University of Arkansas Training Grant- MSP22

Progress report for SAR22-001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2022: $11,000.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2024
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


The Arkansas 2022-2023 SARE PDP Model State Program will focus on increasing knowledge and developing skills on meat processing facility requirements and sustainable agriculture opportunities in Arkansas. The developed trainings and events will be made available to Cooperative Extension staff, UA and UAPB faculty, staff and students, USDA staff, farmers’ market managers, other agriculture professionals and farmer leaders. Proposed activities include a training for new requirements for meat processing facilities, training on sustainable agriculture opportunities in Arkansas, and travel scholarships for agriculture leaders to attend regional meetings focused on sustainable agriculture. Program participants will be assessed for changes in their knowledge, confidence, and ability to share new information related to sustainable agriculture. As a result of these trainings and workshops the knowledge of, interest in and application of sustainable practices by Arkansas farmers and agriculture professionals will continue to expand in Arkansas, leading to thriving farms and vibrant communities.

Project Objectives:

1) To increase the knowledge, awareness, and resources available to extension agents, farmers market managers, farmer mentors and other agriculture leaders in Arkansas for meat processing facilities and sustainable agriculture opportunities in Arkansas.
2) To increase the confidence of extension agents, farmers market managers, farmer mentors and other Arkansas agricultural leaders in extending sustainable agriculture information and practices related to meat processing and sustainable agriculture opportunities in Arkansas.
3) To increase the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices among farmers in Arkansas.


Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Andrew Carberry (Educator)
  • Dr. Aaron Cato (Educator and Researcher)
  • Dr. Henry English (Educator)
  • Heather Friedrich (Educator)
  • Dr. Mildred Griggs (Educator and Researcher)
  • Margo Hale (Educator and Researcher)
  • Dr. Amanda McWhirt (Educator and Researcher)
  • James Morgan (Educator)
  • Ryan Neal (Educator)
  • Dr. Obadiah Njue (Educator)
  • Dr. Sixte Ntamatungiro (Educator)
  • Stephen Walker (Educator)
  • Elizabeth Young (Educator)

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Travel Scholarships

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.


Travel scholarships have been provided for 1 agriculture extension personnel and 3 beginning farmers. The recipients were able to attend the Sustainable Agriculture Conference hosted by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and the inaugural Arkansas Grown Conference. 

Outcomes and impacts:

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

Feedback from the extension personnel and beginning farmers that attended these conferences will be used in blog posts for the AR SARE blog page. 

The purpose of these blog posts is to highlight a meeting that agents attend using SSARE funds in hopes to encourage other agriculture professionals to reach out to the AR SARE program to attend more sustainable conferences and promote the program's support in providing opportunities for sustainable ag education. 


To increase the knowledge, awareness, and resources available to extension agents, farmers market managers, farmer mentors, and other agriculture leaders in Arkansas for meat processing and sustainable agriculture organizations.


A meat processing training hosted by NCAT Southeast Regional Director and Livestock Specialist Dr. Margo Hale is scheduled for fall 2023. 

A multi-part webinar series highlighting sustainable agriculture organizations across the state will be planned for fall 2023. 

Educational & Outreach Activities

1 Study circle/focus groups
1 Webinars / talks / presentations
2 Other educational activities: Vendor booth at conferences

Participation Summary:

200 NRCS
5 Nonprofit
75 Agency
50 Farmers/ranchers

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 subject matter is applicable and distributed at vendor booths during conferences. Extension agents and other ag professionals are given the opportunity to receive SARE books for their office. 

The AR SARE Blog page has accumulated a total of 1,035 page views. Link to AR SARE Blog page:

A newsletter was developed for those interested in signing up for the AR SARE blog, where they receive information on upcoming events, information, and funding opportunities related to sustainable agriculture in Arkansas. 20 newsletters have been sent via Constant Contact to a total of 142 subscribers. 

The AR SARE YouTube channel has a total of 14 videos that have accumulated 2.9K views with a total of 79 subscribers. Link to AR SARE YouTube Channel:

A new AR SARE homepage was developed that houses information regarding SARE grants, the blog page, SARE funded projects, SARE training highlights, and a directory. The homepage has accumulated a total of 95 page views, link to AR SARE Homepage: 

A sustainable networking roundtable session was conducted by AR SARE at the 2023 Arkansas Grown Conference, where 30 participants with varying backgrounds (ag professionals, farmers, researchers) participated in a discussion on current issues they face regarding sustainable agriculture and how the AR SARE program can supplement their needs with future projects. 

153 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
354 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.