2023-24 University of Missouri - MoSARE Plan of Work

Progress report for NCMO22-003

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2024: $140,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2025
Grant Recipient: University of Missouri
Region: North Central
State: Missouri
State Coordinator:
Dan Downing
University of Missouri
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Project Information


Train the Trainer Professional Development Activities will be offered in each of the following area.

1. Sustainable Crop Production - to include:  Agronomy, Horticulture &/or Floriculture production, economics, pest control

2. Sustainable Livestock Production - to include: Large and Small Livestock, Ruminants & Poultry productioni economics

3. Adaption of Food Systems in the Face of Climate Change - Regional Initiative 

4. Emerging Issues - Likely to include new and alternative crops and cropping systems 

Project Objectives:
  1. Sustainable Crop Production - In 2023 & 2024 a row crop production PDP update will be held targeting Educators from the University of Missouri and Lincoln University Extension program and include other educators as well.  It will include:  Soil Health Considerations, Incorporation of Cover Crops into cropping systems, the use of Green Manure crops, and Crop Rotation.  It will also feature Alternative/emerging Crops & Cropping Systems currently considered alternative that may become mainstream, especially in the context of Climate Change.  This PDP will be held during the winter months each year and will be led/organized by Dr. Kevin Bradley and the state coordinator. 
  2. Also addressing Sustainable Crop Production Dr. Sam Polly will host a PDP in both 2023 and 2024 focusing on pest control   These PDPs will include traditional methods of pest control but and how to use them more judiciously and safely.  It will also feature alternative, environmentally friendly methods of weed and insect control for both row crop production and horticultural production.
  3.  As the local food movement gains momentum, Dr. Londa Nwadike will host a local foods production, sales, and online marketing safety PDP in both 2023 & 2024.  These will be conducted in follow-up to the ones conducted online during the "Covid - 19 lockdown".  These PDPs will feature state and federal officials who oversee the safe sales and marketing of foods to consumers as well as exemplary producers. 
  4. Sustainable Livestock Production - In the large commercial setting proper disposal of animal mortalities is a very costly and unpleasant experience.  It may well be the same for the small/alternative operations but the small producer likely does not have the budget flexibility of a larger corporate entity.  Dr. Teng Lim will host a PDP in 2023 on how to properly and legally dispose of animal mortalities for small and alternative operations.
  5. Adapting to a changing climate and other food system disruptions - NC Regional Initiative.  Funding has been allocated for Missouri Educators to participate in this regional issue as it emerges.
  6. Emerging Issues - It is very difficult to anticipate emerging issues a year or two down the road as was demonstrated by the challenges created by Covid - 19.  Funding has been allocated to conduct a "just in time" PDP each year as issues emerge.  The need for these PDPs will be identified by the state advisory board and the state coordinators.

    Target Audience for all PDPs:   Extension Educators and other agency personnel will be the target audience for all PDPs offered during the 2023-2024 plan of work time frame.  Other “agricultural educators” may be included as resources permit.

    Evaluation:  Standard methods will be used for PDP evaluation.  Increases in knowledge of the topics of the training will be assessed with a knowledge pre/post-event knowledge evaluation.  Proposed changes in behavior will be evaluated using the same post-event survey for all PDPs offered during the 2023-2024 plan of work time frame.

    Expected Outcomes will focus on participants (extension educators and agency partners) increasing their knowledge/understanding (in a train the trainer format) of sustainable agriculture and the individual PDP topic.  and anticipation of their conducting training offerings, transferring their knowledge to local clientele.  Expected outcomes are listed with in the attached logic model.



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Educational approach:

The University of Missouri SARE program uses the train the trainer approach to multiply impact of  professional development offerings.  The primary audiences for MoSARE in order of priority are: 1. Extension Educators, 2. Other LGU Educators, 3. Agency Personnel with Educational Roles, 4. Other Educators. 

Additionally the program offers professional development travel scholarships, and demonstration project mini-grant that incorporate professional development in the project. 

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Tomato School

Adaption of Food Systems Systems in the face of climate change


Jan./Feb. 2023, Educator and Extension personnel trained on tomato production techniques focusing on season extension through the use of high tunnel production techniques.

Outcomes and impacts:

Fifteen Extension Educators and 80 small scale commercial producers increased their knowledge of tomato propagation utilizing IPM and high tunnel technologies through participation in one of a series of workshops.

Hydroponic Vegetable Production

Adaptation of Local Food Systems. in the Face of Climate Change


Twenty-seven Extension Educator and producers participated in a two day workshop on hydroponic vegetable production issues and techniques.

Outcomes and impacts:

Educators and producers increased their knowledge of hydroponic production techniques.

Selling Local Foods

Sustainable Crop Production


February 2023, Sixty Extension Educators and small producers/manufacturers participated in this online workshop focusing on production and preservation of food products for direct retail sales to consumers

Outcomes and impacts:

Participant were trained in the regulatory structure, standards, and procedure for the home production of food stuff for direct retail sales.  Safety, sanitation, production, and record keeping were included in the presentations.

Armed to Farm

Sustainable Livestock Production


The MoSARE program in conjunction with the Missouri Agri-abilty project sponsored this program to provide returning veterans with educational tool for use in consideration of entering or expanding the farming operations.

Outcomes and impacts:

April 12, 2023, Nearly one-hundred returning veterans received information and educational materials to aide in considering expansion of or starting a farming operation.  Options for livestock, vegetable, and crop production were presented and discussed.

Winter Vegetable School

Sustainable Crop Production


Extension Educators were trained in winter vegetable production techniques.

Outcomes and impacts:

January 2023, Seventeen University of Missouri & Lincoln University Extension Educators were trained in the techniques to be used in winter vegetable production including lighting, heating, structures, row covers, and crop varieties.  Curriculum included both classroom instruction and a production facility tour.  Resources and materials were provided for use with their local clientele.

Crop Production Update

Sustainable Crop Production


July 6, 2023, Sixty Extension Educators were trained on the latest technologies in row crop production including a focus on environmentally friendly techniques, crop rotation, and organic concepts. 

Outcomes and impacts:

The participants were provided with presentations, printed and digital media, and demonstrations of current crop production technologies.

Integrated Pest Management

Sustainable Crop Production


August 24-25, 2023, Thirty-two Extension Educators were trained in the latest integrated pest management and scouting techniques including environmentally friendly, practices to protect water quality, and sensitive species. 

Outcomes and impacts:

The curriculum was designed for the Extension Educators to use with their clientele upon returning home.  It included a focus on modern production techniques that are reported to be "more environmentally friendly" than some of the more well established practices.





Outcomes and impacts:


Livestock Forage and Crop Production

Emerging Issues - Modern Technologies and Sustainability


 One hundred and twelve Extension Agricultural Educators were training and provided with materials on the use of modern technologies in production.  

Outcomes and impacts:

Oct. 23-24, 2023, Modern technology topics included virtual fencing with implications for invasive weed/brush control, water supplies and management, subsurface drip irrigation in row crops, precision application of pesticides, and production in Controlled Environments for use in programming with their clientele.

Drip Irrigation In-service Training

Sustainable Crop Production


Twenty Three Extension Educators from the University of Missouri and Lincoln University 

Outcomes and impacts:

Dec. 14, The participants gained insight into Missouri's source waters available for irrigation, , plant water needs,  calculating water available, water storage, and distribution for the production of commodity crop production and specialty crop production. All engineering aspects of need, distribution systems, hardware and scheduling were provided along with online resources to utilize with their local clientele.

Educational & Outreach Activities

40 Consultations
1 On-farm demonstrations
21 Travel Scholarships
4 Other educational activities: Sponsorship of educational activities targeting producers/consumers Including: Cultivate Kansas City Local Foods Focus, Western MO Field to Fork, Beginning Farmers Commercial Horticultural Production Workshop, Organic Specialty Crops Production Workshop

Participation Summary:

15 Extension
10 Researchers
10 Nonprofit
2 Agency
120 Farmers/ranchers

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

9 Grants received that built upon this project
10 New working collaborations
100 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
300 Farmers reached through participant's programs
Additional Outcomes:

Through the use of the train the trainer model and direct training of farmers the MoSARE program easily reached hundred of farmers with technical information and resources improving their farming operations.  These resources enhanced the farmers efficiency, decreased labor demand, reduced stress and and ultimately improving their family's quality of life.

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

January 2023, set -  set-up and help staff a SARE promotional/educational display with KS, NE IA at the Great Plains Growers Conference in St. Joseph, MO with over 600 presenters and participants attending.

January 2023, provided sponsorship promotion SARE at the Farm to Fork event is Western MO.  100 participants

April 2024, provided sponsorship and promotion of the SARE program in the form of funding used to purchase SARE publication for the Armed to Farm Veterans farming program with over 30 attendees.

May 2023, represented and promoted the SARE program at the Controlled Environment Agriculture Symposium at University of Missouri Kansas City  with 50 participants.

November 2023, set-up and help staff a SARE promotional/educational display at the National Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers Conference in St. Louis, MO with over 500 presenters and participants attending.

November 2023, set-up and help staff a SARE promotional/educational display at the Missouri Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts Annual Conference in Osage Beach, MO  with over 500  participants attending.




1,000 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
450 Ag professionals received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
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.