Rapid changes in economic, environmental and social conditions generate both problems and opportunities in agriculture. The cycle from problem identification through discovery of potential solutions is lengthy. The objective of this study was to use collaborative methods to speed the cycle of discovery in sustainable organic strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) production systems in the southeastern USA. This method, stakeholder-driven adaptive research (SDAR), combines farmers' experiential knowledge with scientists' experimental knowledge to develop rigorous research design collectively. Farmers evaluated our biological research and co-designed research experiments with scientists. Farmers and other stakeholders (1) evaluated on-station experiments individually and then made recommendations as a group, (2) served as advisory council members to direct our goals and objectives, and (3) conducted farmer field trials where they implemented aspects of our on-station experiments under their management regimes. The results eliminated potential solutions that were not feasible, ineffective or too costly for farmers to adopt. Key results included eliminating treatments using high tunnel systems altogether on one field trial on a University of Florida (UF) research facility, adding a leguminous cover crop mix treatment, adding companion planting, and eliminating strawberry cultivars Strawberry Festival and Florida Beauty from our research trials. Our proposed methodology allows farmers and other stakeholders to inform the biological research from design through dissemination to reduce the time needed to create research products in an era of rapid bio-physical, social and economic change. Accelerating the discovery cycle could significantly improve our ability to identify and address threats to the USA and global food and fiber production system.