Final report for NCND17-001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $110,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2018
Grant Recipient: North Dakota State University
Region: North Central
State: North Dakota
State Coordinator:
Dr. Karl Hoppe
North Dakota State Univerity CREC
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Project Information

Abstract:

North Dakota SARE continues to expand its development of partnerships with the nongovernmental organizations, Tribal colleges, Natural Resource Conservation service, and soil conservation districts. ND SARE provides a close relationship with the university outreach through educating and collaborating with NDSU Extension educators. The greatest successes for the ND SARE PDP in North Dakota have been with educators working with NGOs and NDSU. Limited success has occurred with Tribal College outreach programs due to turn over in tribal leadership but efforts to seek partners and expanded outreach will continue. Partnering will continue with Soil Conservation Districts and the Natural Resource Conservation Service which have resulted in several successful projects.

Extension in North Dakota continues to be county-based and regionally supported with Research Extension Centers and state faculty at NDSU Fargo Campus. Extension activities at the 1994 Land grant Tribal colleges in North Dakota are encouraged. NDSU continues to be a strong supporter of the SARE program and sustainable agriculture across the sciences. While NDSU doesn’t have specific state funding for sustainable agriculture education and outreach, NDSU does have faculty for livestock and environmental stewardship.

The transition in the ND SARE program to the appointment of Co-Coordinators to lead the project is working quite well. More outreach, enhanced communication, and an increase in funded professional development program have occurred with the change to two co-coordinators. These co-coordinators are based in a county office and regionally at a Research Extension Center. The goals and objectives of the program have not changed. ND SARE continues to enhance sustainable agriculture education in the state and develop the knowledge base of educators and clientele.

Project Objectives:

The five initiatives proposed in this plan are:

1) Soil Health and Water Quality

2) Local Foods and Diversified Agriculture

3) Livestock Sustainability Education and Nurturing

4) Teaching Youth Through Agriculture

5) Sustainability Through Economic and Succession Planning

Advisors

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Kim Rullifson (Educator)
  • Craig Askim (Educator)
  • Brad Brummond (Educator)
  • Sue Isabel (Educator)
  • Willie Huot (Educator)
  • Justin Zahradka
  • Edd Goerger
  • Eden McLeod
  • Mike Zimmerman
  • Todd Weinmann (Educator)
  • Ted Ulme
  • Paul Overby
  • Katelyn Hain (Educator)

Education

Educational approach:

The North Dakota SARE Professional Development Program provides educational opportunities in Sustainable Agriculture for any educator including extension, youth, research, graduate student, tribal, NGO’s and farmers & ranchers. Educational programs are developed for diverse audiences and diverse sustainable topics. North Dakota SARE Co-Coordinators develop education programs and share SARE resources and educational material. Exceptional programs are developed through support by the ND SARE mini grant program and the ND SARE travel scholarship program where educators advance their knowledge at conferences and then develop a program for extending the knowledge.

In 2017, the ND SARE Mini grant and Travel Scholarship program has supported 24 educators that have delivered programs for 1700 participants.

In 2018, the ND SARE Mini grant and Travel Scholarship program has supported 28 educators that have delivered programs for 2200 participants

North Dakota SARE has reached out to over 3000 producers and University/agency/non-governmental organizations and to over 50,000 others indirectly.

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Soil Health and Water Quality
Objective:

Through programs, mini-grants, and travel scholarships, provide continuing education and SARE resources to agricultural professionals for addressing critical issues involving soil health and water quality in North Dakota.

Description:

Soil health and the associated water quality issues are of substantial concern in North Dakota.  Saline and sodic soils are widespread throughout most of North Dakota.  Through educator, researcher and farmer interactions, advancing the concept of improved soil health should lead to improving saline and sodic soils and provide improved water quality.  Educational and learning experiences are created for ag professionals and farmers to incorporate cover crops, reduce tillage, reduce white saline soils, improve soil health and water quality.   

Outcomes and impacts:

Events and activities related to this initiative include:

Travel Scholarships supported in 2017:

  • One County Extension Agent to attend Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society Winter conference
  • One County Extension Agent to attend National Association of County Agricultural Agents AM/PIC
  • One County Extension Agent to attend MOSES -Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service
  • One Area Extension Soils Specialist to attend Soil Health Nexus and MaSH Group Meeting and The National Conference on Cover Crop and Soil Health Meeting, Indianapolis, IN

Travel Scholarships supported in 2018:

  • One County Extension Agent to attend Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society Winter conference
  • Two County Extension Agents to attend National Association of County Agricultural Agents AM/PIC, Chattanooga, TN
  • Two County Extension Agents to attend Conservation Tillage Conference
  • Two County Extension Agents and one Extension Specialist to attend North American Manure Expo, Brookings, SD
  • Five County Extension Agents to attend Midwest Cover Crops Conference
  • One Area Extension Agronomy Specialist, one Graduate student, and two SARE Coordinators to attend Our Farms Our Future Conference, St Louis, MO
  • One Area Extension Agronomy Specialist to ASA Sustainable Agronomy Conference, Omaha, NE

Mini-Grants for soil health professional development programs (2017):

  • 12th Annual Conservation Tillage Conference, Fargo, ND (275 participants)
    • Outcome and impacts: Breakout sessions featured presentations on residue management, effective use of strip till and vertical till, cover crops, managing big data, weed management, pest management and fertility in conservation tillage systems. Fertility management was a main topic of interest at this year’s conference, farmers walked away with a 29% increase in knowledge on topic (based on surveys collected at the event). The use of cover crops was another popular session; farmers reported a 30% increase in knowledge of cover crop selection and use in rotation.
  • Soil School, Minot, ND
    • Outcome and impacts:25% of those who have attended are currently not soil testing. After the first session, everyone reported that they will soil test by the next growing season
  • Soil Salinity Work Shop, Minot, ND
    • Outcome and impacts: Nearly 6 million acres of North Dakota is adversely affected by soil salinity/sodicity. Fifty percent of the attendees will apply management strategies to improve their soil health
  • Soil Health 4-H Trunk, Salt Lake City, Utah 
    • Demonstration at NACAA conference in Salt Lake City and trained 10 Extension professionals use these materials to educate their local youth
  • Joint Crop and Livestock Inservice, Washburn, ND
    • Half of county agents participating in the Joint Crop and Livestock In-service reported a large or moderate amount of knowledge gained about various aspects of integrated crop-livestock systems, e.g. water and fencing needs when adding livestock, incorporating annual forages into crop rotations, etc. One-third of participating county agents reported that they will feel more confident in future interactions with farmers who are seeking support with crop-livestock system management questions.
  • The Crop Rotation and Management Diversification for Soil Health Workshop, Williston, ND
    • The Workshop held in Williams County involved both county agents and farmers. The Williams County Agriculture and Natural Resources agent lead the workshop and reported increased knowledge of annual forage selection and management. Ten farmer participants reported increasing their knowledge of how living plant roots and livestock interactions, e.g. vegetation trampling and manure deposition, positively impact soil biology and soil health. Three (30%) of participating farmers reported that they plan to incorporate either cover crops or livestock into their operations after completing the workshop. Nine-month follow-up showed that at least one farmer (10%) has tried a cover crop, grazing a cover crop, or grazing cash crop residues as a result of participating in the Soil Health workshop.
  • 2017 Soil Health Work Shop – Cover Crop Solutions, Wyndmere, ND
    • Participants attending the workshop increased their knowledge about the options available for using cover crops as forage and using cover crops to tie up nutrients. The participants also increased their knowledge on how the different tillage methods are effecting their operations.  The participants  had the opportunity to learn about cover crops and the economic benefits to their operations.  As a result of the workshop, there is a 15% increase in cover crop acreage which will benefit their soil health. Soil_Workshop_Flyer

Mini-Grants for soil health professional development programs (2018):

  • 13th Annual Conservation Tillage Conference, Fargo, ND (325 participants)
    • Outcome and impacts: The conference provided state updates, keynote presentations, breakout sessions and discussion sessions as formats to transfer information to attendees allowing for large and small group learning opportunities. In doing this, attendees got the “big picture” from the keynote (325 in audience) and breakout sessions (65 in audience each session) and then get tailored information for their farms during the small group discussion sessions (15 people or less in each discussion). This model has been used for previous Conservation Tillage Conference (CTC) meetings jointly hosted by NDSU and UMN has led to very effective learning and adoption of practices.   For example, between 7-20% of attendees at the CTC have adopted cover crop related approaches and between 30-60% are considering adopting practices as a result of attending the meeting.   Over 95% of attendees are using information and sharing information with other farmers.
  • Wilson Farm Cover Crop tour (65 participants)
    • Outcome and impacts: People were able to learn from each other and create a network of people to ask questions too. This field day was an opportunity for people to have a hands on learning experience and see how cover crops can be used in a cropping system. Producer comments – Seeing real world results on a fully functioning farm was very important. Anyone can manipulate garden sized plots, but to see changes over an entire farm, with what they’re doing is impressive. Seeing the equipment they use to do it was also helpful, How diversity can be added to simple rotations by interseeding cover crops, a rye cover crop with interseeded soybeans can be used to suppress weeds and manage spring moisture for improving seedbed conditions, long-term no-till improves infiltration but compaction from field traffic can reduce infiltration in tracks, and the manor in which they are making cover crops work was eye opening. Mixing in a little cover crop with their cash crop vs planting entire fields to covers after the cash crop is off seems to be enough to change things for the better.
  • Soil Health-A holistic approach to sustainability in Cavalier County (20 participants)
    • Outcomes and impacts: In Cavalier County, ND, 75% of the participants will change their practices to preserve or improve soil health by adopting practices such as minimum till or cover crops or planting trees in shelterbelts. Fifty percent of the participants will increase their profitability, averaging between $100-150/acre by reclamation of problematic soils and applying soil amendments. Thirty percent of attendees will change their behavior of planting the lowlands and headlands with salt tolerant perennial grass mixes to lower the water table. This will amount to a saving of $20-$35 /acre on input cost like seed and fertilizer that goes waste in those spots.
  • Basics of Organic Certification and Management – In-service training for NDSU Extension agents (12 participants)
    • Outcomes and impacts: As a result of the organic in-service training, county agents who participated reported better prepared and more willing to interact with organic farmers or farmers considering transitioning to organic. Follow-up with agents attending the in-service 3 months after the event found that participants are more aware of issues in organic certification and production than they were before the in-service. Two agents report using knowledge gained to conduct programing that directly reaches producers in their counties, reaching 10 producers each.
  • Nelson County Soil Health Tour 2019 ( 30 participants)
    • The 2019 Soil Health Tour, 95% of participants will increase their knowledge of conservation till options available in North East North Dakota, and how incorporating site specific soil health practices can help. Forty percent of applicants will consider making management decisions based on information learned at this meeting. Thirty five percent of participants who incorporate soil health practices and conservation tillage, will see a 1% + increase in Soil organic matter in the next 4 years.
  • Nutrient Management Day- NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center (12 participants)
    • Participating local livestock producers found collaboration with crop producers to utilized 100% of manure produced. Increased knowledge by producers has led to increasing acceptance of manure as fertilizer in crop production.
  • Soil Health Café       – Griggs County (25 participants)
    • Soil Health Café Talks and Underwear Challenge Field Tour are an estimated 50% participants will incorporate new tillage practices and/or incorporation of cover crop use for increased soil health and forage production for fall cattle grazing, thereby increasing the productivity of their farming and ranching operations.
  • Crop Improvement Association’s annual meeting and Ag Day – Sargent County (40 participants)
    • Participants learned more about the different cover crop options available and 25% of participants will begin to incorporate cover crops into their operations. By incorporating cover crops into their operations, soil health will increase producer field over time.
  • Soil and Community Health Workshops– Dickinson Research Extension Center (60 participants)
    • The goal of these workshops was to increase practice of sustainable agronomy in the region and increase incorporation of cover crops and other practices to build soil health. Producer understanding increased concerning the economics involved with sustainable practices. Sixty percent of participants gained important insight that positively impacted their management. Agronomists will increase their recommendations for sustainable practices and cover crops causing an increase of cover crop acres in the region by around 1,280 acres within the next growing season. There are many factors included in the economics of cover crops including seed costs, establishment, fertilizer, and more, but by including a legume into a cover crop mix it is possible to replace 45 to 100 lbs of Nitrogen/acre. If cover crop acres in this region are increased by 1,280 acres it is possible to reduce fertilizer prices by as much as $22,000 dollars. As well as decreasing fertilizer costs, if the cover crop is utilized as a forage it could provide around $144,000 worth of forage. Due to the drought of 2017 many are low on forage reserves and are looking to rebuild their supply for feeding cattle herds.
  • Weed populations affect soil – Lake Region Roundup – Devils lake, ND (250 participants)
    • Increased awareness of soil amendments and their ability to increase crop production by 10 % initially then increased production into the future. Growers will increase accuracy of Identifying troublesome weeds and practice zero tolerance resulting in decreased weed control costs. I anticipate increased planting of winter rye to protect soil from erosion and inhibit germination of weed seeds.
Local Foods and Diversified Agriculture
Objective:

Through programs, mini-grants, and travel scholarships, provide continuing education and SARE resources to agricultural professionals for addressing critical issues involving local food challenges and issues in supporting a diversified agricultural system in North Dakota.

Description:

Growing food locally is a challenge in North Dakota.  The extended distance between producers and consumers creates a barrier for expanded production.  Overcoming these barriers will require increased education, experience sharing, and collaboration. Partnering with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture local foods program will increase awareness, provide education and stimulate a growing local food movement.    

Outcomes and impacts:

Events and activities related to this initiative include:

Travel Scholarships supported in 2017:

  • Two County Extension Agents to attend Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society Winter conference
  • One County Extension Agent to attend National Association of County Agricultural Agents AM/PIC
  • One State Extension Specialist to attend Community Food Systems Conference, Boston, MA
  • Two County Extension Agents to attend Community Food Systems Conference, Boston, MA

Travel Scholarships supported in 2018:

  • One Research Specialist/Fruit Project Manager to attend Midwest Aronia Association Annual Conference
  • One County Extension Agent to attend National Association of County Agricultural Agents AM/PIC
  • One County Extension Agent to attend New Media Marketing Bootcamp, Manhattan, KS
  • Two Local Food producers to attend New Media Marketing Bootcamp, Manhattan, KS
  • One County Extension Agent to attend Real Colors Facilitator Certification Training
  • One County Extension Agent to attend Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society Winter conference

Mini-grants for Local Foods and Diversified Agriculture professional development programs (2017):

  • Vegetable Transplanting For Small Farms or Farmers Market Production, Lakota ND
    • 95% of participants gained new working knowledge about how to effectively grow and produce transplants for personal production and sale after attending Vegetable Transplanting for Small Farms or Farmers Market Production.  70% changed how they plant seed and grow transplants based on techniques learned.  30% saw increased plant vigor because of techniques learned and implemented to improve plant quality.  Those who sell saw a 15% increase in sales after implementing better growing techniques and new sale methods.
  • Identifying Cultural and Biological Ways of Controlling Pests, Aneta, ND

    • 90% of participants learned a new technique for controlling or monitoring pests at the talk in Aneta, Identifying Cultural and Biological Ways of Controlling Pests.  80% tried a new mulching technique, pest trap technique or other pest prevention method learned at the presentation. Of those that try new techniques, 70% found a technique that works for them in the first 4years. 35% saw a decrease in weeds or insects by using integrated management strategies in the first year.  75% of participants continued to try new techniques year after year and continue their education in learning new methods of pest control.

  •  Introduction to Organic Agriculture, Bismarck, ND

    • Three of the county agents participating in the training offered organic or transition to organic-related programming in their home county. These events reached 10 farmers either considering transitioning to organic or already engaged in organic production. Among farmer participants reached, 50% experienced change in their relationship with NDSU Extension and report that NDSU Extension is a source of useful information for organic farmers. Two farmers reported that they either certify or expand organic portions of their operations as a result of the county agent–lead organic programming.Organic-101-in-service-flyer

  • NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center Field Day, Carrington, ND
    • The Annual field day has increased attendance by 120 people through the addition of the Organic Research and Education Tour and a Soil Health Workshop for Organic Systems.  Speakers from New York, Iowa and local researchers provided extensive information.  Appreciation is expressed to the U.S. Organic Grain Collaboration and General Mills for partial funding for this tour with SARE support. 2017-Field-Day-Brochure

  • ND FOOD,  Fargo, ND 
    • ND FOOD objectives are 1) to increase collective understanding of the potential opportunities and issues facing North Dakota’s food future by 100% 2) to build connections and conversations amongst members of a shared food region, and 3) to allow communities to generate ideas for the type of food future they hope to see and how their plans can become a reality.
    • 100 percent of the estimated 175 potential attendees will share their role as an eater, producer or promoter in North Dakota food systems with a minimum of 3 other people;
    • 90 percent of attendees will increase their understanding of local regional connections to statewide and national food systems;
    • 50 percent of attendees will agree to receive information about the future efforts of the ND FOOD initiative; and
    • 30 percent of attendees will take action to connect to a regional group effort working on local foods projects, such as farmers markets, community gardens/orchards, or food hubs.
  • Cass Clay Food Action Network, Fargo, ND

    • The Cass Clay Food Action Network objectives are 1) to increase collective understanding of the potential opportunities and issues facing the Cass and Clay county food community by 100% 2) to increase participation in the work of the Cass Clay Food Partners work (Cass Clay Food Commission and Cass Clay Food Action Network) by 50%, 3) to increase shared leadership in food systems work, and 4) to create a regular space for community members to generate ideas, make connections and take action to build the type of food future they hope to see.

Mini-grants for Local Foods and Diversified Agriculture professional development programs (2018):  

  • CREC Field Day, July 17, 2018 (95 participant)
    • 65eople attended the orchard tour and there were 60 people at the afternoon marketing session, at least half of whom were new; a total of 95 people. The survey reported: 34% would plant shrubs at home and 7% will want info to plant several acres of aronia. Guest speaker Dave Vander Werf, Hawarden, IA shared his experiences on establishing, caring for the planting and harvesting Aronia and fruit buying and marketing.
  • Fall Extension and REC Conference, October 23, 2018 (21 participants)
    • There were 21 people signed up for information about aronia-growing in ND as well as insights from the MAA conference. Survey found 33% would be able to answer questions about aronia themselves after the training and have used the Aronia info in newsletters, programming or individually
  • The Local Foods Mystery Tour (42 participants)
    • Participants set off on a day-trip adventure to visit local farms. The bus stopped at three farms for an up close look at the local foods and local fibers in the Red River Valley and understand how these businesses contribute to the local economy. Participants learned about local food sourcing and organic farming both of high interest and increasing importance to consumers. Participants learned about various local ag related diverse businesses from seeing a ND camel and alpacas used for fiber to learning about small scale animals popping up on the farmsteads. Each local stop provided farms and ag based industries the opportunity to share their production practices and, when applicable, the steps necessary to go from farm to table (or farm to retailer)
    • 80% of participants were able to identify local and regional food trends.
    • 90% of participants learned about programs and resources such as SARE to help support farming
  • Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society 39th Winter Conference (950 participants)
    • The keynote and preconference speakers Blake and Blaine Hitzfield of Seven Sons Farm discussed how they (along with their family) have assembled a team of human capital in order to create a stacked free range enterprise and direct marketed business. Seven Sons has built scaleable production model that generate profits to support 10 full time family members and staff. They use the latest in internet marketing strategies to direct market their products to over 5,000 customers in the Midwest.
    • 50% of producers felt better equipped and inspired to take their farm to new levels.   
    • 35% of producers were encouraged learn more about new and innovative ways to market their products online, helping them to reach new customers.
    • 25% of ranchers were encouraged to switch to a grass-based/free range management system which have a higher quality and offer something other than consumers can find in the supermarket. By learning Seven Sons experiences, producers in attendance could see netting $4000 per acre with stacked enterprises and direct marketing. If 25% of conference attendees (175) make the switch of this type of production on 10 acres of their land that is an economic impact of $7M in the northern plains.
  • Kidder County Local Foods program (30 participants)
    • After attending this program, fifty percent of participants increased knowledge of cottage food laws, marketing and sales of products, labeling and certification requirements for different farm to fork products.
    • Thirty percent of participants discovered new innovative ideas on marketing and sales of products in the area. Fifteen percent of participants will use internet site management techniques on their own operation.
  • Dickey County Local Products Internet Marketing Class (15 participants)
    • Local producers learned how to effectively engage with consumers through wide variety of social networks, media tools and online technology. Local producers learned how to understand the rules of online public relation and navigate their business with social media platforms which will help increase their followers which will increase consumers buying their product by engaging through social media including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. Local producers understood social media marketing, search engines and how search engine optimization works, and understand and then use Google AdWords. Local producers learned techniques that they can apply to their business such as components of a digital marketing strategy, blogging basics and how to develop a blogging plan, understand the power of video and how to use video on Facebook and YouTube
  • From Garden to Market: Starting or Strengthening Your Local Foods Business (15 participant)
    • Due to increasing interest in local foods and grow-your-own markets, I anticipate the level of participation in a Local Foods workshop to be high and that most target audience participants will be ready to learn, network, and take action.
    • Applying Real Colors training into a marketing scheme will enhance consumer acceptance of grower/marketer’s product by 90% and add an additional $125 to the family income.
    • Understanding consumer needs will lead to new market businesses and start-up beginning farmer products. Anticipated new farmers growth of 25% will add an additional $125 to family income the first year and an additional $250 the next year to help mainstay families living in a community.
    • The better understanding of the local consumer will greatly change the need and market of any business and especially a local food supplier. Anticipated business growth at 25-30%, adding $125-150 to family incomes.
    • Three years from now, by expanding Real Colors training to other local food suppliers and businesses will provide data to share with other markets and areas to show the benefits of understanding people and their personalities on growing their markets. 

 

 

Livestock Sustainability Educational and Nurturing
Objective:

Through programs, mini-grants, and travel scholarships, provide continuing education and SARE resources to agricultural professionals for addressing critical issues involving developing and sustaining livestock production in new or beginning livestock producers in North Dakota.

Description:

Farmers markets are finding a demand for locally sourced meat. While limits on the size and number of processing facilities impede growth of the market, providing education and information on developing local markets may support growth.   Market challenges are addressed through collaboration with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture in supporting sustainability of locally sourced meat products.

Outcomes and impacts:

Events and activities related to this initiative include:

Travel Scholarships supported in 2017:

  • One Livestock producer/teacher to attend Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society Winter conference
  • Two County Extension Agents to attend National Association of County Agricultural Agents AM/PIC

Travel Scholarships supported in 2018:

  • One Research Specialist/Fruit Project Manager to attend Midwest Aronia Association Annual Conference
  • One County Extension Agent to attend National Association of County Agricultural Agents AM/PIC
  • One County Extension Agent to attend New Media Marketing Bootcamp, Manhattan, KS
  • Two Local Food producers to attend New Media Marketing Bootcamp, Manhattan, KS
  • One County Extension Agent to attend Real Colors Facilitator Certification Training
  • One County Extension Agent to attend Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society Winter conference

Mini-grants for Livestock Sustainability Educational and Nurturing professional development programs (2017):

  • The Beef Cattle Update, Aneta, ND
    • 100% of attendees increased their knowledge on grazing cover crops, and  least 50% of participants will extend their grazing season with the use of cover crops. Of those producers that extend their grazing period with the use of cover crops for at least 30days, we calculate a reduced feed cost savings of $30/cow.

  • Central Dakota Ag Day, Carrington, ND
    • Cattle producers improved their understanding of Winter grazing of cover crops.  Twenty cattle producers were willing to try bale grazing, swath grazing or winter cover crop grazing.  Jerry Doan, McKenzie, ND shared his experiences in winter feeding cows in extreme North Dakota winter weather. Feed cost savings by winter grazing were estimated at $150 per mature cow.
  • 2nd Annual Walsh County Land and Water Workshop, Park River, ND
    • 37 young farmers were approached on increasing efficiency and utilization of natural resources in farming and ranching systems. 75% of participants will reduce tillage, increase soil biological activity (soil health), integrate livestock, and develop a sustainable vision.

Mini-grants for Livestock Sustainability Educational and Nurturing professional development programs (2018):

  • Composting and soil amendments 101, Towner County (25 participants)
    • Many small farmers or small garden growers purchase their compost/amendment from the local hog farm, without realizing they have the capability to make their own compost. It is also unknown if the hog farm compost is treated or untreated, thus, by making their own, they can assure it is safe to apply to their garden and minimize food safety risk. Making their own compost can saved them $10/1 cu ft. and the savings of reducing food pathogens is astronomical compared to going to the doctor or selling produce at the local Farmer’s Market and risking potential consumers. Ninety percent of participants took away at least one action plan and made a change on their own operation. This program saved the average local grower $50/year in fertilization, increase their soil health by 60%, and increase their produce yield by 50%.
  • Pasture & Range Camp for Adults, Lamoure County (12 participants)
    • This program was developed for a targeted audience thus 100% of attendees understood how and were able to determine carrying capacity, stocking rate and how to monitor grazing of their operations land. Fifty percent of producers were able to identify and learn the benefit of native grasses which allows them to plan cool & warm season rotations and/or plantings. Twenty percent of attendees considered the marketing aspect and were open to learning more about developing a business case.   Thirty percent used their data to manage their herd for greater sustainability.
  • NDSU Extension Drought Planning Workshop (35 participants)
    • 50% of the participating producers attended developed a drought plan for their ranch to aid in decision making during the next drought.
    • 25% of the participating producers adjusted their current grazing management to increase the resilience of their ranch to a drought. These adjustments will result in improved rangeland health, forage production and livestock production, enhancing the overall sustainability of the ranch.
    • 75% of the Extension Agents participated in this event will have increased knowledge of drought impacts and the drought planning process, resulting in increased confidence in assisting ranchers with drought development of plans.
  • North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers Convention (95 participants)
    • Twenty producers are selling lambs to local consumers. Guest speaker Heather Riester shared her family’s experiences and successes in Washington State in selling their locally raised lambs to local consumers.
Teaching Youth Through Agriculture
Objective:

Through programs, mini-grants, and travel scholarships, provide continuing education and SARE resources to agricultural professionals for teaching and mentoring agriculture to youth in North Dakota.

Description:

With fewer farmers and an aging farmer population, providing exposure to youth about agriculture is paramount.  Knowing where and how food is grown and processed occurs through education.  Working with local extension agents and vocational agriculture teachers, a youth outreach and education effort will increase exposure to sustainability agriculture concepts for non-ag youth.

Outcomes and impacts:

Events and activities related to this initiative include:

Travel Scholarships supported in 2017:

  • Two County Extension Agent to attend National Association of County Agricultural Agents AM/PIC, Salt Lake City, UT

Travel Scholarships supported in 2018:

  • Two County Extension Agent to attend National Association of County Agricultural Agents AM/PIC, Chattanooga, TN

Mini-grants for Teaching Youth Through Agriculture professional development programs (2017):

  • Teaching Youth Agriculture  – 2nd Graders, Fargo, ND
    • Exploring the life of honey bees
    • How to grow a tomato
    • how to plant an apple tree
    • By bringing in hive parts, bees, and bee safety equipment, all participating youth learned about pollinators and their roll in local foods and diversified agriculture. Getting kids involved with planting a tree at the correct depth and harvesting the fruit in about 6 years will instill in them a sense of ownership that they will utilize their entire lives.
  • Educational Safety Days, Beulah, ND
    • 25 youth participated in Farm safety training with 100% of youth willing to be safety minded.

Mini-grants for Teaching Youth Through Agriculture professional development programs (2018):

  • Summer Gardening Program with the Jamestown Afterschool Program (30 participants)
    • This program to taught youth how to garden and increased the kid’s vegetable intake by giving parents healthy recipes to try. The school used any extra produce for school lunches.
    • The program increased knowledge of ND agriculture since most youth in Jamestown do not understand where their food comes from.
    • Youth developed the skill of gardening that they can apply at home and increased vegetable consumption by the youth via vegetable gardening at home.
  • Towner County’s Composting with Youth (30 participants)
    • 80% of the students will increased their knowledge of sustainability and composting. They learned they compost at home and that they can compost potentially 50% of what they throw away every day. By composting, they are helping to decrease the size of our landfills and adding nutrients to our soils to help preserve our land for future generations. They also learned about decomposers that help recycle our green and brown waste naturally. Through the pre and post survey, 80% of the youth thought of one thing that they can change at home to take part in conservation. As a result of this change, 20% will start a new garden and 20% will start composting, advocating for soil health and decreasing the need for added inputs, saving approximately $50/family throughout the growing season.

 

Sustainability through Economic and Succession Planning
Objective:

Through programs, mini-grants, and travel scholarships, provide continuing education and SARE resources to agricultural professionals for addressing sustainable issues in economic and succession planning in North Dakota.

Description:

The depressed economy in farming is creating opportunities for advancing sustainable agriculture concepts. The extension succession planning teams are creating a variety of learning experiences for farmers to consider ownership transition.  Cooperation with the succession planning team will support professional development projects to sustain an agricultural heritage.

Outcomes and impacts:

Events and activities related to this initiative include:

Travel Scholarships supported in 2017:

  • One County Extension Agent to attend National Association of County Agricultural Agents AM/PIC

Travel Scholarships supported in 2018:

  • none

Mini-grants for Sustainability through Economic and Succession Planning professional development programs:

  • Record Keeping for Sustainable Farms and Ranches, Hazen and Beulah, ND
    • Two types of trainings are being offered – large group and individual
    • Pre and post survey/tests will be used to measure knowledge levels of increase in all workshops. Extension Research Publications will be used to show the need for these types of programs in to adults. Local county newspapers to promote these events and record research data into the newspaper articles to show to the public the need/worth of the educational programs. My long-term goal would be to provide an educational workshop to adults titled something like “The Disconnection of Agriculture to You, can you afford not to be educated in it.”

Educational & Outreach Activities

250 Consultations
26 Minigrants
10 On-farm demonstrations
10 Published press articles, newsletters
15 Tours
42 Travel Scholarships
30 Webinars / talks / presentations
36 Workshop field days

Participation Summary

80 Extension
25 NRCS
60 Researchers
25 Nonprofit
20 Agency
90 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
300 Farmers/ranchers

Learning Outcomes

5250 Participants gained or increased knowledge, skills and/or attitudes about sustainable agriculture topics, practices, strategies, approaches
450 Ag professionals intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned

Project Outcomes

3 Grants received that built upon this project
5 New working collaborations
500 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
4000 Farmers reached through participant's programs
Success stories:

A young high school student asked for SARE funds to help determine if grazing cover crops by cattle was profitable. This youth used this for an FFA experience that led to receiving the National Award for FFA Proficiency for AgriScience Research Plant Systems. While attending NDSU, he was recognized by the College of Agriculture for his achievements. Now this young man is developing sustainable farm using cover crops, livestock, forages and regenerative cropping practices.

I asked if his cattle were happy out grazing his cover crops. He responded by saying “Where else could their life be better?” He is a steward of the soil, of livestock and an agriculture ambassador to people.

He is continually sought as a speaker to discuss cover crops and agriculture.

His local County Extension Agent and SARE HERO has said ‘SARE helped shape this young man’s future.’

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

The North Dakota SARE program continues to bring SARE to the public via the North Dakota SARE internet site, email notices, interviews, displays at meetings, speaker sponsorship at meetings, tours, professional development activities, and news releases. Mass media and internet is used to relay news releases and educational information to the public. Grant opportunities are announced via news releases and internet postings. Advertisements are supported by ND SARE in trade magazines and brochures. Sponsorships are provided to Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society, Conservation Tillage Conference, Northern Prairies Ag Innovation Alliance, Carrington Research Extension Center Field Day, and Central Dakota Ag Day. Booth displays were used at the NPSAS Winter Conference, Extension Conference, CREC Field Day, and NDSU Agriculture Faculty and Graduate student meeting. A permanent display is at the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center. The North Dakota State Co-coordinators provide outreach and support to SARE through emails, tele/cellphone calls, personal visits, presentations and mini grants. A high priority for sustainable agriculture information dissemination is to educators including the NDSU County Extension Agents, tribal and other educators. The ND SARE program receives recognition by providing sponsorships for sustainable agriculture via speakers support and program support. The State Co-Coordinators promoted SARE grant and information opportunities and provided assistance to grant writers, usually via the telephone or email. SARE in North Dakota has sought support of youth programs with ongoing outreach to youth and youth educators.

Events with the Booth display and audience participation in parenthesis:
1. Northern Plain Sustainable Ag Society in 2017 (1200) and 2018 (1300)
2. Conservation Tillage Conference in 2017 (350) and 2018 (400)
3. Northern Prairies Ag Innovation Alliance (150)
4. Carrington Research Extension Center Field Day in 2017 (350) and 2018 (500)
5. NDSU Agriculture Faculty and Graduate student Seminar (50)
6. Central Dakota Ag Day in 2017 (120) and 2018 (110)

7. Midwest Cover Crop Council Conference 2018 (300)

8. NPSAS Summer Tours 2017(450) and 2018 (500)

9. North Dakota Market and Growers Association 2018 (125)

10. Midwest Cover Crop Council Annual Meeting 2018 (325)

11. Lake Region Roundup 2018 (450)

12. North Dakota Lambs and Wool Growers Association Convention 2018 (95)

13. NDSU Extension Conference 2018 (225)

 

 

6725 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
600 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.