarded a USDA Partnership for Climate Smart Commodities grant to expand this tool and services for Kentucky farmers. We anticipate a Fall/Winter 2023 launch for this new project and over the next 5 years OAK will work with partners to offer farmer education programs, on-farm technical assistance for commercial farmers using the GFM-FSAT and incentive payments for implemented practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve soil health. The project will also work with value chain partners to develop and expand market opportunities for climate verified foods and products.


Additional details to come. If you would like to receive updates about the Organic Association of Kentucky — including its USDA Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities project — please subscribe to our newsletter. For media inquiries, contact Brooke Gentile at [email protected] or (502) 219-7378.


Climate Smart Project Updates

 Global Farm Metric 11 categories and their sub-categories