2018 Model State Program- University of Arkansas

Final report for SAR18-001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2018: $44,444.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2019
Grant Recipient: University of Arkansas
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
State Coordinator:
Dr. Amanda McWhirt
University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension
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Project Information

Abstract:

The Arkansas’s 2018-2019 Model State Program focused on opportunities and educational trainings for Extension agents, associates and program aides, USDA staff, farmers’ market managers, other agriculture professionals and farmer leaders on issues important to increasing the sustainability of Arkansas farmers.  Because we didn’t receive our contract until Feb 2019 we did not offer our planned workshops on ‘Managing Soil Health and Fertility’ and ‘Managing Grazing Systems’. We are planning to offer these in the fall of 2019.  We did however work with the Eureka Springs Community Foundation and the Eureka Springs School district ag instructor to offer a workshop on composting and greenhouse production. An enhancement grant that was received in Dec 2018 offered programming on Winter High Tunnel Production.  We had two casual open (high tunnel) house events at Hope and Clarksville where people toured high tunnel production and two workshops (Fayetteville, Lonoke) that provided in depth information and a farm tour. Additionally, the enhancement grant provided travel scholarships for three extension agents to attend the Winter High Tunnel workshop by Pam Dawling at the SSAWG conference in Little Rock. Regular MSP funds provided travel scholarships to two UA Division of Ag staff and three farmer mentors to also attend SSAWG and and an extension agent to attend the National Young Farmer Coalition conference in Nov 2018. Additionally, the advisory committee met in November to review past activities and provide input for the 2019-2020 plan.

Project Objectives:

The objectives of the 2018-2019 Arkansas Model State Program are:

  • To expand the understanding and application of sustainable agriculture concepts by agriculture professionals including Extension agents and specialists, farmers market managers, farmer leaders and others and to increase their confidence to implement and share sustainable agriculture information.
  • To increase the awareness of the SARE program among agriculture leaders in Arkansas, the resources it provides and increase awareness of training opportunities and scholarships for Arkansas agriculture leaders interested in sustainable agriculture.
  • To continue to employ the advisory board to provide input to the AR SARE PDP program, and share information about the AR SARE program through their professional circles.

Advisors

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Dr. Obadiah Njue (Educator)
  • Dr. Sixte Ntamatungiro (Researcher)
  • Dr. Donn Johnson (Researcher)
  • Berni Kurz (Educator)
  • Jim Morgan
  • Stephan Walker (Educator)
  • Margo Hale (Educator)
  • Liz Young (Educator)
  • Dr. Amanda McWhirt (Educator and Researcher)
  • Dr. Henry English (Educator)
  • Dr. Elena Garcia (Researcher)
  • Heather Friedrich

Education

Educational approach:

Workshops, farm tours, open-house and travel scholarships were used to educate program participants.

 

 

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Travel Scholarships
Objective:

Travel to in- and out of state sustainable agriculture conferences and to bring in a speaker for an in-state sustainable agriculture conference

Description:

Travel scholarships were provided to

  • Travel scholarships were also used to support 3 extension agents, two UA staff and 3 farmer mentor travel to SSAWG and participate in the Winter High Tunnel production workshop with Pam Dawlings.

 

 

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants gained knowledge, developed ideas for implementation (programming or farm) and exchanged information and ideas with other participants.

Winter high tunnel production
Objective:

knowledge and confidence

Description:

Workshops, field days, travel scholarships

  • Two 2.5 hour workshops were offered in Eureka Springs on Nov 11, 2018. The topics were Compost Production and Greenhouse Production.
  • Two 6 hour workshops on Winter High Tunnel Production were offered February (Fayetteville) and March (Lonoke). The Fayetteville workshop was held at the research station with a tour of high tunnel research. The Lokoke workshop was held at the county extension office with a tour of a local farm producing winter greens and winter strawberries.
  • Two informal open-house high tunnel tours were in February (Hope) and March (Clarksville).  Participants toured crops in high tunnels, listened to brief presentations and asked questions of the researchers.
  • Travel scholarships were also used to support agent, UA staff and farmer mentor travel to SSAWG.

 

 

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants increased their knowledge on winter production and gained the skills necessary to develop a crop plan for winter production.

Greenhouse Production
Objective:

To increase knowledge and opportunities for greenhouse production.

Description:
  • 2.5 hour workshop in Eureka Springs, Nov 11, 2018.
  • Speakers included two UA researchers and a farmer.
Outcomes and impacts:

Participants gain knowledge on greenhouse systems and components and plants suitable for greenhouse production.

Compost Production and Application
Objective:

To increase knowledge, opportunities for compost production and applications.

Description:
  • 2.5 hour workshop in Eureka Springs, Nov 11, 2018.
  • Speakers included a Washington County Master Composter, Food Loops representative (a NWA company that composts institutional food waste), a local commercial compost maker and provider and a UA researchers and a farmer.
Outcomes and impacts:

Participants gained knowledge on types of home/farm composting systems, sources for commercial purchasing and methods for application.

Educational & Outreach Activities

2 Consultations
4 On-farm demonstrations
4 Tours
10 Travel Scholarships
4 Workshop field days

Participation Summary

10 Extension
8 Researchers
100 Farmers/ranchers

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

1 Grant received that built upon this project
2 New working collaborations
10 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
125 Farmers reached through participant's programs

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

SARE resources and opportunities are shared with Arkansas farmers, farmers market managers, NRCS staff and other ag professionals through various channels including listserves, Facebook, twitter, website, workshops and other face to face interactions. In each event in which we participate we recognize SARE and include the SARE logo on printed materials.

100 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
50 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.