The OSU Sustainable Agriculture Team provides comprehensive leadership for all NCR SARE programs in Ohio, with primary emphasis on professional development programs (PDP) for Extension professionals (educators, specialists, program assistants), NRCS staff, and other agricultural professionals. This is accomplished through a variety of methods, including workshops, field days, tours, providing resource materials, individual consultation, travel scholarships, experiential learning, and other methods. Please note that while the Sustainable Agriculture Team and the SARE State Coordinators conduct additional sustainable agriculture educational programs, only NCR SARE funded programs are included in this plan.
Continuing Initiatives – State-Specific
C1 – New Extension Professionals Training
C2 – Sustainable Agriculture Travel Scholarships
C3 – Season Extension Training for NRCS and Extension
New Initiatives – State Specific
N1 – Organic Food Production: Translating Consumer Demand Into New Farm Opportunities
N2 – Ohio Soil Health and Quality Workshop
New Regional Initiative
R1 – Soil Health and Water
The statewide SARE program in Ohio features a blend of formal instruction for agricultural professionals (Extension educators, NRCS professionals, and other agricultural professionals) using methods such as workshops, presentations, field days, tours, and others, and informal consultations for these professionals. Informal consultations are typically one-on-one instruction about sustainable agriculture topics and issues and SARE resources and programs. The statewide SARE program also includes educational outreach to farm families about sustainable agriculture practices and SARE programs and resources.
In order to institutionalize sustainability issues into OSU Extension programming, the Ohio SARE program attempts to incorporate SARE resources and programming in the work of various Extension issues and commodity teams such as agronomic crops, urban agriculture, vegetable crops, beef cattle, manure management, and others.
Education & Outreach Initiatives
Newly hired Extension professionals will become knowledgeable about sustainable agriculture issues and SARE programs and resources.
In 2017, eight new Extension professionals received individualized training on sustainable agriculture topics and SARE programs and resources at a 90 minute workshop geared toward their specific assignment.
-80% of participants increased their knowledge about sustainable agriculture and SARE programs and resources
-2 participants conducted a sustainable ag tour in their community
-4 participants completed a SARE in-service in 2017
Twenty Extension professionals will increase their knowledge about various sustainable agriculture concepts and applications and develop new local programs on sustainable agriculture topics.
In 2017, twenty-eight Sustainable Agriculture Travel scholarships were awarded as follows:
-National Cover Crops & Soil Health Conference – 5 Extension professionals
-Midwest Cover Crops Workshop – 1 Extension professional
-Ohio Urban Agriculture Summit – 12 Extension professionals
-Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Annual Conference – 8 Extension professionals
-North Central Region Urban Ag IPM Conference – 2 Extension professionals
-All travel grant recipients reported an increase in knowledge and skills as a result of their receipt of a scholarship
-18 travel grant recipients reported conducting new sustainable agriculture programming as a result of their receipt of a scholarship
-One travel grant recipient used the new knowledge to teach at two statewide in-service training opportunities for Extension, NRCS, and SWCD employees.
Thirty Extension professionals will increase their knowledge about organic crop and livestock production systems, as well as economic and social factors driving increased demand for organic food in Ohio
A total of 38 individuals participated in a day-long in-service training program on Organic Crop and Livestock Production. Participation was as follows:
31 Extension professionals
3 NRCS professionals
Participants learned about organic certification, transitioning, weed control, organic system analysis, and other topics
100% of respondents reported an increase in knowledge as a result of participating in the workshop
78% of respondents indicated that they planned to use this new knowledge to conduct programs for clientele in their communities
66% of respondents indicated that they planned to use this new knowledge to assist farm families in their communities.
Twenty-five agricultural professionals (Extension, NRCS, NGO's) will increase their knowledge and skills related to evaluating various soil health and quality parameters, and crop production practices such as cover crops and no-till.
- Urban Soils Workshop – 28 Extension professionals, NRCS professionals, and SWCD employees participated in a day-long Urban Soils Workshop to learn about evaluating and improving urban soils for food production.
- Soil Health Testing Demonstration Field Day- 38 Extension professionals, NRCS professionals, and NGO representatives learned how to evaluate soil health and quality at a day-long field day which featured hands-on demonstrations.
- Ohio Soil Health & Quality Workshop – 34 Extension professionals and NRCS professionals learned about cover cropping systems and soil health ata day-long soil health workshop.
- Urban Soils Workshop :
-100% of participants reported an increase in knowledge as a result of participating in the workshop
-Three participants developed new urban soil quality workshops in their communities as a result of participating in the workshop
- Soil Health Testing Demonstration Field Day:
-92% of participants reported an increase in knowledge as a result of participating in the field day
-18 participants reported that they planned to implement new educational programs in their community as a result of participating in the field day.
- Ohio Soil Health & Quality Workshop:
-90% of participants reported an increase in knowledge as a result of participating in the workshop
Fifteen agricultural professionals (Extension educators, NRCS professionals) will increase their knowledge and skills related to various soil health and water topics. Extension educators will offer new local educational programming in their communities
-Five Extension educators participated in the National Cover Crops and Soil Health Conference
-One Extension educator participated in the Midwest Cover Crops Council Workshop
-100% of participants reported an increase in knowledge by participating in the conference/workshop
-Four participants conducted new local programs as a result of participating in the conference/workshop
Educational & Outreach Activities
Face of SARE
- SARE Grants Workshops – four SARE Grants Workshops were conducted in 2017 with 161 participants
- SARE programs and resources were highlighted at the Ohio Sustainable Agriculture Farm Tour Series. SARE programs were highlighted at 13 different tours, with a total of 453 participants. Additionally, several SARE grant recipients were highlighted at these tours.
- SARE exhibits were conducted at several different events throughout Ohio in 2017 including the following:
-Farm Science Review – 3 days, 119,000 visitors
-OEFFA Conference – 2 days, 1,100 participants
-Ohio Urban Ag Summit – 1 day, 120 participants
-Ohio School Garden Conference – 1 day, 122 participants
-Ohio Master gardener Volunteer State Conference – 2 days, 368 participants