Mentoring for Extension Educators in Integrated Crop Management

Progress report for NEMA17-001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $19,426.00
Funds awarded in 2018: $20,376.00
Projected End Date: 10/31/2021
Grant Recipient: University of Massachusetts
Region: Northeast
State: Massachusetts
State Coordinator:
Clem Clay
UMass Extension
Expand All

Project Information

Performance Target:

10 UMass Extension professionals (ASPs) who participate in peer mentoring groups and educational workshops about priority ICM topics will develop 10 new state and regional professional collaborations and implement their new knowledge and skills in educational programs, services and/or information products for 100 farmers.

Introduction:

Over the last 3 years, an advisory group of the UMass Extension Fruit and Vegetable Programs from around the state met annually and identified their top priorities in integrated crop management (ICM) topics for professional development of Extension Educators as: drought, weed science, entomology, and use of technology for record keeping and outreach. We expect to see at least 5 more retirements in Agricultural Extension (including weed science, entomology, and soil science) over the next 3-5 years in Massachusetts out of a team of 22.  In many cases, these are the only specialists in their fields for the entire state. We are not able to meet the needs of our grower stakeholders. Meanwhile, many new and remaining Extension Educators continue to conduct research and education in other areas ICM as requested by our stakeholders. Coming out of the worst drought in 50 years, Massachusetts farmers are aware of climate related struggles now more than ever, and the principles of ICM can help them adapt. 

This project’s proposed solution is to offer monthly peer mentoring groups with veteran and early career Extension professionals, facilitate new collaborations among Extension professionals within Massachusetts and the region, and provide training to early career UMass Extension professionals in ICM content areas where gaps in expertise are identified and addressed during the 3 years of this project. When expertise does not exist locally, we will turn regionally for collaborations. This approach will enable experienced educators to share their wealth of knowledge and skills with early career educators before they retire, promote increased collaborations among Extension peers, fill organizational knowledge gaps and strengthen self-confidence related to ICM skills among educators to in turn work with farmers.

Advisors/Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Sonia Schloemann
  • Clem Clay
  • Melissa Scheid Frantz
  • Wendy Varner

Educational Approach

Educational approach:

(Year 1, 2 and 3) Peer Mentoring Groups will be facilitated by Wendy Varner. Group participants will develop professional development plans that outline their goals for ICM-related knowledge and skill development and ways to use new knowledge and skill in farmers education, identify ICM topics for further training to be facilitated by the project team, and host some of these training opportunities at their mentoring groups. The success of these groups will be self-directed learning facilitated by Wendy Varner.

(Year 1, 2, and 3) a professional development workshop on a high priority Integrated Crop Management topic will be conducted for the primary project participants with additional service providers and farmers invited. Sample topics include: drought and irrigation management, weed science, entomology, climate adaptation strategies, or use of technology in ICM.

(Year 2) Participants submit applications to receive modest financial support for independent professional development opportunities that may include: travel to job shadow and/or develop working collaborations with out-of-state professionals, and attend conferences, seminars and meetings. Applicants identify the training opportunity, the knowledge and skills they aim to increase as a result of participating, and a goal for how they will use these in their work with farmers.

Examples of opportunities include:

  • Vegetable educators working group planned to meet in Lake Morrary, VT Winter 2018.
  • Small fruit working group planned to meet in Spring 2018.
  • Fruit and Vegetable educators planned to meet NEVFC 2017-2018 and 2019-2020.
  • Northeast Climate Hub.
  • National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
  • American Phytopathological Society
  • Crop Science Society of America
  • Northeastern Plant, Pests and Soils Conference

(Year 3) ASPs will provide their own educational outreach based on an ICM skill learned in Year 2 such as a workshop, a guide, or a training video.

Milestones

Milestone #1 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

The milestones in all years were revised from the original plan. The original plan included an annual ICM professional development workshop. After the first 2 monthly meetings, Extension Educators decided to rotate facilitation of the meetings and have more in-depth sessions each month with educator-facilitated workshops rather than one big event annually. Milestone 1 in each year reflects that change.

For the first ½ hour of each monthly meeting, agricultural educators have a peer mentoring session with another person in the group, then for 1 hour we have an in-depth educational session facilitated by a group member each month. We made this change because 32 educators expressed interest in joining the group on a monthly basis, and with a larger group, it made more sense to offer educational programs than try to have one-on-one mentoring sessions for the whole time. Not everyone attends each month, but different members of the group attend each month with 15-20 coming regularly.
___________________________________________________

30 UMass Agricultural Extension Educators and related staff will participate in monthly peer mentoring groups to build collegiality, exchange institutional knowledge among retiring staff and early career staff, identify out-of-state mentoring opportunities, and enhance skills in ICM from peer-led and invited speaker workshops and presentations. At each monthly meeting, an educator volunteer will facilitate an educational session on a priority topic of the group’s choice (such as drought management, weed science, entomology, climate adaptation strategies, or use of technology in ICM) and Campbell-Nelson will administer a workshop survey assessing participants’ changes in knowledge, skills and intent to implement/teach new practices learned. Wendy Varner will evaluate the peer mentoring process with Campbell-Nelson and adjust annually. (Ongoing through September 2018)

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
32
Proposed Completion Date:
November 30, 2017
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
January 30, 2018
Accomplishments:

15 to 30 Agricultural Educators have met monthly for 1.5 hrs with rotating facilitators on the last Tuesday of the month on the following professional development topics prioritized by the group themselves. Educational topics in Year 1 were geared more strongly to skills related to doing a better job delivering education, skills that participants felt they needed as much or even more so than greater technical ICM skills. The educators recognized they needed to improve their confidence in teaching as much as their confidence in a topic. Meetings will continue to feature a mix of educational process and ag content topics.

January 30, 2018: “Welcome” – Katie Campbell-Nelson (Vegetable Extension Educator and SARE State Coordinator)

February 27, 2018: “Setting Professional Development Goals” – Katie Campbell-Nelson (Vegetable Extension Educator and SARE State Coordinator)

March 27, 2018: “Effective Methods in Adult Education” – Amanda Brown (Stockbridge School of Agriculture Faculty and Director of the Agricultural Learning Center)

April 24, 2018: “Online Teaching” – Renee Cuilla (Stockbridge School of Agriculture Online Associates and Bachelor Degrees Manager)

May 29, 2018 “Grant Writing” – Sue Scheufele (Vegetable Extension Educator) and Hilary Sandler (Cranberry Station Director and Extension Faculty)

August 28th, 2018 “Insect identification” – Tawny Simisky (Extension Entomologist) and Jaime Pinero (Extension Professor, Tree Fruit Entomology)

Milestone #2 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

26 Agricultural Extension Educators, 34 additional related staff and 100 farmers receive invitations to participate in the first year annual professional development workshop focused on a priority topic (such as drought management, weed science, entomology, climate adaptation strategies, or use of technology in ICM) and complete the workshop survey assessing their changes in knowledge, skills and confidence. Attendees are evaluated for knowledge gain and intent to implement new practices. (timeline: September, 2018)

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
26
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
20
Proposed Completion Date:
September 30, 2018
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
December 31, 2018
Accomplishments:

We had monthly meetings instead of one meeting annually based on the interests of the group (see accomplishments for Milestone #1 above). Farmers were not invited since professionals wanted an opportunity to participate in peer lead activities and learn from each other.

Video: How to pick an apple from Cold Spring Orchard field trip.

Agricultural Professionals learning how to test fruit ripeness at the Cold Spring Orchard
Agriculture Service Providers getting together for an end of year holiday party with retired Extension Educators who joined us!

Milestone #3 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

10 ASPs submit Professional Development Plans annually to the Extension Director or Ag Program Leader and complete a self-assessment on progress made towards their plan in Year 1. Professional development plans will be made in the context of the advisory group priorities, and taking into account individual strengths and passions. (timeline: September 1st, 2018).

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
20
Proposed Completion Date:
September 1, 2018
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
September 30, 2018
Accomplishments:

20 Agricultural Service Providers completed annual Professional Development plans by September 2018.

4 Agricultural Service Providers applied for funding to support professional development goals (Milestone for year 2)

10 Agricultural Service Providers reported achieving professional development goals already in year one.  For example:

“I’m very excited that New England Small fruit and Vegetable Extension Educators were able to get together to set priorities for Research and Education this year in Lake Morey VT. We haven’t done this since I began working for Extension in 2013. Thanks to SARE I was able to prioritize this meeting and had the confidence that professional development is valuable.”

“I learned to make/edit videos and got assistance with statistical analysis.”

“I especially liked the workshop on program evaluation – it helped me to think proactively about evaluating the events and materials that I organize. Most importantly, though, these professional development workshops are extremely helpful for making connections with professionals throughout extension. They have already sparked two collaborations, and I expect that they will lead to more.”

Milestone #4 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

30 UMass Agricultural Extension Educators and related staff continue to participate in monthly peer mentoring groups to build collegiality, exchange institutional knowledge among retiring staff and early career staff, identify mentoring opportunities, and enhance skills in ICM from peer-led workshops and presentations. Also at each monthly meeting, an educator volunteer will facilitate an educational session on a priority topic of their choice (such as drought management, weed science, entomology, climate adaptation strategies, or use of technology in ICM) and administer a workshop survey assessing participants’ changes in knowledge, skills and intent to implement/teach new practices learned. Wendy Varner will evaluate the peer mentoring process and adjust annually with Campbell-Nelson. (Ongoing through September 2019)

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
30
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
29
Proposed Completion Date:
September 30, 2019
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
July 31, 2019
Accomplishments:

15 to 30 Agricultural Educators have met monthly for 1.5 hrs with rotating facilitators on the last Tuesday of the month on the following professional development topics prioritized by the group themselves. Topics in Year 2 continue to be a mix of skills related to improving educational practice and learning new ICM content.

October 2nd, 2018 “Cold Spring Orchard Research Tour” – Jon Clements (Tree Fruit Extension Educator) and Sonia Schloemann (Small Fruit Extension Educator)

October 31st, 2018 “Making Better Evaluations” – William Miller (Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, Assistant Director for Program Development)

November 26th, 2018 “Making Videos” – Chris Von Achen (Extension Educator, Food Science)

December 19th, 2018 “Potluck with Friends” – Current and Retired Agricultural Extension faculty and staff.

January 28th, 2019 “Having Difficult Conversations” – Melissa Scheid Frantz (UMass Workplace Learning and Development)

February 25th, 2019 “Strengthening Group Communication” – Melissa Scheid Frantz (UMass Workplace Learning and Development)

March 25th, 2019 “Climate Adaptation Conversation” – Melissa Ocana (UMass Climate Adaptation Extension Educator)

June 24th, 2019 “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Extension” – River Strong (UMass Clean Energy Extension, Director)

July 24th, 2019 “Northeast SARE Summer Tour” – Katie Campbell-Nelson (UMass Extension Vegetable Program)

Milestone #5 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

10 ASPs in the peer mentoring group submit applications, which outline their goals for learning and for using what they learn in their farmer education programs, to receive modest financial support for independent professional development opportunities related to ICM that may include: travel to job shadow and/or develop working collaborations with out of state professionals, and attend conferences, seminars and meetings. (by December 1st, 2018)

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
9
Proposed Completion Date:
December 1, 2018
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
October 1, 2019
Accomplishments:

Nine Agricultural Service Providers applied for $500 stipends each to achieve the following professional development goals:

1) I would like to use the funds to attend the annual international (European) meeting of apple pathologists in Algers, France. This experience will allow me to present my work to international plant pathologists while also learning new methods and strategies employed in European apple production systems. Europe has always been at the forefront of sustainable- and organic- apple production, from innovating high density plantings to increased pesticidal application efficiency.  This opportunity will allow me to witness first hand, and bring back with me, the research that is happening in Europe, now. From this experience, I will develop four possible outcomes: educational tools, on-farm research/demos, workshop/field day for 150 producers. I will also share my experiences with other Extension Educators back at UMass through our professional development group.

2) I would like to use the funds to attend the Vegetable and Small Fruit Working Group Meeting, in Lake Morrey, VT where we will set farmer identified priorities for research, education and regulatory issues in each New England State. Extension educators, diagnosticians, and researchers from each New England state will attend. I will be using the funds to bring 3 vegetable program educators from Massachusetts to the meeting. My goal is to network with other vegetable educators in the region and make at least one new collaboration at this meeting resulting in an applied research trial, workshop, or publication affecting up to 100 farmers. I will work with others to share our priorities with our Dean, The Northeast IPM Center, and other grant agencies seeking priorities for the vegetable and fruit growing community.

3) I am requesting partial support to participate in the 90th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America taking place March 9-12, 2019 in Blacksburg, Virginia. I will present results from applied research on the invasive pest Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) and will learn the latest developments concerning management of this pest. The new knowledge will be disseminated to at least 50 fruit growers through direct contacts and over 200 through indirect contacts. I will become aware of (1) the latest developments concerning monitoring and management of SWD using attractive baits and lures, and (2) most effective reduced-risk insecticides available against this pest. I will use what I learn to conduct on-farm research or demonstrations, publish articles or newsletters, conduct a workshop, field day, tour or other educational program.

4) I am inviting an expert (Jim Correll, Professor of Plant Pathology, University of Arkansas) to visit the region and assist with understanding emerging vegetable diseases and providing better education/outreach.  In particular, we are focused on Spinach Downy Mildew (Peronospora farinosa f. sp. spinaciae = P. effusa) which is an emerging disease in the northeast and we believe that we have novel strains for the pathogen here. I hope to learn about pathogen biology, spread, and management and connect with scientists and industry to improve grower access to resistant varieties.

5) I plan to attend Wetland Apiaries, Queen Rearing Workshop. This workshop costs $300, and will take place over 4 weekends in May and June, 2019. It is the only Queen Rearing course offered in Massachusetts this summer. Through this workshop, I will learn more about rearing honey bee queens. This is an important skill for creating locally adapted honey bee stock, and I would like to be able to teach it to beekeepers.

6) I will use the funds to attend the 2019 Joint Meeting of the 34th Tomato Disease Workshop and the 48th Tomato Breeders Roundtable. From this meeting and workshop, I will be able to gain a greater understanding and improved proficiency in diagnostics of tomato diseases.

7) With these funds I will attend the IPPS (International Plant Propagators Society) Eastern Region Conference with the goal of learning more about ecological land use, growing native plants and creating sustainable landscapes.

8) I have requested funds to attend the National Farm Viability Conference where I hope to increase my knowledge about information about business planning, farm management, land transition planning.

9) I will attend the New York / New England / Canada Pest Management Conference for apple producers. As a result, I will learn about Orchard IPM management trends and new practices.

Milestone #6 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

10 ASPs who attend a professional development opportunity will share stories of their experiences with the peer mentoring groups to share new techniques, and discuss strategies for teaching farmers (by October, 2019)

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
75
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
5
Proposed Completion Date:
September 30, 2019
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
February 15, 2020
Accomplishments:

Five of the agricultural service providers who requested funds for professional development in Year 2. Milestone 3, have shared their experiences with the peer mentoring groups including new techniques, and strategies for teaching farmers:

Angie tells her story about “10% Bleech” to farmers in plaid.

Angie Madeiras, Plant Pathologist attended 34th Tomato Disease Workshop

The most important things I learned from the 34th Tomato Disease Workshop have to do with tomato brown rugose fruit virus, a serious new threat to tomato growers (probably greenhouse and high tunnel growers more than field). I wrote a factsheet that was published on the UMass Extension greenhouse website (http://ag.umass.edu/greenhouse-floriculture/fact-sheets/tomato-brown-rugose-fruit-virus-tobrfv) and in Vegetable Notes (http://ag.umass.edu/sites/ag.umass.edu/files/newsletters/december_20_2019_vegetable_notes.pdf), the latter with some help from Genevieve Higgins. The fact sheet came in handy when I was contacted by Joanne Klein from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) just a few days later- she was looking for information on the subject and I sent it to her. I also presented about the topic at the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers (NEVBGA) meeting in Hudson MA on February 8th which had 70 farmers in attendance. At the meeting, I shared a story about how I first learned how to keep tobacco mosaic virus from infecting tomatoes as a teenager with my friend “10% Bleach”. Coincidentally, that same method can be helpful to slow the spread of tomato brown rugose fruit virus.

Hannah Whitehead, Honeybee Extension Educator attended Wetland Apiaries, Queen Rearing Workshop (May-June, 2019).

Hannah used her queen rearing experience to apply for a SARE Partnership Grant!

This workshop helped me with my processional development goals in three important ways: First, I learned more about queen rearing, which is a critical skill for sustainable beekeeping. I am planning on practicing these techniques at the State Apiary this upcoming season. Second, this queen rearing experience helped me to write a SARE partnership grant with a local queen breeder, in order to explore low-tech queen rearing techniques for small-scale beekeepers. Third, I got to know a dynamic group of beekeepers from southeast MA, who could be collaboration partners in the future.

I have not yet incorporated these skills into my educational materials for beekeepers. However, the experience I gained through this professional development opportunity helped me to write a successful SARE partnership grant with a local queen breeder, which will fund research on low-tech queen rearing techniques for small-scale beekeepers. This summer, as part of that grant, I will be hosting a workshop and creating educational materials about queen rearing, which will incorporate the results of our research, and draw on the skills that I learned in the professional development workshop. I expect these educational resources to reach at least 100 beekeepers.     

Jon Clements, Tree Fruit Extension Educator attended New York / New England / Canada Pest Management Conference for Apple Producers

Meeting with colleagues is part of the network I rely on to help with questions from producers that I am otherwise not sufficiently familiar with. They give talks and we have a chance to talk so I know what is going on in in there areas of expertise regionally and beyond. I feel more on top of what is going on out there in terms of current IPM and horticulture in orchards, and know I can rely on my network for help as needed. Meeting Proceedings become part of my reference library. Also I have the opportunity to speak and present what I am seeing in my applied research activities at the UMass Orchard.

Jon uses social media and the UMass Fruit team websites to share what he learns.

I use all newly gained knowledge/skills in my daily Extension work which includes website (umassfruit.com), Healthy Fruit (weekly in-season newsletter), and during twilight/grower meetings, etc. Also such knowledge contributes to updating New England Tree Fruit Management Guide (netreefruit.org). 

Jaime Piñero, Tree Fruit Entomology Extension Profession, attended 90th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America

From this professional development activity, I met with researchers working with spotted wing Drosophila, and from these interactions, I was invited to give a seminar at Rutgers University later this year.

One particular area of research I became aware of at this meeting was research in the area of repellents for invasive pests. This topic was discussed with a group of growers in Westport, Rhode Island in July 2019 at: “UMass Grape Trunk Disease & Invasive Insect Pest Management Twilight Meeting” with 20 growers in attendance.

 

Milestone #7 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

10 ASPs submit Professional Development Plans annually to the Extension Director or Ag Program Leader and complete a self-assessment on progress made towards their plan. (timeline: September 1st, 2019).

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Proposed Completion Date:
September 1, 2019
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

To be completed with Clem Clay, UMass Extension Agriculture Team Leader in Year 3.

Milestone #8 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

30 UMass Agricultural Extension Educators and related staff continue to participate in monthly peer mentoring groups to build collegiality, exchange institutional knowledge among retiring staff and early career staff, identify out-of-state mentoring opportunities, and enhance skills in ICM from peer-led workshops and presentations. Also at each monthly meeting, an educator volunteer will facilitate an educational session on a priority topic of their choice (such as drought management, weed science, entomology, climate adaptation strategies, or use of technology in ICM) and administer a workshop survey assessing participants’ changes in knowledge, skills and intent to implement/teach new practices learned. The Director of the UMass Extension Agriculture Program will evaluate the peer mentoring process and adjust annually with Campbell-Nelson. [This milestone is delayed under the no-cost extension, but otherwise unchanged.]

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
30
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
18
Proposed Completion Date:
September 30, 2021
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

We held one peer meeting in January 2020, after Clem had been appointed in December as the new State Coordinator. Up to 10 sessions were expected for March through September, to be coordinated with support from a hire that was to take place in March with partial support from this grant. The pandemic affected both the hire and our ability to meet, as all staff were scrambling to adjust their programs for remote delivery.

Milestone #9 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

10 ASPs in the peer mentoring group plan and execute their own educational outreach based on an ICM skill learned in Year 2 such as a workshop, a guide, or a training video. Support for ASPs to conduct their educational activities will be provided at peer group meetings that focus on effective methods of adult education; participants will propose their educational program plan and receive feedback from the group as the year progresses. Again, modest financial support will be provided to participants for their educational programs. [This milestone is delayed under the no-cost extension, but otherwise unchanged.]

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Proposed Completion Date:
September 30, 2021
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

This milestone was not achieved due to the pandemic. 

Milestone #10 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

10 ASPs will report to the project leader and peer mentoring group about the educational outreach they conduct based on an ICM skill learned in Year 2, including the content area of the education, number of farmers taught, and any other additional relevant information, lessons learned, new needs identified, etc. [This milestone is delayed under the no-cost extension, but otherwise unchanged.]

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Proposed Completion Date:
September 30, 2021
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

This milestone was not achieved due to the pandemic. 

Milestone #11 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

10 ASPs submit Professional Development Plans annually to Extension Director or Ag Program Leader and complete a self-assessment on progress made towards their plan. [This milestone is delayed under the no-cost extension, to be resumed when there is greater clarity about future PD needs for individuals and the group.]

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Proposed Completion Date:
September 30, 2021
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

This milestone was not achieved due to the pandemic and related uncertainty. 

Milestone Activities and Participation Summary

Educational activities and events conducted by the project team:

ActivityYear 1Year 2Year 3Total
Consultations 10 10
Curricula, factsheets or educational tools 4 4 8
Study circle / focus groups 1 1 2
Tours 1 1 2
Workshop / field days 9 9 18

Beneficiaries who particpated in the project’s educational activities and events:

AudienceYear 1Year 2Year 3Total Individuals
Extension 32 25 0 0
Researchers 10 10 0 0
Nonprofit 0 1 0 0
Others 0 5 0 0

Participation Summary

32 Number of agricultural educator or service providers reached through education and outreach activities

Learning Outcomes

17 Agricultural service providers reported changes in knowledge, skills and/or attitudes as a result of their participation.
17 Ag service providers intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned through this project in their educational activities and services for farmers
Key areas in which the service providers (and farmers if indicated above) reported a change in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness::

For each of the workshops offered (see Milestone #1 in Year 1), facilitators set curriculum, learning, and doing goals for participants. We then evaluated participants on whether or not they felt that these goals were met. Following are what 17 workshop participants reported several months after attending each workshop:

February 27, 2018 "Setting Professional Development Goals"
65% (11 people) Learned: How to make goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely)
47% (8 people) Did: Set a professional development goal. Later, 2 more people set goals and 10 reported achieving goals that they had set.

March 27, 2018: “Effective Methods in Adult Education”
53% (9 people) Learned: about the major differences between adult learning styles and how to differentiate your curriculum to meet the needs of your target audience.
41% (7 people) Did: explored the effectiveness of different instructional techniques used to relay the same information.

April 24, 2018: “Online Teaching”
59% (10 people) Learned: what online degrees are offered through Stockbridge School of Agriculture as well as what's involved in teaching an online course.
24% (4 people) Did: shared comments, critiques, or ideas for future online classes.

May 29, 2018 “Grant Writing”
53% (9 people) Learned: about available funding opportunities, planning skills, grant writing skills, resources and support on campus.
59% (10 people) Did: participated in a discussion about barriers to writing grant proposals and how to overcome them.

August 28th, 2018 "Insect identification"
64% (11 people) Learned: how to identify the major Orders of insects to which many pest species in New England belong, and to identify some common Families to which some of these species belong.
59% (10 people) Did: improved on answers to a pre-and-post quiz assessment using clicker technology

October 2nd, 2018 "Cold Spring Orchard Research Tour"
50% (8 people) Learned: about fruit related research/demonstration and Extension activities going on at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard Research and Education Center
45% (7 people) Did: left feeling more confident about referring agricultural producers or other stakeholders to the UMass Extension Fruit Team for questions related to fruit production

October 31st, 2018 "Making Better Evaluations"
73% (11 people) Learned: how to design evaluations that demonstrated your program's impacts, improve program design and delivery.
26% (4 people) Did: implemented an evaluation that demonstrated your program's impacts
46% (7 people) Did: improved your program design and delivery

November 26, 2018 "Making Videos"
40% (6 people) Learned: What options UMass has for video equipment and editing software.
40% (6 people) Did: formatted videos including UMass branding, and general structure (include learning objectives, wrap up, storyboard, etc)

Learning outcome verification was not completed for Year 2.

Performance Target Outcomes

Performance Target Outcomes - Service Providers

Activities for farmers conducted by service providers:
ActivityYear 1Year 2Year 3Total
Curricula, factsheets and other educational tools 35 7 42
Consultations 144 30 174
On-farm demonstrations 2 1 3
Online trainings 32 32
Published press, articles, newsletters 38 25 63
Study circles / focus groups 2 1 3
Tours 15 1 16
Webinars, talks and presentations 32 3 35
Workshops and field days 75 1 76
4 Undergraduate courses for beginning farmers 7 Bee keeper clubs 11 11
17 Total number of 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
2437 Farmers reached through participant's programs
Performance target outcome for service providers narrative:

17 Agricultural Service Providers who attended monthly peer mentoring groups and workshops reported the following.

9 Agricultural Service Providers developed new professional collaborations with others.  Such as:

  • I am now working with the new Pollinator Extension Educator on developing new website for pollinator information.
  • I developed collaborations with extension colleagues around solar dual-use applications.
  • I found someone to review my scholarly works.
  • I’m planning on hosting a workshop with someone from pesticide education extension. I’m also planning on collaborating with an extension educator who focuses on climate change adaptation. I made both of these connections through this professional development program.
  • I made new collaborations with educators in NH and ME to publish the 2020 New England Vegetable Management Guide. Thanks for funding my travel to the professional development meeting that made this happen!

10 Agricultural Service providers reported achieving a professional development goal because of this program. See Milestone #3 for Year 1 for specific examples.

17 Agricultural Service Providers reported using knowledge, skills and collaborations made from the monthly peer mentoring groups to provide education for a total of 2,437 farmers by the second year.

Additional Project Outcomes

Number of grants applied for that built upon this project:
Year 1Year 2Year 3Total
0 3 3
Number of grants received that built upon this project:
Year 1Year 2Year 3Total
0 3 3
Dollar amount of grants received:
Year 1Year 2Year 3Total
$0 $117759 $ $117759
Number of new working collaborations:
Year 1Year 2Year 3Total
9 0 9
Additional Outcomes Narrative:

See performance target narrative for information about new collaborations.

 

Success stories:

See descriptions of new collaborations in the Performance Target Narrative.

SARE Outreach

Outreach about SARE:

Annually, the SARE State Coordinator will conduct the following activities to provide outreach and assistance regarding SARE grant programs, projects and information resources:

  • Respond to inquiries about SARE programs and resources and direct inquiries to the most convenient source.
  • Disseminate informational materials about SARE grant programs, sponsored projects, events, and resources in hard copy at meetings and events (see below) as well as making them accessible electronically on UMass Extension websites and via newsletters (see below).
    • Annual Events: Year-round (UMass twilight meetings)

January: Northeast Organic Farming Association Winter Conference, New England Vegetable and Berry Grower’s Association Annual Meetings (presentation and exhibit table)

February: Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership Annual Conference (mailing list)

March: Massachusetts Dairy Association Annual Meeting, Massachusetts Urban Agriculture Conference (exhibit table)

August: Northeast Organic Farming Association Summer Conference (exhibit table)

December: (2017 and 2019) New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference (networking, and exhibit table)

  • Newsletters: Vegetable Notes, Berry Notes, Crop, Dairy, Livestock and Equine Newsletter, Greenhouse/Floriculture News. (mailing list)

Recieved information about SARE grant programs and information resouces:

Audience Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Total
Service providers 32 30 0 62
Farmers 5 10 0 15
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.