2020 State Plan of Work- Alabama A&M University

Final report for SAL20-002

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2020: $7,160.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2022
Grant Recipient: Alabama A&M University
Region: Southern
State: Alabama
State Coordinator:
Dr. Rudy Pacumbaba
Alabama Cooperative Extension System
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Project Information


Alabama SARE program (Auburn University and Alabama A&M University combined) serves over 1000 small producers, educators, and community gardeners each year since 2010. Urban agriculture is a growing interest within metropolitan areas across the state of Alabama. Unfortunately, the new urban small farmers have little to no experience with agriculture and the latest modern production methods available. The SARE program at Alabama A&M supports small urban farms and community gardeners in the northern parts of the state. This proposal essentially supports the Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Program and proposes development of training content and demonstration plots for the novel urban small farmer. This proposal will continue to focus on train-the-trainer part more intensively with Auburn and Alabama A&M Universities cross-training Extension agents and county coordinators using a mix of online and on-farm training.

Project Objectives:

UrbanAg: Food Production & Sustainable Communities Training: ACES/Urban Affairs Unit provides services to underserved clientele in urban areas in the state of Alabama, the major objectives of this proposal are:

1. Development of integrated multidisciplinary training module focused on urban gardens, intensive small scale vegetable production, organic production, and pest management aspects for urban food production (emphasis on integrating novel bioengineered technology)
2. Provide training to statewide UREAs, educators, and potential urban food producers through the use of online curriculum and onsite field-days and workshops.


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  • Dr. Valens Niyigena (Educator and Researcher)


Educational approach:

Due to COVID-19 crisis and state mandated protocols, educational trainings were limited for FY2021. We have requested a NCE and will attempt to complete objectives next year.

Report Summary reflects activities accomplished through online educational programming during FY2020 and the NCE for FY2021. Face to face educational programming continued in limited controlled capacity during FY2021. 

Education & Outreach Initiatives

2021 Alabama Goat and Sheep Summit

The summit offered a field demonstration tour to producers to learn how goats can be a
sustainable option to control understory vegetation in forestland.


The summit offered a field demonstration tour to producers to learn how goats can be a
sustainable option to control understory vegetation in forestland. Team members also
demonstrated the following animal management practices: Parasite Management:
FAMACHA scoring Breeding Management: Heat Detection in Goats Drugs, Disposal, &
Downstream Effects Youth program were delivered as well( understanding rumen function,
hay ride, and goat trivia)

Outcomes and impacts:

Team members demonstrated: Goat and Sheep Animal Management Practices (AMPs), Parasite Management,
FAMACHA scoring Breeding Management, Heat Detection in Goats Drugs, Disposal, &
Downstream Effects Youth program were delivered as well (understanding rumen function,
hay ride, and goat trivia).

STEM in the Gardens: Teacher Training Workshop

Provide educational training and training material (STEM Garden Curricula &
Demonstration garden) to educational professionals to increase agriculture
sustainable practice awareness within city schools using outdoor classrooms and school gardens


Train the Trainer workshops were virtually due to continued Covid-19 protocols. The 12 session series was conduct during the month of June and July. This time frame allows for educator in service training participation in addition to acquiring continuing education units for completion of the training series.
Participating educators were encouraged to explore sources of extramural funding for building
material support of raised bed gardens.
Regional Extension Agents trained with the STEM curriculum served as instructors
for the train the trainer workshops.
Extension volunteers (County Master Gardener Volunteers) were used to provide continued garden mentoring to support sustainability.

Outcomes and impacts:

-STEM in the Garden- with 225 participants, 12 presentations from 12 speakers, participants indicated that they would save $62 per person with info learned in the series

Educational & Outreach Activities

23 Consultations
7 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
1 Journal articles
1 On-farm demonstrations
15 Online trainings
5 Published press articles, newsletters
1 Tours
15 Webinars / talks / presentations
1 Workshop field days

Participation Summary:

17 Extension
5 Researchers
2 Nonprofit
64 Farmers/ranchers
14 Others

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

1 Grant received that built upon this project
3 New working collaborations
2 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

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

The Bulldog Garden, launched in April 2022, is a 100-feet by 150-feet demonstration garden located on the grounds of the Agribition Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Agribition Center manager and operations technicians Robert Spencer, Eric Nobles and Tim Smith, as well as Marcus Garner maintain the garden. Garner is an urban regional Extension agent in Madison County.

The Bulldog Garden’s primary role is to serve as a demonstration site for urban agricultural programs, such as STEM in the Garden for educators, and small farms BMPs workshops and demonstration field days. Extension Horticulture Specialist Rudy Pacumbaba, Garner (Urban Regional Extension Agent) and the home grounds team coordinate to manage and implement the programs. In addition, audiences will learn best management practices to establish and maintain popular gardening, such as raised bed and plasticulture gardening, as well as methods for traditional garden plots. The BG also combines several irrigation methods, planting designs, plant staking techniques and soil amendment applications based on soil test analysis. SARE Professional development grants have provided funding for the planning and implementation of this Bulldog Gardens Demonstration Facility.



17 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
8 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.