Case Study: Land Stewardship Project

Guiding Future Action through Community Engagement

Designing a community-centric approach to listening

Services: Research

At the start of 2024, Land Stewardship Project (LSP) launched a long-range planning process to set its strategic direction for the next five years. LSP’s mission – to foster an ethic of stewardship for farmland, to promote sustainable agriculture, and to develop healthy communities – has never been more critical. With farm consolidation and climate change threatening small and mid-sized family farms in the Midwest, LSP’s five-year plan needed focus and adaptability. LSP partnered with Seiche to design community listening sessions, develop partner and ally outreach strategies, and synthesize data to highlight member and supporter priorities.  

What We Did

Knowing that LSP is a member-driven organization that values deep listening and authentic community engagement, Seiche leaned into LSP’s values of stewardship, justice, democracy, health, and community to design a community listening process that met members where they were – providing farmers and farmworkers with tailored opportunities to share insights and perspectives.

Deep Listening for Actionable Insights

  • Using LSP’s relational organizing approach, Seiche coordinated five in-person listening sessions in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Each session was co-facilitated by an LSP member and staff person. We provided detailed facilitation guides, logistics and strategic support, and conducted a thorough analysis of the results to reflect participants’ experiences and regional priorities. 
  • To reach a wider segment of LSP’s community, Seiche also designed an online survey, complemented by a print version for those without reliable internet access. 
  • Our community-centric approach revealed insights to inform the long-range planning process, including actionable recommendations for next steps with partners and allies. Seiche developed a partner outreach strategy and facilitation guides for ongoing conversations with members and supporters to enhance LSP’s outreach efforts.
  • Valuing the wisdom and expertise of LSP staff, Seiche facilitated a staff-only listening session to gather insights unique to their roles. 

Community Accountability

Seiche’s research process is deeply committed to community accountability.

  • In addition to creating a final report, we also developed an infographic to help LSP share results and engage with members.
As a member-driven organization, we want to maximize the quality and substance of our members’ volunteer experience. Seiche was integral to that outcome in our strategic planning process. Seiche’s professional experience and project design expertise ensured that our member-leaders felt both empowered and supported in building LSP’s five-year vision. Board members and staff have had nothing but praise for Seiche’s contributions.

Scott Elkins — Executive Director, Land Stewardship Project


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