Building Sustainable Families through a Celebration of Low-Impact and Organic Community-Supported Agriculture

Final Report for CS10-075

Project Type: Sustainable Community Innovation
Funds awarded in 2010: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: Southern
State: Tennessee
Principal Investigator:
Ruth Correll
UT Extension, Wilson County
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Project Information

Abstract:
Wilson County Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

The Wilson County Sustainable Agriculture Coalition project has been very successful in linking producers and consumers to innovative and sustainable methods. On The Road Again tours have been planned and taken that highlights a plethora of sustainable practices on and off the farm. The best received have been the following: Lannom’s Pumpkin Patch, Tojo Creek Gourd Ranch, and Chris and Rhonda’s TreeLand. By taking advantage of what Wilson County, TN has to offer, these educational tours have taught producers and consumers alike that sustainable practices are currently being implemented and are easy to adapt to right here at home!

Introduction

Wilson County Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

The Wilson County Sustainable Agriculture Coalition project has been very successful in linking producers and consumers to innovative and sustainable methods. On The Road Again tours have been planned and taken that highlights a plethora of sustainable practices on and off the farm. The best received have been the following: Lannom’s Pumpkin Patch, Tojo Creek Gourd Ranch, and Chris and Rhonda’s TreeLand. By taking advantage of what Wilson County, TN has to offer, these educational tours have taught producers and consumers alike that sustainable practices are currently being implemented and are easy to adapt to right here at home!

Project Objectives:

• To provide valuable sustainable experiences for producers and consumers
• To link producers and consumers together
• To set the stage for local producers to teach others and give back to their community
• To spark the interest of the local public on sustainable practices and local producers

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Shelly Barnes
  • Gerald Elliott
  • Diana Elliott
  • John Frantz
  • Jennifer Jackson
  • Francine Lustre
  • Kaoru Mitchell
  • Flo Moore
  • Susie Shipley
  • Justin Stefanski
  • John Swendiman
  • Cynthia Winfield

Research

Materials and methods:

Educational Meeting
Educational Tours
Newsletter Distribution
Event Marketing
Community Event Awareness

Research results and discussion:

• Meetings and tours have increased the knowledge level of producers and consumers about sustainable agriculture.
• Project has stimulated networking between producers and has allowed for greater resource and knowledge sharing of innovative ideas and practices.
• Tours have been successful in marketing local producers to consumers and to other producers, increasing their overall exposure and influence within the local community.
• One participant took the knowledge he learned from a tour and utilized it on his farm immediately. He purchased 500 Christmas Trees and planted them on his farm. This participant has benefitted greatly from this project and will begin to see return when the trees are mature and ready for sale.
• Overall consumer confidence of locally produced products has been increased based on the face to face interactions with producers and site visits to their operations.
• Project efforts have been instrumental in increasing the number of local producers who have started operations due to their increased knowledge as a result of their participation in grant project.

Participation Summary

Educational & Outreach Activities

Participation Summary

Education/outreach description:

• An educational e-newsletter, Wilson Pride, has been developed by the Extension agents associated with this project to promote this initiative as a sustainable measure for this project.

Project Outcomes

Project outcomes:

• Attendance at each of the tours has been consistent.
• Local media have promoted the tours for free. As a result of this, new consumers and producers have expressed an interest in future tours.
• Sustainable practices such as the gravity fed drip irrigation system has been implemented in consumers gardens as well as local producers businesses.
• Extension agents have seen an increase of SARE participants in other classes and activities not related to SARE.
• An educational e-newsletter, Wilson Pride, has been developed by the Extension agents associated with this project to promote this initiative as a sustainable measure for this project.

Recommendations:

Potential Contributions

Extension agents associated with project has partnered with the following organizations to help market the e-newsletter and generate potential participants.

• Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce
• Wilson Farmers Co-op
• Moss’ Garden Center
• Wilson County Promotions/Wilson County Fair
• Wilson County Master Gardeners Association
• Wilson County fce Clubs
• Wilson County Beekeepers Association
• Wilson County Government
• The Local Table Magazine

Future Recommendations

Through the educational e-newsletter, Wilson Pride, this project will be sustained and increased. The On The Road Again Tours will be maintained and marketed through this effort. This e-newsletter is also a multidisciplinary effort between family and consumer scieces and agriculture agents to increase exposure of this initiative.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.