Indiana 19-20 Plan of Work

Final report for NCIN19-001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2019: $130,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2021
Grant Recipient: Purdue University
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
State Coordinator:
Lais McCartney
Purdue Extension
Expand All

Project Information

Abstract:

The Indiana SARE program has gone through changes in the last year. Tamara Benjamin served as the interim state coordinator since the retirement of Roy Ballard in October 2019 with Lais McCartney serving as co-coordinator since May 2020.  Lais became the full-time state coordinator in October.   

COVID-19 has halted many of our activities, including planned events for the current PDP SARE funding. We have had to pivot and look for new and creative ways to reach our stakeholders, including reconditioning funds to facilitate digital and online delivery of information which we anticipate will continue into 2021.  

Indiana will continue to move toward the implementation of sustainable agriculture practices. Indiana is a leader in the adoption of cover crops and other soil health-promoting practices, integrated pest management strategies, pollinator protection practices, urban farming, diversified farming systems, and local food production. 

Additions of Assistant ANR program leader positions in Soil Health/Cover Crops and Diversified Farming and Food Systems, the addition of Statewide Food Safety Educator, a statewide Urban Agriculture Coordinator, Organic/Diversified/Urban Ag Educators and the growth of the Indiana Small Farm Conference as a means of outreach to a previously largely underserved audience are all signs of the evolution that is underway and evidence of Indiana’s awakening to the concept of sustainable agriculture.

The Indiana SARE PDP program continues to extend its reach to new audiences and to engage new groups of educators in its programmatic efforts. The SARE Advisory committee is increasing the diversity of its representation and continues to seek suitable talented and passionate representatives. This Plan of work is a direct representation of their commitment and collaboration.

Indiana is fortunate to have a formalized collaboration of Agency partners committed to conservation, the Indiana Conservation Partnership, and IN SARE is the beneficiary of this collaboration.

Efforts have begun to expand the reach to youth educators across Indiana specifically IN Vo-Ag instructors, to build awareness of SARE, better assess their needs, share resources, and find ways to engage the next generation of farmers.

It remains a primary goal of the Indiana SARE Coordinator to not only expand the communication with these separate groups and to identify and foster ways to foster additional cooperation in program delivery, but additionally to identify others in Indiana who may be serving in these capacities in smaller perhaps more local ways. Outreach to staff in other Indiana Colleges and Universities with interests in sustainability is underway.

The Small Farm Conference continues to serve as a much-needed focal point for the subjects of small farms and sustainable agriculture in Indiana but also a very visible commitment to these subjects from multiple partners coming together to make something special happen. Conventional farmers experiencing low commodity prices are reaching out for information on a variety of related topics.

The Purdue Small Farm Team, the Diversified Farming and Food Systems program, and the IN SARE Advisory Council work separately but in a collaborative manner. The decision-making body for the IN SARE PDP effort will be the members of the SARE Advisory Council (AC) who will collaborate and be supportive of the professional development efforts of the Purdue Small Farm team in addition to other professional development needs identified by the AC.

The following initiatives were identified, discussed, and approved by the IN SARE Advisory Council at their September 7, 2018 meeting, further refined by Initiative Teams and then approved by the full AC:

  • Structural Support for Food and Agriculture System Change
  • Crop and Livestock Diversification Practices to Enhance Agricultural Sustainability
  • Integrated Approach to Our Agriculture Natural Resources
  • Addressing the Needs of Underrepresented Audiences in Agriculture and Food Systems
  • Beginning Farmer and Rancher Regional Initiative
Project Objectives:

State initiatives for 2019-20 are:

Initiative 1: Structural Support for Food and Agriculture System Change

  • Establishing an Indiana Food Council from the Ground up
  • School garden network development

 

Initiative 2: Crop and Livestock Diversification Practices to Enhance Agricultural Sustainability

  • Sustainable Integration of Livestock on Cropland Workshops
  • Effective Communication of Animal Welfare Issues & Certification Opportunities
  • Supporting diversification of Indiana grain farms with small grains and organic production

 

Initiative 3: Integrated Approach to Our Agriculture Natural Resources

  • Basics of Soil Health
  • Core Cover Crops
  • Core Soil Health Systems
  • Advanced Soil Health Systems Training
  • Advanced Cover Crops Training (Commodity Crop Emphasis)
  • Understanding Success and Barriers of Cover Crop Use in Vegetable Production
  • Cover Crop Workshop at 2020 Indiana Horticulture Congress
  • Education/Presentation Skills Development for Educators and Peer-Based Mentors

 

Initiative 4: Addressing the Needs of Underrepresented Audiences in Agriculture and Food Systems

 

Initiative 5: Beginning Farmers and Ranchers-Regional Initiative

Additionally, IN SARE is committed to participating in the NCR-SARE 2019 Regional training.

Indiana will participate in the NCR-SARE sponsored regional training intended for educators from extension, non-profit organizations, and other relevant Ag educators who are involved in providing educational assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers. The goal is to share best practices from recent and existing beginning farmer and rancher projects on what works and what doesn’t, including mentoring and apprenticeships, networking strategies, and key educational goals for working with the beginning farmer and rancher community. Participants will be identified by NCR-SARE state coordinators from the 12 North Central states. Our objectives are to increase to the knowledge of Agricultural Professionals from across Indiana about these key initiatives through a variety of means that are both readily accessible and financially responsible. To accomplish this we will collaborate with a variety of agricultural and food related agencies, institutions and organizations across Indiana and engage them in problem identification, selection of educational outreach type, program delivery and evaluation. Additional information regarding outreach efforts and information specific to each about audience, justification, outputs, outcomes and evaluation can be found in the “Education” section of this report.

Advisors

Click linked name(s) to expand

Education

Educational approach:

 

Initiative 1: Structural Support for Food and Agriculture System Change

Objective A: Establishing an Indiana Food Council from the Ground Up

Primary Audience: Food councils with diverse community representation of farmers, food businesses, ag and health educators, public health organizations, food assistance organizations.

Justification: Food councils need professional development to better address needs for farmers, such as city zoning for urban agriculture; or farm to school procurement to increase market channels for farmers selling local.

Outputs: The primary goal of this project is to engage our food councils in a two-year long process of self-reflection, peer to peer learning, and learning from farmers and professional development Please note that this part of the project overlaps with Initiative 4: Addressing the needs of underrepresented audiences in agriculture and food systems.

Expected Outcomes: 40-50 Food Council Members will engage, learn and network at a statewide level for a period of two years (minimum) to increase their understanding of the tools, resources and information available to help them assess their community food system, This group will formalize an Indiana Food Council with representation from the local and regional food councils from across Indiana. Draft of a Food Charter or Farmers Pledge for Indiana that prioritizes sustainable agricultural practices.

Objective B: School garden network development

 

Primary Audience: K-12 Teachers, K-12 Administrators, Extension Educators and Community Wellness Coordinators, NEPA staff, Master Gardeners, etc.

Justification: As learning laboratories school gardens have the potential to shape the interests and values of the next generation.  Unfortunately, many Indiana educators do not have the knowledge or experience to organize and manage a successful, enduring school garden program.

Outputs: 2019 Provide 5 Extension Educators and 5 K-12 Teachers with travel scholarships to attend an intensive school garden training program and learn more about sustainable school garden management and network development.

2020: Each of the 5 teams that receive travel scholarships will be responsible for organizing an Indiana School Garden Training event engaging farmers and educators. Host a bi-monthly, live webinar series about seasonal Indiana school garden topics, featuring expert guest presenters. Recorded sessions will be posted on the Purdue Extension YouTube channel.

Expected Outcomes: 25 Extension Educators trained to provide professional school garden network support to educators and schools in Indiana. 25 K-12 Teachers introduced to school garden concepts, benefits, and management options.

 

Initiative 2: Crop and Livestock Diversification Practices to Enhance Agricultural Sustainability

Primary audience – Primary and Secondary Educators, Extension Educators, Extension Specialists and NGOs, State Department of Agriculture, Conservation District Personnel, NRCS Staff, Certified Crop Advisors, Farmer Mentors.

Justification In order to build the capacity of Extension to support this important and growing clientele, SARE PDP funds will be leveraged to increase Extension staff attendance at the program, and to bring in high quality speakers for conference sessions and small group discussions with Extension staff. 

Expected Outcomes– Short term- Participating educators and specialists will increase their knowledge about small farm production, marketing, and management practices and the challenges and opportunities that face small farmers in Indiana.

Outputs- Educators will attend day-long workshops or field trips and 2-day conference sessions and trade show, participate in small group discussions with invited speakers, and be provided with appropriate reference and resource materials.

Indiana Small Farm Conference 2019/20.  Attendance at day-long workshops, conference sessions, and trade show on February 28 – March 2, 2019 and March 5-7, 2020.  Small group discussion with invited speaker.

Sustainable Integration of Livestock on Cropland Workshops

Justification The need for knowledge on sustainable introduction of livestock on cropland and how that can best fit into a system is growing beyond the current capacity of the few specialists trained and proficient in these matters.

Expected outcomes – Short term: 40 educators, agronomists, farmers, conservation staff, and other Ag professionals (each year 2019-2020) will learn to speak on sustainable grazing management and the integration of livestock into farming systems through the use of cover crops and extended cropping rotations including perennial forages.

Outputs – Educators will attend a day-long training, to be offered twice per year in 2019 and 2020, to cover the four quadrants of the state, making the training more accessible from a travel standpoint.  Trainings will include classroom instruction, combined with field learning activities at host farms.

Effective Communication of Animal Welfare Issues & Certification Opportunities

For livestock production to remain a sustainable component of Indiana agriculture, educational professionals need the skills and knowledge to position producers for future success.  Our proposal is for a single-day educational program and farm tour for educational professionals to obtain knowledge and awareness of animal welfare issues and certification opportunities in order to effectively communicate with and assist clients, key stakeholders, and the general public.

Supporting diversification of Indiana grain farms with small grains and organic production

Justification –Adding diversity of small grains in the rotation brings a plethora of agronomic and ecological benefits, but the financial side of the sustainability stool can be tricky with organic corn and beans demanding such high premiums relative to small grains.

Expected outcomesShort term: 10 ag professionals will gain valuable knowledge and network building through participation in an immersive educational field trip, Intermediate term: Participants will develop programming to transfer knowledge to producers, and work with key supply chain stakeholders to identify and address issues to further adoption and development of markets (particularly for small grains).

Outputs – Educators will participate in an immersive week-long field trip to visit successful organic and small grain producers, value-add operations, along with NGO and Extension/Land Grant staff

 

Initiative 3-Integrated Approach to Our Agriculture Natural Resources

Primary audience: Primary and Secondary Educators, Extension Educators, Extension Specialists and NGOs, State Department of Agriculture, Conservation District Personnel, NRCS Staff

Justification: Understanding and building upon a foundation of basic soil science and cover crops their correlation to basic soil health principles is key to laying the groundwork for future education.

Inputs: Agenda Development / Speaker Coordinator, Logistics Coordinator (Venue, A/V, Catering, etc.), Professional Experts – CCSI, Purdue University, Media, Participant Materials

Basics of Soil Health – Single Day Trainings for Educators (2019).

Expected Outcomes: Short term:  30 educators will increase their knowledge of inherent and dynamic properties of soils – and their impacts on soil health. 

Outputs: Ag professionals will attend workshops. Participants will take that knowledge and related resources back to their counties to share with clientele in newsletters, blogs, news releases and local/ regional meetings.

Core Cover Crops – Single Day Trainings for Educators 2 per year (2019 and 2020)

Expected Outcomes: Short term: 120 educators, agronomists, farmers, conservation staff and other ag professionals will increase their knowledge of cover crops and their impacts on soil health and crop management strategies. 

Outputs: Ag professionals will attend regional workshops. Participants will take that knowledge and related resources back to their counties to share with clientele in newsletters, blogs, news releases and local/ regional meetings.

Core Soil Health Systems – Single Day Trainings for Educators 2 per year (2019 and 2020)

Expected Outcomes: Short term: 120 educators will increase their knowledge of conservation cropping systems and their impacts on soil health.  Intermediate term: Local educators will transfer their information and knowledge back home to ag students, local farmers, and rural landowners.

Outputs: Ag professionals will attend regional workshops.

Advanced Soil Health Systems Training – Single Day Trainings for Educators 4 per year, (2020)

Expected Outcomes: Short term: 200 ag professionals will increase their knowledge of the impacts of reduced soil disturbance, increased residue cover, increased biodiversity, and year-round living roots on soil health.  Intermediate term: Local educators will transfer their information and knowledge back home to other educators, conservation staff, ag students, local farmers, rural landowners.

Outputs: Ag professionals will attend regional workshops.

Advanced Cover Crops Training (Commodity Crop Emphasis) – Single Day Trainings for Educators 4 per year (2019)

Expected Outcomes: Short term: 180 ag professionals will increase their knowledge of the various benefits, uses, and management of cover crops.  Intermediate term: Local educators will transfer their information and knowledge back home to other educators, conservation staff, ag students, local farmers, rural landowners.

Outputs: Ag professionals will attend regional workshops.

Understanding Success and Barriers of Cover Crop Use in Vegetable Production
Expected Outcomes: Short term: 50 ag professionals will increase their knowledge about successful cover crop use in vegetables

Outputs: Ag professionals, farmers experienced in cover crop use in vegetables, and vegetable farmers interested in cover crop use will participate in regular (monthly or triweekly) internet/phone conferences through the growing season.

Cover Crop Workshop at 2020 Indiana Horticulture Congress

Expected Outcomes: Short term: 50 ag professionals will increase their knowledge about successful cover crop use in vegetables, Intermediate term: Local educators will transfer their information and knowledge back home

Outputs: Ag professionals, farmers experienced in cover crop use in vegetables, and vegetable farmers interested in cover crop use will participate in regular (monthly or triweekly) internet/phone conferences through the growing season. Transcripts will be shared.

Education/Presentation Skills Development for Educators and Peer-Based Mentors

Expected Outcomes: Short term: 60 educators improve their presentation and communication skills.  Intermediate term: Through improved communication skills, local educators will be more effective in their outreach and education efforts. They will also share techniques with other local staff.

Outputs: Ag professionals will attend regional workshops. Participants will take that knowledge and related resources back to their counties to share with clientele in the form of effective teaching skills.

 

Initiative 4-Addressing the Needs of Underrepresented Audiences in Agriculture and Food Systems

Audience: Staff from FSA, NRCS, SWCD, ISDA, etc.; Purdue Extension educators; land trust staff; farm organization leaders; agriculture professors and teachers

Justification: Underrepresented farmers need ag professionals’ help – which requires that ag professionals understand the products they grow, their marketing and financial strategies, their land access and financing options, their focus on community, and their emphasis on holistic farm management.

Outputs: Equip ag professionals to serve underrepresented farmers through a combination of interactive trainings, and farm tours

Expected Outcomes: 25 land trust staff will engage in conversation about conserving farmland in Indiana and making it accessible to beginning farmers. 85 FSA and other staff will learn about how FSA programs can improve land access. Ag Professionals will have in-depth training re: and 45 Ag Professionals will have increased understanding racial diversity, inherent bias, and equity in Indiana’s farming community

 

Initiative 5: Beginning Farmers and Ranchers-Regional Initiative We will plan to send several representatives of our state to a regional professional development event organized by NCR-SARE on beginning farmers and ranchers, to be offered during calendar year 2019.  Educators who are given support from our state SARE funds to travel to this regional training will be asked to come back to our state and in some fashion, provide educational programming to other educators and/or beginning farmers and ranchers. During the two-year plan of work period, we will also offer additional SARE-funded travel scholarships, and where appropriate, mini-grant support to further educational programming that increases the sustainability and success of beginning farmers and ranchers. It is important to note that a number of the activities proposed within this larger plan of work are directly relevant to training Ag Professionals about the needs and learning styles of beginning farmers and ranchers.

 

Evaluation- Participants will report back to the State SARE Coordinator, by Dec. 2019 and 2020, the number of their outreach activities (programs, individual consultations, newsletter articles, workshops, etc.) that include information they learned at these events, and an estimated number of producers impacted by those activities.

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Addressing Initiative 1.- Structural Support for Food and Agriculture System Change
Objective:

Objective A: Establishing an Indiana Food Council from the Ground Up:
The primary goal of this project is to engage our food councils in a two-year long process of self-reflection, peer to peer learning, and learning from farmers and professional development Please note that this part of the project overlaps with Initiative 4: Addressing the needs of underrepresented audiences in agriculture and food systems.
Objective B: School garden network development Provide 5 Extension Educators and 5 K-12 Teachers with travel scholarships to attend an intensive school garden training program and learn more about sustainable school garden management and network development.

Description:

Objective A: Establishing an Indiana Food Council from the Ground Up:

40-50 Food Council Members will engage, learn and network at a statewide level for a period of two years (minimum) to increase their understanding of the tools, resources and information available to help them assess their community food system. This group will formalize an Indiana Food Council with representation from the local and regional food councils from across Indiana. Draft of a Food Charter or Farmers Pledge for Indiana that prioritizes sustainable agricultural practices. Events and activities related to this initiative included:

Statewide Food Policy Council Organized

Travel Scholarships Funded for Education including Fundraising for Nonprofits for Food Council support (Jean Bernius and Janet Katz attended) October 28, 2019

Objective B: School garden network development

25 Extension Educators trained to provide professional school garden network support to educators and schools in Indiana. 25 K-12 Teachers introduced to school garden concepts, benefits, and management options.

Indiana Grown for Schools Professional Development Workshop Pilot January 2019 Bartholomew County where producers could also fill out a survey if they were interested in selling to schools: and action committees were formed.

Farm to School Training in February 2019

Junior Master Gardener Training February 2020

Outcomes and impacts:

Objective A: Establishing an Indiana Food Council from the Ground Up:

Statewide Food Policy Council Meeting

6 people met August 5, 2019 for the Farm to School Statewide Food Policy Council meeting.

Travel Scholarships Funded for Farm Council Education and Support

Travel Scholarships Funded for Education including Fundraising for Nonprofits for Food Council support (Jean Bernius attended) October 28, 2019 Jean will share this information with others in the Food Council.

Objective B: School garden network development

Indiana Grown for Schools Professional Development Workshop Pilot January 2019 Bartholomew County

33 attendees from the state department, Purdue extension, and area schools.

Presentations from: Colleen Matts, Farm to Institution Specialist, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems – Abby Harper, Community Food Systems Educator, MSU Extension Indiana – Jodee Ellett, Local Foods Coordinator, Purdue Extension – Ginny Roberts, Farm to School Lead, Purdue Extension – Laura Hormuth, Indiana State Department of Health – Maggie Schabel, Indiana Department of Education.

This survey was shared with any producer who was interested in working with Farm to school. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfLdZpOSO7HozDdTFgUUg4Hlqpa_0cPOBNg2L3D49snPz7jYA/viewform?fbclid=IwAR0M9omD-xtdehs_KvTBlB2OcWFtx9KjIWsrDWQ88-vtGYxHMCOSCLx6J0k 

Over 100 producers completed the survey. Their information can be found in the recently released Indiana Grown for Schools Buyer’s Guide in work product.

Farm to School Training in February 2019

41 participants from state department, Purdue extension, and area schools including many state staff, and educational nutritional agencies, and many teachers and cafeteria staff attended.

Junior Master Gardener Training February 2020

3 Purdue extension educators traveled to Texas and were trained to teach the Texas A&M Junior Master Gardner program to schools and other youth in the community.  Supplemental books were purchased with SARE funds to build their library as these educators reach out to their communities.

Addressing Initiative 2.- Crop and Livestock Diversification Practices to Enhance Agricultural Sustainability
Objective:

Through workshops, sponsorship, and travel scholarships, this initiative provides the educational opportunity for agriculture professionals to increase knowledge in sustainable crop and livestock practices, production and marketing topics pertaining to small and diversified farming, and to better support their farmer clientele. In order to build the capacity of Extension to support this important and growing clientele, SARE PDP funds will be leveraged to increase Extension staff attendance at the program, and to bring in high quality speakers for conference sessions and small group discussions with Extension staff.

Description:

Organic farming practices can not only provide a more sustainable future for agriculture, but can also offer farmers an increase in profit, and better quality of life. This initiative fills the need for training and educational opportunities for educators, specialists, and district conservationists across the state to support farmers who may be looking to transition acreage to organic and more sustainable practices for their farm.

Participating educators and specialists will increase their knowledge about small farm production, marketing, and management practices and the challenges and opportunities that face small farmers in Indiana. Educators will attend day-long workshops or field trips and 2-day conference sessions and trade show, participate in small group discussions with invited speakers, and be provided with appropriate reference and resource materials.

Events and activities related to this initiative included:

Organic Agronomy Training Service (OATS) program July 24-25, 2019 in Crawfordsville

Small Farm Education Field Day August 1, 2019 William H. Daniel Turfgrass Center and Purdue Student Farm 1340 Cherry Lane West Lafayette, IN This second annual Purdue Small Farm Educational Field Day emphasized sustainability in small-scale fruit and vegetable production, in terms of plant health and business management.

Animal Welfare Certification Online Program June 18 and 25, 2020

Wheat: A Gateway Crop to Soil Health, Resilience and More August 13, 2020

Travel Scholarships for Crop and Livestock Education

Travel Scholarships for Beginning Farmers Education

Travel Scholarships for Indiana Small Farms Conference

Outcomes and impacts:

Organic Agronomy Training Service (OATS) program July 24-25, 2019 in Crawfordsville The Organic Agronomy Training Service (OATS) conducted a two-day, in-person training on the topic of organic agronomy and production methods for grain crops in Crawfordsville, IN on July 24-25, 2019. The training aimed to train agronomists, crop consultants, extension agents, and technical service providers to increase their confidence and ability to serve the technical production needs of transitioning and certified organic grain farmers.

The training format consisted of one to two-hour presentations on various topics, each delivered by different content area experts. On the second day of the training, the participants attended a two-hour tour of an organic grain farm. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) were available for certified crop advisors.

A total of 54 people attended the event across both days. Of these, 13 were members of the planning committee and presenters, and 41 were paying registrants and representatives of sponsors. The sponsor representatives were engaged participants in the training. Many of them were agronomists and/or farmers sent by the sponsors using their complimentary tickets. Of the 17 matched pre and post survey results, everyone had significant positive change in knowledge of organic crop rotations, organic weed control strategies, integrating cover crops into a rotation, reduced tillage in organic systems, organically approved pest control strategies, and nutrient management in organic systems. 

Small Farm Education Field Day August 1, 2019 William H. Daniel Turfgrass Center and Purdue Student Farm 1340 Cherry Lane West Lafayette, IN

90 attended the workshop.

Purdue’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture hosted the event, which targeted farmers of small-scale vegetable operations.  This year’s field day ran 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offered 10 educational sessions presented by Purdue agriculture faculty.

The Purdue University Student Farm, featured in the afternoon field day sessions, is a student-run operation that grows vegetables, herbs and flowers. The Student Farm serves as a tool for the education and promotion of responsible growing practices, product marketing and vegetable production.

Session titles and topics were: Some Basic Planning Tools for Increasing the Sustainability of Your Farm, Testing and Restoring Soils in Urban and Peri-Urban Systems, Scheduling Crops in High Tunnels, Cover Crop Choices, Is your new equipment worth it? A dynamic tool to calculate your profits and return on investment, Food Safety Plans and Certification Process for Gardeners, Rototiller versus Power Harrow and Seeder Demonstration, High Tunnel Tomato and Bell Pepper Production, Practical Applications of Leaf Mold Composting, Vegetable Wash Station Design, Solar Dryers for Postharvest Processing of Fruits and Vegetables.  Feedback from participants included, “I feel better about the decision to move toward controlled-environment ag.”, “I plan to so tomatoes in a high tunnel next year “, and “How and when to use row covers and insect netting.”

Travel Scholarships

Indiana Small Farm Conference, February 28- March 2, 2019, Eight Purdue Extension educators and one person on Purdue faculty were able to attend the 2019 Indiana Small Farm Conference in Danville, Indiana.  This conference provided them with an opportunity to attend a range of educational sessions and network with farmers and other agricultural professionals from around Indiana, better equipping them to serve their farmer clientele in their counties. One organizer said, “The conference was wildly successful as we reached out to new urban farming audiences in Gary and Indianapolis. We used funds from SARE to bring Karen Washington from New York City to speak about food justice and racial equity in the food systems.”

A farmer wrote, "Greatly valued the urban ag and food justice issues raised at Indiana Small Farm Conference, particularly about loss of grocery stores in African American neighborhoods of Indy, as well as lead contamination session. Also have appreciated the greater time and attention to networking small farmers at that conference and events offered statewide, support of Hoosier Young Farmer Coalition, etc."

The Indiana Small Farms Conference 2020 had 8 educators and 34 faculty, staff and producers attend using SARE travel scholarships. Purdue Extension personnel were asked, as a result of attending the conference, if they had plans to assist
attendees with recommended practices related to farming, producing crops, raising livestock, sustainable
practices, and technologies, and all 13 respondents indicated yes. The farming assistance they plan to provide for attendees included:
• Clients who walk in the door and farmers market
• Education
• Encourage them to review the materials from the conference online.
• Helping them identify anticipated pests, natural enemies, and monitoring tools so that they are prepared
for their growing season. I have also been invited to visit some of their farms. 

• I work more with small and beginning farmers than conventional row crop farmers in my county. These
folks need the most assistance because they often have little background in farming, or have little
background in specialty crops.
• Sharing new information
• Soil health
• Technical advice on soil metal uptake rates
Asked if, as a result of attending the conference, they had plans to assist attendees with recommended practices related to business planning, finances, agritourism or marketing, most 71.4% (10) indicated yes, and 28.6% (4) responded no. Those planning to assist attendees with business planning, finances, agritourism or marketing, shared these activities:
• education
• I will assist anyone interested in learning more about marketing such as alternative delivery systems
• Same as above
• This year, we plan to host an agritourism summit in my county.
For those who reported no plans to assist attendees with business planning, finances, agritourism or marketing, their reasons were: not my expertise, and out of my wheelhouse.

Faculty and Staff Feedback from Indiana Small Farms Conference 2020:

As a Fellow Cohort, have now established relationships with 4 other farmers from around the state and will
continue interacting over the next year as we each develop our farm projects.
• connected with a potential research collaborator
• Connected with farmers for a research project

Farmer Feedback from the Indiana Small Farms Conference 2020:

• Had the opportunity to meet and speak with other farmers about topics that are important to me. As a young farmer, I was able to connect with more advanced farmers who I have a chance to learn from.
• It was so wonderful to be in a group of folks that shared similar interests and experiences. I’ve made
connections that will help me throughout the year and in my farming journey.
• Met others with similar interests and goals
• met several farmers with similar concerns as I
• Met up and discussed issues with other campus farm managers
•Met over similar interests /shared experiences

Travel Scholarships for Crop and Livestock Education

One Purdue Extension educator was sent to Michigan State University’s 2019 Protecting Pollinators in Urban Landscapes 2019 to be trained in teaching people about pollinators in the urban environment. She learned new ways in which people can use integrated pest management and pollinator health together.

Two extension educators were sent to Manure Expo in Fair Oaks, IN July 31-August 1, 2019 where they learned about how to educate producers, Ag professionals, and the general public on the use of unmanned aerial drones in livestock production.

An extension educator was sent to Clark Farm Field Day in August 2020

Animal Welfare Certification Online Program June 18 and 25, 2020

60 people attended each workshop. 

June 18 was Dr. Maria Erasmus Overview of Animal Welfare, Animal Welfare Assurance; Dr. Jackie Boerman Welfare Certification in Practice and Michael O'Donnell, Mark Kepler and Corey Roser taught Applications and Implications for Educators.

June 25 was Dutch Country Organics and Miller Poultry, Poultry Industry Perspectives; Organic Valley with Dairy Industry Perspectives; OnMark Certification Services with Certification Program Audits. 

After these webinars, we were asked to provide more of these educational certifications for Vocational Ag high school teachers. Some feedback from teachers, "As I prepare for my first year of teaching, I am trying to gain as much information as possible for my regular and advanced animal science classes."

Wheat: A Gateway Crop to Soil Health, Resilience and More August 13, 2020

This webinar was a collaboration with Indiana SARE, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Purdue Extension Organic Agriculture and Indiana Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI) attended the webinar. 

Addressing Initiative 3- Integrated Approach to Our Agriculture Natural Resources
Objective:

This initiative meets the need for further education and implementation of cutting-edge sustainable soil health farm practices through collaborative training, travel scholarships, and other programs.

Description:

Indiana is a leader in sustainable cover crop practices. This initiative allows a place to channel the current knowledge base into a tiered training program for professionals, and specialized training for specific production models. 

Events and activities related to this initiative included:

Basics of Soil Health Training, February 7, 2019 at the Beck Agricultural Center in West Lafayette

Core Cover Crops, April 3, 2019 at Hamilton County Fairgrounds Noblesville, IN.

Core Soil Health Systems, April 4, 2019 at Hamilton County Fairgrounds Noblesville, IN.

CCSI -SARE Advanced Cover Crops Training-Specialty Crop No-till Pumpkins Track April 11, 2019 at Throckmorton in Lafayette

CCSI -SARE Presentation and Media Skills May 9, 2019 at Purdue Technology Center Indianapolis, IN.

CCSI -SARE Advanced Cover Crops Training-Specialty Crop No-till Pumpkins Track May 17, 2019 at Hackman’s Farm Market and Greenhouse Columbus, IN.

CCSI -SARE Successes and Barriers for Cover Crops in Vegetable Production May 17, 2019 at Hackman’s Farm Market and Greenhouse Columbus, IN.

CCSI -SARE Hort Conference Cover Crop Training May 17, 2019 at Hackman’s Farm Market and Greenhouse Columbus, IN.

CCSI-SARE Advanced Soil Health Systems- Commodity Track July 22, 2019 Andy Like Farm Monroe City, July 23, 2019 Clouse Farm Hope, July 24, 2019 Thompson Farm Kendallville, July 25, 2019 Yerk Farm, White County

Southern Region Soil Health Workshop February 4, 2020, Salem, Indiana

Cover Crop Training at Indiana Hort Conference February 11-13, 2020, Indianapolis, Indiana

CCSI-SARE Hemp Specialty Crop Training

Core Soil Health training Fall 2020

Advanced Cover Crops webinar November 2020

Soil Health Podcasts 2020

Travel Scholarships for cover crop and soil health education

Outcomes and impacts:

Basics of Soil Health Training, February 7, 2019 at the Beck Agricultural Center in West Lafayette A group of 16 extension educators, farmers, and state educators attended the Basics of Soil Health Training in February. This training was developed to provide a connection between traditional soils science courses and soil health concepts. It is designed for those who have not taken soils science courses and/or have not attended Core Cover Crops/Core Soil Health Systems Trainings. Speakers include: Dr. John Graveel, Purdue University Dr. Jason Ackerson, Purdue University Dr. Eileen Kladivko, Purdue University and Joe Rorick, CCSI Conservation Agronomist

Core Cover Crops, April 3, 2019 at Hamilton County Fairgrounds Noblesville, IN

A group of 19 extension educators, farmers, and state educators attended the Core Soil Health Systems Training in April. This training provides a foundation for understanding how cover crops may be incorporated into Midwestern cropping systems, including considerations for changes

in nutrient and pest management. Target audience for this training includes ICP

staff, farmer-mentors, agronomists, and other ag professionals who have not

attended Advanced Cover Crops Trainings.

Core Soil Health Systems, April 4, 2019 at Hamilton County Fairgrounds Noblesville, IN.

A group of 19 extension educators, farmers, and state educators attended the Core Soil Health Systems Training in April. This training provides a foundation for understanding cropping systems that can lead to improved soil health and the implications of practices such as tillage, adaptive nutrient and pest management and cover crops. Target audience for this training includes ICP staff, farmer-mentors, agronomists, and other ag professionals who have not attended Advanced Cover Crops Trainings.

CCSI -SARE Advanced Cover Crops Training-Specialty Crop No-till Pumpkins Track April 11, 2019 at Throckmorton in Lafayette

A group of 20 extension educators, farmers, and state educators attended the Advanced Cover Crop Training in April.

CCSI -SARE Presentation and Media Skills May 9, 2019 at Purdue Technology Center Indianapolis, IN.

A group of 26 extension educators, consultants, and state educators attended the Presentation and Media Skills in May.

CCSI -SARE Advanced Cover Crops Training-Specialty Crop No-till Pumpkins Track, CCSI -SARE Successes and Barriers for Cover Crops in Vegetable Production, CCSI -SARE Hort Conference Cover Crop Training May 17, 2019 at Hackman’s Farm Market and Greenhouse Columbus, IN

A group of 15 extension educators, farmers, and state educators attended the Advanced Cover Crop Training in April.

CCSI-SARE Advanced Soil Health Systems- Commodity Track July22, 2019 Andy Like Farm Monroe City

A group of 33 farmers, and state educators attended the Advanced Soil Health Systems Training July 22. This training was designed for Indiana Conservation Partnership staff and will focus on equipment set-up and modifications for no-till and strip-till systems. Much of the training was hands-on, around equipment.

CCSI-SARE Advanced Soil Health Systems- Commodity Track July 23, 2019 Clouse Farm Hope

A group of 22 farmers, and state educators attended the Advanced Soil Health Systems Training July 23.

CCSI-SARE Advanced Soil Health Systems- Commodity Track July 24, 2019 Thompson Farm Kendallville

A group of 26 farmers, and state educators attended the Advanced Soil Health Systems Training July 24.

CCSI-SARE Advanced Soil Health Systems- Commodity Track July 25, 2019 Yerk Farm, White County

A group of 45 farmers, and state educators attended the Advanced Soil Health Systems Training July 25.

Travel Scholarships to Soil Health and Sustainability for Midwestern Field Staff June 4-6, 2019 Beck Center West Lafayette, IN Instructors: Barry Fisher, Eileen Kladivko, Stephanie McLain, Joe Rorick, Lori Hoagland Farmers: Rick Clark, Dan DeSutter

Two extension educators attended. One learned more about economics, integrated agronomic systems and how to adjust production systems, particularly nutrient management when working with cover crops. The other learned how to integrate better management practices with farmers in Grant County.

Southern Region Soil Health Workshop February 4, 2020, Salem, Indiana

40 extension educators and other ag professionals attended and their registrations were covered by SARE funds.

Cover Crop Training at Indiana Hort Conference February 11-13, 2020, Indianapolis, Indiana

12 travel scholarships were given to ag professionals and producers to attend the cover crop training and their registrations were covered by SARE funds

CCSI-SARE Hemp Specialty Crop Training 

15 extension educators and other ag professionals attended

Soil Health and Sustainability for Midwestern Field Staff or Three Day Training August 2020

24 ag professionals attended the 3 part series.  

Core Soil Health training Fall 2020

74 farmers, educators, and ag professionals participated 

Advanced Cover Crops webinar 

60 farmers, educators, and ag professionals participated 

Soil Health Podcasts 2020

A Soil Health Podcast collaboration between SARE, Hoosier Ag Today and CCSI is a great learning tool to share soil health.  SARE funds are paying consultant fees to producers to share their soil health and cover crop knowledge. https://www.ccsin.org/podcast 

 

Addressing Initiative 4- Addressing the Needs of Underrepresented Audiences in Agriculture and Food Systems
Objective:

Underrepresented farmers need ag professionals’ help - which requires that ag professionals understand the products they grow, their marketing and financial strategies, their land access and financing options, their focus on community, and their emphasis on holistic farm management.

Description:

25 land trust staff will engage in conversation about conserving farmland in Indiana and making it accessible to beginning farmers. 85 FSA and other staff will learn about how FSA programs can improve land access. Ag Professionals will have in-depth training and 45 Ag Professionals will have increased understanding racial diversity, inherent bias, and equity in Indiana’s farming community. Events and activities related to this initiative included:

Tour of our Harvest Cooperative in Cincinnati April 15, 2019

Travel scholarships to National Young Farmers Convergence Coalition November 11-13, 2019 Denver, CO

Intro to Small Farms for FSA and Intro to Utilizing FSA Loans Workshops March 5, 2020 Indianapolis, IN

Begin Conversation with Land Trust Staff July, 2020 Zoom Webinar

Covid Marketing Sales Online Farmer to Farmer Webinar

Outcomes and impacts:

Tour of our Harvest Cooperative in Cincinnati April 15, 2019 Amy Matthews, Urban Agriculture Program Assistant Purdue Extension Marion County organized this event that had 22 participants who traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio to tour the Our Harvest Cooperative where they learned about cooperative history, development, structure, and financing, Learning about the tough lessons from Our Harvest Coop Farm start-up, Networking with the other Indiana groups, Visiting and learning about the food hub. The Indiana Delegation was from four grower groups: Indiana Black Farmers Coop, Black Independent Growers, Hoosier Harvest Market and Gary Growers Network. Feedback from participants included, “So impressed by the shared motivations and concerns that participants had... need more interactions like this.” And “Networking is a valuable component to becoming an urban ag professional.”

Travel scholarships to National Young Farmers Convergence Coalition November 11-13, 2019 Denver, CO

Three farmers attended. One learned a few things that she will be using in her leadership role that are directly a result of NYFCC that she shares here: “Giving a stronger voice to equity in the food system --  For some time, I've been timid about really leaning into being a vocal leader on racial equity as a white person.  I've felt ill-equipped to balance my whiteness and my eagerness to make change with knowing exactly the right time to not help and to just listen, knowing the right words to use (I learned that words like "blessed" are charged with historical white entitlement; and that not everyone wants the ugly parts of white privilege - i.e. to commit a horrific crime and get away with it - and to be cognizant of how the talk about "privilege" will morph over time), when to seize the platform that I have and when to share it and get out of the way.   I learned was that perfection is an ideal that holds up white supremacy.  And in waiting for perfection, we let go of the good.  So, after Ricardo Salvador's speech and the white caucus, I'm feeling like I understand more deeply how to be a stronger, effective ally in the fight for racial justice in the food system and beyond.  And, as I learned at the Food Systems Leadership Retreat, this work requires relentlessness and I will need to pay close attention to cultivating white stamina in myself and in other leaders I'm trying to cultivate.  Some concrete action takeaways--I will give the invocation at our FED: Food Expo & Discussion and share many of the lessons I learned from Mr. Salvador; We will begin our FED with a land acknowledgement from now on, but, taking Mr. Salvador's criticism into account that a land acknowledgment is meaningless without action.  We are currently figuring out what the "action" of our land acknowledgment will look like; but are considering a combination of advocacy and reparations work; I will be looking for ways to include equity training for our NWIFC executive board in 2020; Making advocacy and policy more digestible for our community -One way we plan to do this immediately is to incorporate the "advocacy bar" that I experienced at convergence.  We will have simple ways for FED attendees to dip their toe into advocacy with pre-written letters to government officials on key policy ready to be signed.  We'll take care of getting the letters where they need to go! Hosting socials 2-4 times in 2020 with food justice as our main talking/discussion point. It was incredibly inspiring, and I left with so many tools.”

Intro to Small Farms for FSA and Intro to Utilizing FSA Loans Workshops March 5, 2020 Indianapolis, IN

Three farmers producers who have utilized FSA loans made a presentation to 36 FSA loan officers during their annual training time.  The head of Indiana FSA gave feedback to the farmers/presenters: He really appreciated SARE reaching out to him and he said the presentation was really well done.  He appreciated that the farmers/presenters had shown the process of getting information together to ask for a loan from FSA, as many times FSA has to say, "Not now," since the person has only had a garden for one season.  He asked for the presentation in order to place it on their company intranet so that they could use it as a resource in case someone comes in who may not be ready right now for a loan., but can learn from the information.  The FSA loan officer can share the information and contact information of the presenters so that new farmers can possibly reach out in order to learn more about your progress. He was glad to have a resource for new farmers. 

Begin Conversation with Land Trust Staff July, 2020 Zoom Webinar

40 land trust staff in attendance. Two land trust staff from Vermont, who regularly work with farmland preservation and beginning farmers, presented. It helped land trust staff here in Indiana start to see how they could be working with and better serving sustainable farmers. 

Covid Marketing Sales Online Farmer to Farmer Webinar

A farmer shared her story of how her farm pivoted due to Covid. https://youtu.be/QJToA5SC_iM 

Addressing Initiative 5- Beginning Farmers and Ranchers-Regional Initiative
Objective:

Beginning farmers need ag professionals’ help - which means ag professionals need to reach out to a demographic that may have never lived or worked on a farm, but want to learn. Marketing and educational strategies and their focus on community to help farmers get to know each other. Ag professionals will learn beginning farmer needs, working with the media, and how to work with land trust representatives and FSA staff to better understand the needs of beginning farmers and to help enhance their ability to initiate and maintain a farm operation.

Description:

We will plan to send several representatives of our state to a regional professional development event organized by NCR-SARE on beginning farmers and ranchers, to be offered during calendar year 2019.  Educators who are given support from our state SARE funds to travel to this regional training will be asked to come back to our state and in some fashion, provide educational programming to other educators and/or beginning farmers and ranchers. During the two-year plan of work period, we will also offer additional SARE-funded travel scholarships, and where appropriate, mini-grant support to further educational programming that increases the sustainability and success of beginning farmers and ranchers. It is important to note that several the activities proposed within this larger plan of work are directly relevant to training Ag Professionals about the needs and learning styles of beginning farmers and ranchers. Events and activities related to this initiative included:

Travel scholarships North central region training on improving the success and Sustainability of beginning farmers and ranchers October 1-2, 2019 Indianapolis

Outcomes and impacts:

Travel scholarships Northcentral region training on improving the success and Sustainability of beginning farmers and ranchers October 1-22, 2019 Indianapolis

Nine extension educators and staff attended. There are plans for incorporating information gained at the training in the Beginning Farmer Signature Program that will be taught statewide starting in 2020. A train the trainer workshop is set for the first week of January. Twenty seven educators have signed up to take the class.

Beginning Farmer Signature Program goes virtual

A few educators throughout the state are producing videos to add content to the program.  Each farmer interviewed in paid a consultant fee.  There have been five farmers toured.  

Educational & Outreach Activities

9 Online trainings
1 Tours
57 Travel Scholarships
4 Webinars / talks / presentations
16 Workshop field days
1 Other educational activities: Other is a Conference (Indiana Small Farm Conference)

Participation Summary:

115 Extension
117 NRCS
14 Researchers
89 Nonprofit
241 Agency
59 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
102 Farmers/ranchers
82 Others

Learning Outcomes

100 Participants gained or increased knowledge, skills and/or attitudes about sustainable agriculture topics, practices, strategies, approaches
82 Ag professionals intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned

Project Outcomes

2 Grants received that built upon this project
2 New working collaborations
56 Agricultural service provider participants who used knowledge and skills learned through this project (or incorporated project materials) in their educational activities, services, information products and/or tools for farmers
Additional Outcomes:

It is notable that in a survey with 33 educators responding to the survey, the educators reported reaching out to 2185 farmers this year with the SARE information they learned. There can be some overlap with this number (some farmers may have been reached twice according to two different educators).

While working on one of the initiatives, vocational agriculture teachers were invited to learn more about Animal Welfare labeling and practices.  In Indiana, these professionals need Professional Growth Points.  Because of Indiana SARE's work, Purdue Extension is working on giving Professional Growth points to other teachers for a variety of continuing education opportunities.  Indiana SARE continues to encourage more educational opportunities to further sustainable agricultural, even in our high schools.

Success stories:

Three farmers attended National Young Farmers Convergence Coalition November 11-13, 2019 Denver, CO. One learned a few things that she will be using in her leadership role that are directly a result of NYFCC that she shares here: “Giving a stronger voice to equity in the food system --  For some time, I've been timid about really leaning into being a vocal leader on racial equity as a white person.  I've felt ill-equipped to balance my whiteness and my eagerness to make change with knowing exactly the right time to not help and to just listen, knowing the right words to use (I learned that words like "blessed" are charged with historical white entitlement; and that not everyone wants the ugly parts of white privilege - i.e. to commit a horrific crime and get away with it - and to be cognizant of how the talk about "privilege" will morph over time), when to seize the platform that I have and when to share it and get out of the way.   I learned was that perfection is an ideal that holds up white supremacy.  And in waiting for perfection, we let go of the good.  So, after Ricardo Salvador's speech and the white caucus, I'm feeling like I understand more deeply how to be a stronger, effective ally in the fight for racial justice in the food system and beyond.  And, as I learned at the Food Systems Leadership Retreat, this work requires relentlessness and I will need to pay close attention to cultivating white stamina in myself and in other leaders I'm trying to cultivate.  Some concrete action takeaways--I will give the invocation at our FED: Food Expo & Discussion and share many of the lessons I learned from Mr. Salvador; We will begin our FED with a land acknowledgement from now on, but, taking Mr. Salvador's criticism into account that a land acknowledgment is meaningless without action.  We are currently figuring out what the "action" of our land acknowledgment will look like; but are considering a combination of advocacy and reparations work; I will be looking for ways to include equity training for our NWIFC executive board in 2020; Making advocacy and policy more digestible for our community -One way we plan to do this immediately is to incorporate the "advocacy bar" that I experienced at convergence.  We will have simple ways for FED attendees to dip their toe into advocacy with pre-written letters to government officials on key policy ready to be signed.  We'll take care of getting the letters where they need to go! Hosting socials 2-4 times in 2020 with food justice as our main talking/discussion point. It was incredibly inspiring, and I left with so many tools.”

Another farmer wrote," attended the Indiana Small Farm Conference, the Mad Farmers Collective event, & the National Young Farmers Coalition Convergence. Through these events I was able to gain knowledge & examples of ways to continue my efforts in being a good steward of my land as well as to improve my quality of life & of those in my community. As a small & beginning farmer these events empowered me to become more confident in my abilities & grow professionally. As a result, I will continue to actively foster the growth of other farmers."

A presenter wrote, "I'm one of the people presenting and educating at some of these events. However, i always learn from my fellow presenters, and the attendees, which then helps focus my research and future talks better."

A NCRS professional wrote, "SARE events are informative and help me learn new things about Conservation in agriculture. I try to pass this information on to those producers that I work with."

An extension educator wrote, "I have done several presentations on composting, especially vermicomposting with children and their parents."

"As a new employee to the Soil and Water Conservation District, I have found that the educational opportunities provided by SARE to be very valuable and has helped me to provide a consistent message to the people in this district."

A participant wrote, "The course I attended gave me the skills, strategies and confidence I need to create the first fundraising campaign for our small nonprofit. We are launching this campaign next month and our Board is confident that we will reach our goals.

"I have learned more about the needs of various small-scale or urban farmers through virtual meetings from SARE grants I am participating in."

"[SARE] Events are always packed with information and interesting!"

"One of the SARE virtual programs was on wheat education... and I conduct wheat plot trials each year. So, I was pleased to see a program on wheat."

"The information which I received was very valuable and allowed me to convey information to the farmers that was able to help them even more."

"Last year Owen County SWCD provided cost-share assistance for 150 acres of cover crops. This year we received at Clean Water Indiana Grant to fund 720 acres of cover crops/year for three years. The knowledge gained through the SARE educational opportunity will be directly shared with farmers through the duration of the cover crop program, Soil Health Restore- and beyond!"

One soil health SARE advisor said, "Several years ago it was suggested we do some specialty crop track work. A few No-till Pumpkin workshops sprung out of that. Those were so successful we continue to get requests for more information. There are plots researching into more of that, we have an extra specialty crop podcast track, we have growers we are working with for on-farm research in their no-till and cover crop pumpkin field, and more and it is all attributed back to State SARE PDP funds and responding to a need for more training. We’re working on talks and case studies from those plots for use at conferences including Small Farms Conference, and the Veg Crops webinars and will continue to develop more."

Indiana SARE bought video equipment for some SARE work across the state.  It has been very useful and crossed different SARE grants and educational opportunities. "I filmed a video raised bed video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0EVuBIWp98&feature=youtu.be for the SARE youtube page featuring some photos of our work with participants in the Gary grant, but the video was not specifically intended for Gary grant. In addition, I used that video for a talk during the Summer Farm Virtual series on August 14, 2020. I also used the equipment for two other speakers for a live demonstration at the Purdue Student Farm for this same series. I also used the equipment for a Purdue Student Farm live tour for Gary Area Career Center Summer Exploratory Program on July 2, 2020. I have a collection of footage from Faith Farms in Gary, IN from July 28, 2020 and the recent video footage from Maple Hill Farm filmed on Novemeber 17, 2020 for Small Farms Conference virtual tours."

Recommendations:

Entrepreneurship, How to begin farming from scratch.

Possibly host more events in the northern half of the state, also a rotational grazing or working livestock into a cover crop system.

Continue to support small & beginning farmers.  Thank you!

Strategies to help farmers entering the local food marketplace to help them identify which retail and wholesale markets that will be most sustainable and profitable for their farm.

Cut flowers, alternative/gluten-free grains, pollinator habitat, carbon sequestration on-farm, and raising.

A state-level soil health train the trainer:

1. Organic small farms / vegetable systems

2. Nutrient management - Developing a fertilizer program for specialty crops based on soil testing and crop

Continue with soil health topics and specialty crop training.

Cover Crop Systems, youth education.

More soil sampling, composting and soil health demonstrations

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

The Indiana Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator leads the efforts to promote activities throughout the year to both Indiana Ag Professionals and the public at large. We are committed enhancing the visibility of SARE educational materials, training /learning opportunities and grants.

Throughout 2019, we advertised all calls for proposals for the various competitive grant opportunities offered through NCR SARE and other granting agencies in a timely manner and assisted all callers concerning SARE programs and opportunities. Our priority is to extend the word regarding the availability of grants and then to make sure that the individual proposals are an appropriate “fit” for potential applicants even before they begin the writing process.

Farmer Rancher (and Youth Educator) proposals as well as Partnership, PDP and R&E grants are promoted, calls to discuss welcomed, grant coaching offered, and draft applications are reviewed and feedback both oral and written offered to applicants from across Indiana. A webinar grant training and live workshop were publicized and offered in the fall of 2019.  In the fall of 2020, webinars featuring past grant awardees sharing their grant process and answer questions from the audience.  There were 40 people who attended those two webinars about research and education grants and partnership grants.  Promotion for the NCR-SARE webinar about farmer rancher grants was successful on Facebook and using our Indiana SARE newsletter.  

The SARE displays and/ or related materials is set up and staffed at all SARE-sponsored programs, workshops (live or electronic), conferences, and field days. These include but are not limited to the Indiana Small Farm Conference, Indiana Horticulture Congress, Indiana Farm Bureau annual convention, State and National Vo-Ag teacher workshop, Food Safety for Direct Marketers, Soil and Water conference, IN Small Farm Conference, Illiana Veg Grower meeting, Grazing workshop, Women in Ag, ANR training/Retreat, Indiana Bee School, IN Farmers’ Market Forum, various Food Summits, Purdue Hort seminar, Heartland Apicultural Society. Every effort is made to engage new educators regarding SARE resources and to provide them with a small reference library of books and materials.  Due to Covid-19, only a few live conferences were attended, but all efforts were directed to sharing NCR-SARE on Facebook, our main social media platform.  

In 2019, two Face of SARE kits were funded, developed, and located with a host educator South (Bloomington) and North (Muncie). Extension staff has been made aware of the availability of these materials and to contact these representatives in advance of conferences etc where the availability of such materials would be helpful.

All sponsored program agendas, advertising and promotional brochures prominently carry the NC-SARE logo. SARE related materials are made available to Extension staff for local distribution to farmers and others and a concerted effort is made by all Extension staff to promote SARE activities and opportunities to the citizens of the state.

Periodic notifications are made to all advisory members and extension staff as well as all IN NRCS, SWCD staff and all Vo-Ag teachers regarding upcoming SARE and related activities and opportunities.

IN SARE provided staff to attend the National FFA Convention to assist NC-SARE in staffing an informational booth to engage Vo-Ag instructors (and youth) from across the United States. 

Events are shared on the Indiana SARE Facebook page.  We also promote the Indiana SARE Website regularly.

Additional SARE resources were purchased and distributed to include factsheets, Books and flash drives. In large these are shared with Indiana Ag professionals. IN NRCS now provides flash drives to their employees and conference participants.

IN SARE collaborates closely with the emerging Diversified Farming and Food System (DFFS) program and a diverse and active Advisory Council is in place to guide the growth of the IN SARE program

450 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
80 Ag professionals received information about SARE grant programs and information resources

Information Products

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.