The objectives of this project are to create tools and professional development trainings to
expand the locally successful Oregon State University Southern Oregon Research and Extension
Center Land Steward program to reach new audiences via Extension agents and educators,
NRCS staff, Soils and Water Conservation District personnel, and other agricultural professionals
who provide educational and technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, and forest owners
throughout Oregon, and into Idaho, Washington and California. The Land Steward program is
effective at increasing knowledge, motivation and changing behavior. Within six months of
completing the program more than 80% of participants have implemented at least one best
management practice, and over time participants have adopted hundreds of best management
practices ranging from irrigation improvements, to fire hazard abatement, to noxious weed
eradication, to riparian restoration, resulting in impacts on thousands of acres of land. The
Land Steward program serves as a launching pad for further education and technical assistance
from local agencies such as Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) and the Natural
Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) with 97% reporting improved ability to access such
educational and technical resources. Equally important, the program develops a sense of
community among participants and Land Stewards serve as ambassadors to other land owners.
Specifically, this project will 1) refine and publish a curriculum for the eleven module LS
training; 2) publish a series of management guidelines for distribution among land owners; 3)
create a hybrid version of the LS training; 4) provide three, two-day professional development
workshops to train ~45 agricultural and natural resource professionals to use the curriculum,
hybrid program, and management documents; 5) present at three state and national
conferences to introduce these tools to an additional ~54 professionals.
The objectives of this project are to create tools and professional development
trainings to allow the locally successful Oregon State University (OSU) Southern Oregon
Research and Extension Center (SOREC) Land Steward (LS) program to reach expanded
audiences via Extension agents and educators, NRCS staff, Soils and Water Conservation District
personnel, and other agricultural professionals who provide educational and technical
assistance to farmers, ranchers, and forest owners throughout Oregon, and into Idaho,
Washington and California. Specifically, the project will 1) refine and publish a curriculum for
the eleven module LS training; 2) publish a series of topic based management guidelines for
instructors to distribute to land owners 3) create a hybrid version of the LS training; 4) provide
three, two-day professional development workshops to train ~45 agricultural and natural
resource professionals to use the curriculum, hybrid program, and management documents; 5)
present at three state and national conferences to introduce these tools to an additional ~54
Our Original Timetable has been modified. We have kept the same activities (and added some) but reordered the timeline due to receiving other support to complete the online hybrid in the first year rather than the second..
Original Timetable from the proposal: Year 1: Activity 1) Finalize and Publish LS Curriculum. Activity 2) Finalize and Publish LS Management Guidelines. Year 2: Activity 3) Create LS Hybrid program. Activity 4) In year 2 and 3, introduce the curriculum and hybrid at three state and national conferences reaching 54 professionals. Year 3: Activity 5) Plan and implement three two-day Train the Trainer workshops to introduce the tools developed above, to reach a total of ~45 professionals from Oregon, Idaho, Washington and California. Activity 6) Evaluate the workshops and tools presented.
Year 1 Spring 2018-Spring 2019: Activity 3) Create LS Hybrid program. Activity 4) In year 1-3, introduce the curriculum and hybrid at three state and national conferences reaching 54 professionals.
Year 2 Spring 2019-Spring 2020: Activity 1)Finalize and Publish LS Curriculum. Activity 2) Finalize and Publish LS Management Guidelines.
Year 3 Spring 2020-Spring 2021: Activity 5) Plan and implement three two-day Train the Trainer workshops to introduce the tools developed above, to reach a total of ~45 professionals from Oregon, Idaho, Washington and California. Activity 6) Evaluate the workshops and tools presented.
None of the education for professionals (train the trainer workshops) outlined in the goals has been implemented yet (Year 3). However, In Sept- Nov. 2018 a pilot of the hybrid called the Land Steward Short Course was delivered in Josephine county to 19 participant land owner/agriculturalists. This hybrid short course is one of the tools being developed for professionals to use with their audiences. Delivery of the short course to agriculturalists is not one of the goals of this PDP but this is part of the development of the tools for professionals. Additionally, 3 SWCD employees and 2 Extension agents from other Oregon Counties shadowed the 2018 hybrid to try out the tool. We did not anticipate having professionals shadow our delivery as part of the education approach but it has turned out to be a valuable method of promoting the program. Professionals who hear about our course through our presentations at conferences or other avenues, accept an invitation to shadow our delivery.
None of the education for professionals (train the trainer workshops) outlined in the goals has been implemented yet (Year 3). However, In April – July 2019 a second version of the hybrid online training (with improvements from participant suggestions of the 2018 pilot) was delivered in Jackson county to 17 participant land owner/agriculturalists. This hybrid short course is one of the tools being developed for professionals to use with their audiences. In 2019 an additional 2 SWCD employees and 2 Extension agents from other Oregon Counties shadowed the hybrid to try out the tool. Tualatin SWCD will be delivering the hybrid course with OSU cooperation in Washington County, Or in spring 2020.
Education & Outreach Initiatives
Creating interest in using tools to reach new audiences.
The Land Steward program and upcoming delivery materials in development by this project were presented and promoted at two conferences in 2018 to build interest in trying the tools and participating in the workshops during the last phase of the project (goal 5). This concept was delivered to 15 extension professionals from around the country at the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals in Biloxi, MI at the end of April 2018. Contacts of professionals interested in potentially using the materials once developed were secured from extension faculty of Idaho, Oregon, Washington an Arizona and Utah. These individuals will be kept informed as the tools are developed. In December of 2018 the Land Steward Program and results of the pilot short course were delivered to 12 Oregon extension professionals. Four of these expressed interest in possibly delivering the short course to their audiences. Additional networking with partners has resulted in a potential plan for a partnership between Wasco county and Clackamas county extension professionals to deliver a short course in 2019. Glenn Ahrens forester of Clackamas and Michelle Sager of master Gardener program in Wasco county will shadow the delivery of the Jackson county short course in Spring of 2019 as part of their training for delivery. Additionally Amy Grotta forester is discussing delivery of a LS short course in partnership with staff from the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District are entertaining a similar plan. They will also shadow the spring short course.
In Nov. 2019 the new hybrid course and the management guidelines and curriculum drafts were presented at the western regional meeting of Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals to 9 extension professionals from Oregon, Arizona, Idaho and American Samoa. Several expressed interest in using the tools for their audiences. Some were more interested in the stand alone management guideline tools. These individuals will be invited to shadow the 2020 Tualatin SWCD edition of the hybrid course.
In Dec. 2019 a 90 min. workshop on the new Land Steward instructional tools was delivered at the OSU Annual Extension Conference to 16 Oregon extension professionals. Six of these professionals were interested in using the hybrid soon for their audiences. They will also be invited to shadow the 2020 Tualatin SWCD edition.
Two unforeseen conference presentations promoting the still-in-development Land Steward delivery tools occurred in 2018, reaching 27 professionals creating interest in delivering the program. Already, three additional counties have planned to implement or implemented a land steward training, for a program which was previously only available in Jackson County.
The Tualatin SWCD staff are accepting registration for their spring 2020 delivery of the Land Steward Hybrid Course. Shadowing our 2018 and 19 deliveries of the program was very beneficial for them in deciding to use the tool and designing their delivery. This functioned as an unplanned professional development. The Wasco partnership mentioned in 2018 are planning possible delivery for 2021.
By spring 2020 the hybrid will have been delivered in two new counties (in addition to Jackson) thanks to the WSARE funding, with several more enthusiastic for the future.
Twenty-five natural resource professionals were reached through conferences and meetings in 2019 and eight have shadowed the hybrids we have delivered. The synergy between conference presentations and shadowing is proving a useful method of promotion.
Creating interest and confidence among professionals for using the hybrid Land Steward Course to reach new audiences.
In 2018 and 2019 we received funding to help with development and piloting of the hybrid version of the Land Steward training. A pilot has been held in Josephine County in 2018, and in Jackson County in 2019. Eight natural resource professionals, five from SWCDs, and three from OSU Extension have shadowed the hybrids we have delivered.
The goal of the hybrid is to make the rural land management education more accessible both for participation and delivery. The hybrid format allows participation by working and remote land owners. We experienced this in our pilots with some participants coming from outside of the local area. All participants said that the design of the hybrid (with more self-paced online material and less face time) made the program possible for them to attend. Additionally, the hybrid takes less time to coordinate, making it a more accessible tool for busy staff.
Both the land owner participation and the professionals interest we are experiencing illustrates that these new tools are making the Land Steward program into a useful tool.
The synergy between conference presentations and shadowing our delivery of the hybrid is proving a useful method of promotion.
Four staff from the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District are partnering with an OSU Agent Amy Grotta, to deliver a hybrid in the Washington County area in spring of 2020. Amy attended the 2018 Extension Annual Conference workshop delivery on the program and the SWCD staff shadowed the 2018 or 2019 hybrid deliveries.
Six extension professionals who attended our 2019 Extension annual conference workshop expressed interest in using the hybrid and a desire to shadow the 2020 Tualatin delivery to familiarize themselves with the program.
Additionally, the content of the program was delivered to new audiences of 36 land owner/producers.
This synergy between conference presentation and shadowing of the hybrid has been an un-foreseen beneficial mode of promotion for the program.
Educational & Outreach Activities
There are no learning outcomes among professionals to report yet according to the original plan of train the trainer workshops in year 3. However, 8 professionals participated in delivery of the two pilot short course thus reaching their audiences. The two hybrid short course pilots delivered to 36 land owner agriculturalists was well received. In post program surveys distributed among participants, 100% responding said the program was excellent to very good. All reported that the course is improving their management practices. These and other data were used to promote the short course at the four conferences, which has resulted in 2 new counties delivering the training and 2-3 more planning to implement Land Steward short course trainings in the future. Our project learning outcomes will occur later in the project.
The WSARE funded OSU Land Steward PDP grant has 5 objectives over 3 years: 1) refine and publish a curriculum for the eleven module LS training; 2) publish a series of topic based management guidelines for instructors to distribute to land owners 3) create a hybrid version of the LS training; 4) provide workshops to train professionals to use the above tools 5) present at three state and national conferences to introduce these tools to an additional ~54 professionals.
Additional support was secured in Jan. 2018 (before funding was awarded by WSARE) to advance work on the hybrid LS program, so that goal moved up in the timeline. In 2018, the hybrid was developed and a pilot was delivered in fall 2018 to 19 land owner agriculturalists with the help of 5 land owner mentors and 3 agricultural professional partners.
Four conferences and meetings were attended presenting on the Land Steward program tools of this project, reaching 52 professionals. Already, two additional new counties have implemented Land Steward hybrid trainings and 2-3 more are very interested in the possibility.
Work is underway with year 2 publishing goals. The management guideline series and all are in review. Several are due to publish any moment. They and the curriculum are expected to be published by spring 2020.
Rural Land Owner/Producer feedback from the Hybrid Land Steward Trainings in 2018 an 2019
“I’ve been so busy clearing blackberry bushes on my property as a result of our field trip, I have been neglecting my Land Management Plan. I discovered a horrendous infestation of newly developed blackberry near my stream, and I’ve been attempting to remove them before they take over.”
“[I liked most} The ability to learn at a personal pace, being able to meet other students and discuss their projects, being able to visit with accomplished Land Stewards on their properties, being able to seek further information about land…”
” I liked that it was self-paced, that I could catch up with the lessons whenever I wanted. I also really enjoyed the field trips; seeing properties that I otherwise would not have been able to. ”
Now into our second year of developing and promoting these tools with the support of WSARE, we see the tremendous value of a three year grant process. It allows us to modify our plan as take advantage of additional outreach methods. It also allows the time for professionals to experience the program in multiple ways beyond just a one time workshop or presentation. We think this is enhancing professionals engagement with the program.
We very much appreciate WSARE support in spreading this great program! I have a recommendation for the reporting. It would be helpful if there were a pdf expanded summary of all of these categories in the reporting section of the website. It is unweildy to open and close them to see what will be asked and would be easier to be able to know what is requested, be able to compile it and then enter it all at once. Thank you again!