2019 Model State Program- University of Arkansas

Progress report for SAR19-001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2019: $11,111.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2021
Grant Recipient: University of Arkansas
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
State Coordinators:
Dr. Amanda McWhirt
University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension
Co-Coordinators:
Dr. Henry English
University of Arkansas- Pine Bluff
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Project Information

Abstract:

The Arkansas 2019-2020 SARE PDP Model State Program will focus on skill development for implementing and managing high tunnel irrigation systems, advancing the understanding of cover crop applications in a variety of production systems, and supporting a greater understanding of sustainable agriculture applications. The opportunities and events will be available to Extension agents, associates and program aides, USDA staff, farmers’ market managers, other agriculture professionals, and farmer leaders. Proposed activities include a high tunnel irrigation workshop in 4 locations, travel scholarships to the Southern Region Cover Crop Conference and the SSAWG annual conference, an annual board meeting, and promoting SARE through a variety of outlets, networks, and events. Our plan builds on previous SARE PDP MSP plans and considers input and evaluations from past travel scholarship recipients and workshop participants. As a result of these opportunities the knowledge, interest, and application of
sustainable practices for Arkansas farmers and agriculture professionals will continue to expand in Arkansas.

Project Objectives:

The 2019-2020 objectives of the Arkansas SARE PDP program are:
1) To advance irrigation and fertigation construction and water management skills in high tunnel production systems by organizing four irrigation workshops around the state.
2) To increase the knowledge and application of integrating cover crops into various agricultural systems in Arkansas by attending the Southern Region Cover Crop Conference.
3} To advance the knowledge and application of sustainable agriculture practices by providing travel scholarships to the
SSAWG conference.
4} To continue to build a solid Sustainable Agriculture program in Arkansas through input of the AR-SARE PDP advisory board and share information about the AR SARE program through their professional circles.

Advisors

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Dr. Aaron Cato (Educator and Researcher)
  • Dr. Henry English (Educator and Researcher)
  • Heather Friedrich (Educator)
  • Dr. Mildred Griggs (Educator)
  • Margo Hale (Educator and Researcher)
  • Dr. Chelsey Kimbrough (Educator and Researcher)
  • Dr. Amanda McWhirt (Educator and Researcher)
  • James Morgan (Educator and Researcher)
  • Ryan Neal (Educator)
  • Dr. Obadiah Njue (Educator)
  • Dr. Sixte Ntamatungiro (Educator)
  • Stephan Walker (Educator)
  • Elizabeth Young (Educator)

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Travel Scholarships
Objective:

To provide learning opportunities for Extension agents and specialists, farmers market managers, farmer leaders in Arkansas to expand their understanding and application of sustainable agriculture and increase their ability to implement and share information on sustainable agriculture.

Description:

Travel scholarships were provided to 2 agriculture extension personnel. Recipients attended the Southeast Fruit and Vegetable Conference and the Great Lakes Expo. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, recipients were unable to travel and attended meetings virtually. 

Outcomes and impacts:

Because of the travel scholarships, recipients indicated they increased their knowledge of sustainable agriculture issues, advanced their skills, and increased their networks.

Workshops
Objective:

To provide learning opportunities for extension agents and specialists, farmers market managers, farmer leaders in Arkansas to expand their understanding and application of sustainable agriculture and increase their ability to implement and share information on sustainable agriculture.

Description:

Two webinars were held on the topics of muscadine production and drip irrigation. The irrigation webinar was originally planned as an in-person workshop at 4 locations, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, the workshops were converted into one webinar. The muscadine webinar covered breeding and pest management updates while the irrigation webinar covered the basics of drip irrigation construction and management.

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants stated several practices they would implement or share information about including utilizing and growing muscadines in Arkansas. Webinars were recorded and uploaded to a shared Box folder as well as YouTube for a total of 767 views.

 Link to YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NXkCNIktTA&t=1761s

 

Educational & Outreach Activities

2 Travel Scholarships
2 Webinars / talks / presentations

Participation Summary

38 Extension
8 Researchers
1 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
34 Farmers/ranchers
42 Others

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

47 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
34 Farmers reached through participant's programs

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

Southern SARE grant programs are shared with Arkansas extension agents, UA

researchers, and list serves for the Arkansas Farmers Market Association and the NWA Farmers Market Alliance. SARE materials and publications are incorporated into trainings where the subject matter is applicable. Extension agents are given the opportunity to receive SARE books for their office.

The Arkansas SARE Exhibits is often displayed at various conferences, meetings, field days, and workshops. This exhibit highlights SARE sustainable agriculture practices and producers who may be implementing such practices.

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.