SFL17-001 2017-2018 Model State Program

Final report for SFL17-001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $44,441.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2020
Grant Recipient: University of Florida
Region: Southern
State: Florida
State Coordinators:
Dr. Marilyn Swisher
University of Florida
Co-Coordinators:
Dr. Cassel Gardner
Florida A&M University
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Project Information

Abstract:

Florida activities for 2017-2018 will build upon the basic framework for the model state program. Planned activities include integrating results of SARE funded research and Extension activities, and other relevant research, and using this information as resources for educational programs. We also plan to continue to strengthen our focus on targeted training for state and county Extension faculty, representatives of non-profit organizations, representatives of state and federal government agencies, and farmer representatives. To fulfill the priorities and objectives of our program, our training funds will be used to address programs in three subject matter areas:

(1) new and emerging solutions for Florida agricultural production,
(2) advancing Extension capacity in sustainable agriculture, and
(3) entrepreneurial innovation in sustainable agriculture.

Our expected outcomes are:

(1) Extension faculty will participate in SARE in-service training programs and use this information in their own
programming,
(2) Extension faculty will participate in regional and national training programs in sustainable agriculture and apply the lessons learned in their own programming,
(3) at least two of the statewide Extension priority teams will include information and resources about sustainable agriculture and SARE in their professional development training programs and Extension programming,
(4) through SARE, Extension agents and farmers will identify opportunities for the development, outreach, and research of alternative crops and enterprises,
(5) regional and local county agents will develop new collaborations with organizations, agencies, and groups working in sustainable agriculture, and
(6) Extension faculty and agents will make increased use of resources to support programming in sustainable agriculture.

Project Objectives:

I. Maintain existing and establish new collaborative Extension training and programs with faculty members and county agents at University of Florida and Florida A&M University whose work addresses sustainability in production agriculture.
II. Extend collaboration with organizations that are active in the post-production components of food systems, particularly non-profit, state, and governmental organizations whose work fosters development of food and agriculture businesses.
III. Support the development of Extension programs in food systems, including Regional Specialized Agents whose work includes both on-farm production and post-farm gate aspects of food system development.
IV. Expand participation of minority, women, and limited resource farmers and professionals in SARE activities and programs, ensuring that these groups are well represented in the full range of SARE-funded professional development opportunities.

SARE Expected Outcomes:

I. County faculty members will participate in regional and national training programs in sustainable agriculture and will apply the lessons learned in their own programs.
II. At least two of the statewide Extension priority teams will include information and resources about sustainable agriculture and SARE in their professional development training programs and Extension programming.
III. Extension agents and farmers will identify opportunities, such as SARE-funded Research & Education, Professional Development, and On-Farm Research projects, for the development of alternative crops and enterprises and will play key roles in outreach and research projects that focus on alternative crops and enterprises.
IV. Regional and local county agents will develop new collaborations with organizations, agencies, and groups working in sustainable agriculture, including non-profit and for·profit organizations involved in post-farm gate food processing, marketing and distribution, and policy development.
V. State, regional, and county Extension faculty members and agents will make increased use of resources to support programming in sustainable agriculture, including fiscal resources such as Southern SARE grants.

Introduction:

The 2017-2018 Florida SARE programming built upon our previous years’ work in two ways:

(1) We focused on outreach and training that enhances the environmental and economic benefits of production agriculture.

(2) We hosted trainings that emphasize local and regional food systems to address issues and policies that impact our food system.

The new cycle differed in several ways. Due to our extensive outreach work over the years to increase consciousness of sustainable agriculture programming and resources, sustainable agriculture is now prominent in many Florida Extension programs.  The training needs of state and county faculty have changed and they are making additional demands on our SARE program.

(1) They need more trainings to address ethics in human subjects research as they integrate biological and social/educational research.

(2) They want more training in how to develop research and outreach proposals and the teams to implement their projects.

(3) They want more access to cutting edge research in sustainable ag in order to reduce the time between research and adoption.

To accommodate this, we have started to play a strong facilitating role helping state and county faculty collaborate with local farmers and service providers to write winning grant proposals, strengthen the outreach and evaluation components of their project, and incorporate more on-farm trials into their plan of work. 

Advisors

  • Brittany Cowart (Educator)
  • Dudley Calfee (Educator)
  • Howard Gunn, Jr. (Educator)
  • Samuel Scott (Educator and Researcher)
  • Faith Clarke (Educator)
  • George Johnson (Educator and Researcher)
  • Erin Rosskopf (Researcher)
  • Don Burnam (Researcher)
  • Alex Bolques (Educator and Researcher)
  • Muhammad Haseeb (Educator and Researcher)
  • David Dinkins (Educator and Researcher)
  • Ed Skvarch (Educator and Researcher)
  • Russell Mizell (Educator and Researcher)
  • Karen Stauderman (Educator and Researcher)

Education

Educational approach:

Our educational approach for our “sustainable solutions for Florida agricultural production” initiative has two components:

  1. To provide an in-service training where the target audience consists of Extension agents, industry collaborators like representatives of the Florida Strawberry Producers’ Association, and private sector technical advisers.
  2. To facilitate participation by Extension agents, growers and industry representatives, and representatives of non-profit, state, and local organizations in on-farm and on-station research, grower assessments of demonstration and research trials including annual events at any of Florida Research & Extension Centers, field days on-farm and on-station, and workshops

Our educational approach for our “advancing Extension capacity in sustainable agriculture” initiative has three components:

  1. To conduct professional development trainings focusing on the needs of Extension professionals in the state.
  2. To allow county and state faculty to develop their own training objectives and propose venues that will provide the training they need.
  3. To advertise training opportunities available within the Southern SARE region and nationally that may be of interest to Florida faculty.

Our educational approach for our “entrepreneurial innovation in sustainable agriculture” initiative has one component:

  1. To offer an in-service training about grant writing for Extension professionals and community partners.

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Sustainable Solutions for Florida Agricultural Production
Objective:

Agronomic and horticultural production systems increasingly face emerging pest threats, competition with other uses for scarce resources, and increasing international competition in traditionally high-value crops. The rapidity with which new challenges emerge requires that service providers be knowledgeable not only of technologies and strategies that are fully tested and “ready for use,” but also of the most promising solutions under development. Equally important, we need to shorten the distance between research and application, an imperative long recognized by SARE.

Description:

New Emerging Technologies in a Changing Environment:

The target audience for this training consists of county Extension faculty and other local service providers. The purpose of this IST is to expose participants to the research programming being conducted in Florida that relates to new emerging technologies supporting sustainable agriculture. The intent of this training is to explore the most current research related to issues in sustainable agriculture from a wide variety of disciplines so participants are able to collaborate to provide relevant and timely sustainable agricultural programming. This training will be offered in multiple formats to increase participation.  We will do a face-to-face training and a virtual training for online participation. After completing this training, participants will be able to:

  1. Advise farmer clientele on the latest research taking place in the state addressing current threats to the sustainability of Florida’s agriculture.
  2. Explain the relationship between agriculture, environmental conditions, and economic drivers.

 

Extension and Outreach of Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation in the Southeast

The Florida SARE program is partnered with USDA-ARS to provide strong Extension programming and evaluate the barriers and opportunities for expanding research and use of anaerobic soil disinfestation in Florida agriculture. Once used extensively as a pesticide, methyl bromide is now banned for use as a soil fumigant. There has been considerable research into broad-spectrum chemical alternatives in the U.S., but the results show inconsistent pest control. In conjunction with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), researchers at the University of Florida are investigating a new option: anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD). This is a biointensive method of integrated pest management that involves the pre-plant soil incorporation of a labile carbon source and adequate water to saturate the soil. Florida SARE is responsible for coordinating participatory action research assessments with service providers and growers to evaluate the potential usefulness of anaerobic soil disinfestation and possible barriers to adoption. The technology of anaerobic soil disinfestation is extended through field days, research assessments, conferences, and educational videos.

 

Southern Cover Crops Council

We are a member of Strategy Team 4.  The objective of Strategy Team 4 is to foster basic, applied and participatory cover crop research in the Southern Region, and establish a multi-state research project by Dec. 2019.

 

Cover Crop Diversity through Evaluation and Increase from Breeder Stocks and Germplasm Repositories

We are trying to develop cover crops for use during the summer in the Southeastern region, specifically Florida.  The existing cover crops primarily used throughout the US were bred for cool-season use and do not work in Florida during the summer season.  We primarily use cover crops during the summer season because our production season typically occurs from August to May.  Our role on the project is to capture photos at ever step of the experiment and create videos to post on our project website.

 

Partnership to Explore Integrated Systems for Sustainable High Tunnel Organic Vegetable Production in the Southeast Region

Stakeholder-driven organic high tunnel systems research in the Southeast including GA and FL is lagging behind what has been investigated for cooler climates. Organic vegetable growers would benefit immensely from research evaluating how to optimize these protected culture systems in a way that integrates improved crop performance and resilience, environmental stewardship, and economic viability in humid sub-tropical climates common in the Southeast region. The long-term goal of the project is to develop integrated high tunnel systems to promote the growth and expansion of organic vegetable production in the Southeast.  Our role in this project was to conduct a needs assessment with local farmers, determine research needs topics, and create and distribute a comprehensive questionnaire for organic vegetable growers in Georgia and Florida.  The objective of the comprehensive questionnaire is to determine which research topics from a finite list are most important to farmers to research.

 

Sustainable Organic Strawberry (SOS) Cropping Systems For The Southeast

The long-term goal of the project is to promote the expansion of organic strawberry production in the Southeast. We propose to develop organic strawberry cropping systems that are more environmentally and economically sustainable and resilient to weed, pest, and disease pressure. The project is a collaborative effort of the University and Florida, North Carolina A&T State University, Florida A&M University and Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers, Inc. (FOG). The project has three major components: biological research, consumer and economic research, and evaluation and outreach. The main experiment examines the effects of three cover crop treatments and a weedy control on soil health, nematode suppression, arthropod pests, beneficials, and the performance of four strawberry cultivars in open-field production. Four supporting or satellite experiments examine specific aspects of nutrient management incorporating nitrogen contribution from cover crops and supplemental fertilization, efficacy of OMRI-approved materials for management of spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and twospotted spider mite (TSSM), and spot treatment with predatory mites for TSSM, and performance of cultivars in high and low tunnels for cold protection outside sub-tropical Florida. We include two tests of consumer preference for intrinsic and extrinsic traits of organic strawberry, including traits based on production practices and we will develop partial budgets for experimental treatments in the main and supporting experiments. The evaluation and extension components are integrated. We use an Industrial Liaison Panel and research assessments by growers and technical advisers to maintain stakeholder input throughout the project. Extension activities include field days, trainings, and workshops.

 

The Greening of Strawberry Plasticulture

Research and extension activities are proposed to address the unsustainable practice of using an extended period of overhead irrigation to limit heat stress during the establishment of bare-root strawberry transplants on black plastic mulch. We anticipate that the combination of low-volume sprinklers and living mulch in row middles will increase the sustainability of strawberry production by decreasing water use during bare-root transplant establishment, promoting infiltration at the expense of runoff, increasing the diversity of the cropping system, and improving cropping system resilience to weeds and to the sting nematode (Belonolaimus longicaudatus). On-farm and on-station field experiments will be conducted to compare (1) conventional high-volume sprinkler irrigation, (2) low-volume sprinkler irrigation, (3) high-volume sprinkler irrigation + living mulch, and (4) low-volume sprinkler irrigation + living mulch. During strawberry establishment, irrigation infiltration and runoff will be assessed. Data will be collected on strawberry stand establishment, growth, and fruit yield. Living mulch suppression of weeds and sting nematodes will also be assessed. A virtual field day, accessible via the internet, will developed using video and/or photos that capture the entire production process. The advantages of a virtual field day are that growers can see the results of the research over time and do so at a time convenient to them. Results will also be disseminated via conference presentations and refereed journal articles.

 

Adapting and Expanding High Tunnel Organic Vegetable Production for the Southeast

The long-term goal of the project is to develop sustainable high tunnel systems to promote the growth and expansion of organic vegetable production in the Southeast. This integrated project will systematically address the major challenges and key issues with organic high tunnel production and management identified through the initial planning project. By building a strong partnership with organic producers and other stakeholders, this project will target long-term environmental and economic sustainability. 

The outreach component is focused on the following objectives: (1) An expanded network of farmers, farmer organizations and stakeholders that can share and access information about high tunnel organic vegetable production; (2) continuing farmer and stakeholder participation in research and extension about high tunnel organic vegetable production; (3) increased understanding of farmer and stakeholder decision making; and (4) adoption of the management options generated by this research.

 

Graduate Student Grant Writing Workshops

2018GradStudentGrantWritingWorkshopFlyer

This two part hands-on workshop was open to any University of Florida graduate student interested in improving their grant proposal writing skills. Dr. Mickie Swisher discussed the keys to writing a successful grant proposal. Students had the opportunity to work on their own proposals at the workshop, as well. Each session of the workshop covered different aspects of proposal writing – from literature reviews to budgeting, so students needed to attend both sessions, if possible. Students from any department were encouraged to attend.

At the end of the training, the participants were able to:

  1. Explain why proposals are rejected.
  2. Identify the key elements of a call for proposal.
  3. Craft their own proposal.
Outcomes and impacts:

Emerging Technologies in a Changing Environment

This training was repeatedly requested by Extension agents in Florida and recommended by agents serving on our advisory council.  We offered the training in September 2016 and June 2017 and advertised the trainings throughout the Florida Extension system.  Despite our efforts, enrollment was too low to justify delivering the program.  We are now working to develop a webinar series to increase participation.  The webinar series will focus on cover crops and their applications and benefits in Florida. This will contribute to the further development of the Southern Cover Crops Council and enhance impact of the Council in Florida. 

 

Extension and Outreach of Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation in the Southeast

We took weekly photographs of each of the field experiments that occurred over the year.  We have organized the stock photos to create nine videos highlighting the project.  We are currently working on the scripts and will have the videos completed by the end of 2018.  The videos will be posted on our website, https://floridafoodandag.com/, which also features the Florida SARE Program.  Alia DeLong, a graduate research assistant, gave an oral presentation about participatory action research and its role in our projects at the 2018 Annual Soil Science Society of America Meeting.

 

Southern Cover Crops Council

We attended one Strategy Team 4 meeting over the past year.  As a team, we have developed a proposed working title for the research proposal and critical objectives for each cover crop specialty area.  We are currently working on a rough draft for the proposal.

 

Cover Crop Diversity through Evaluation and Increase from Breeder Stocks and Germplasm Repositories

The PI on this project is selecting out hardseededness in hairy indigo and reduced photosensitivity in sunnhemp varieties.  One season of field production has occurred and photos were taken to document the progress made during the experiment.  We are creating a virtual field day and initiating a second year of field data.  We will grow the cover crops at four different locations, three of which are on farm.

 

Partnership to Explore Integrated Systems for Sustainable High Tunnel Organic Vegetable Production in the Southeast Region

We developed a comprehensive questionnaire and distributed the questionnaire online to organic growers in Georgia and Florida.  We received about 60 completed questionnaires. We are currently analyzing the data and will present our findings with a poster at the 2018 American Society for Horticultural Science Conference.

 

Sustainable Organic Strawberry (SOS) Cropping Systems For The Southeast

We conducted one research assessment with strawberry producers and another research assessment with service providers familiar with strawberry cropping systems. Local strawberry producers and service providers assessed our research plots and provided feedback regarding what they liked about our research, what they disliked, and what was missing that we should consider in the future.

We are using feedback from the research assessments to modify our research design for the following strawberry production season. By integrating end-user feedback, we contribute to the expedition of technology adoption in agriculture.

On-farm field trials occurred at two local farms this year. We captured photos of the research process regularly throughout the production season in order to create a video demonstrating field trial results. We are currently producing project videos that will be uploaded to our website, which is accessible to the public.

The graduate student working on this project is currently analyzing the farmer notes and records to qualitatively assess on-farm decision-making processes. She also gave an oral presentation about participatory action research and its role in our project at the 2018 Annual Soil Science Society of America Meeting. We also recruited advisory board members and held our first board meeting in Citra, FL. 

 

The Greening of Strawberry Plasticulture

Photographs were taken weekly at the Citra field trials and the graduate student working on the biological piece of this project took photos each time she traveled to the Dover, FL experiment plots. About 2500 photos were taken over the course of the season. We are using these photographs and working with our Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Communications department to produce a virtual field day for outreach and Extension.

 

Adapting and Expanding High Tunnel Organic Vegetable Production for the Southeast

We attended one team meeting and our outreach activities will begin this year.

 

Graduate Student Grant Writing Workshops

Pre and post-tests were completed in 2016, 2017, and 2018 by graduate students taking our grant writing workshops. Students were asked to respond to 10 true/false items on both the pre and post-test. Pre and post-test scores were then compared to determine if the graduate students had a change in grant writing knowledge. In total from 2016-2018, 23 graduate students responded to both the pre-test and post-test. Their responses were used to assess changes in grant writing knowledge.

The average pretest score was 67%, and the average posttest score was 81%. The post-test scores were significantly higher than pre-test scores, indicating that the grant writing workshop was successful in increasing grant writing knowledge among participants.

Advancing Extension Capacity in Sustainable Agriculture
Objective:

This initiative provides advanced individualized training in specialized topics in sustainable agriculture. County and state faculty can participate in training relevant to their state and county programs that may not be a focus or an emphasis in the other Florida SARE initiatives. We allow county and state faculty to develop their own training objectives and propose venues that will provide the training they need. We also advertise training opportunities that may be of interest to Florida faculty.

Description:

When and How to Utilize the Institutional Review Board (IRB)  

for Research and Extension:

The target audience for this training consists of UF state and county Extension faculty and staff.  Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) review all research involving human subjects to ensure that their welfare and rights are protected as mandated by federal regulations. Faculty, staff, and students at UF may not conduct any human research without prior IRB approval. Effective sustainable agriculture program evaluation and outreach relies on human subject feedback, namely farmers and service providers. The objective of this IST is to provide participants with an understanding of how the IRB-02 submission process works, when it is needed, and how to submit an IRB successfully. After completing this training, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify when IRB-02 approval is needed to complete their plan of work.
  2. Register, access, and navigate the myIRB site.
  3. Complete the required CITI training needed to submit to IRB-02.
  4. Successfully submit an IRB-02 research protocol.
  5. Make changes to the study as requested by the IRB
  6. Identify when a protocol revision is needed and successfully submit a revision.

 

Changing Communities Using a Theory of Change:

The target audience for this training is county Extension faculty and other local service providers. County Extension faculty are under increasing demand to demonstrate that their programs create community-level change. Donors and government agencies want Extension faculty to effectively address complex issues that involve both individual attitudes and behaviors and structural barriers. Extension faculty must be more strategic in their programming which requires a theory of change (TOC) – a path of related events that must occur at multiple scales and with multiple actors for change to occur. This training gives participants an opportunity to develop their own strategic theory of change to access a complex problem critical to their work. After completing this training, participants will be able to:

  1. Use a TOC to develop a strategy to improve outcomes of community systems.
  2. Establish objectives for a community-based program to achieve change in performance of community systems.
  3. Identify community partners needed to achieve the objectives of their program.
  4. Select community-level indicators they can use to monitor and evaluate their program impacts.

 

Advanced Individualized Training:

The target audience consists of county Extension faculty who are members of a Florida Extension Professional Association. Scholarships are available to support travel to a professional development program in which the faculty person will receive training in topics relevant to sustainable agriculture. The objectives of this scholarship program are to:

  1. Increase participation in trainings related to sustainable agriculture that are associated with the SSARE Program.
  2. Increase participation in relevant national and regional trainings offered by other programs and organizations.
  3. Enhance the ability of the participant to develop and deliver local extension programming relevant to the goals of the Florida SARE program.
  4. Expand the current Extension responsibilities of the participant to include programming related to sustainable agriculture and food systems.

 

Grant Proposal Mentoring

We reach out to recently hired faculty members in the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, especially those with significant Extension responsibilities, to offer assistance in pre-proposal research and proposal development on topics related to sustainable agriculture.  These are one-on-one or small groups mentoring sessions.

 

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders Conference Panel

“Leveraging Collaboration Opportunities with Land-Grant Universities”

Dr. Swisher served on a panel of four land-grant university faculty members doing food systems work.  The purpose of the panel was to explore opportunities to improve collaboration between non-profit organizations doing food systems work and universities.  The panel was part of a three-day conference in Gainesville, FL convened by a national organization of non-profits engaged in food systems work.

 

Florida SARE Advisory Council Meeting

We hosted one advisory council meeting this year in Citra, FL. 

 

Our Farms, Our Future Conference

To celebrate 30 years of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program – and plan the next 30 years of productive and sustainable American agriculture – nearly 1,000 people gathered in St. Louis. Farmers and ranchers joined SARE leaders, grant recipients and state directors from around the country at the three-day national SARE conference.

Outcomes and impacts:

When and How to Utilize the Institutional Review Board (IRB)  

for Research and Extension:

Pre and post-tests were completed by eight individuals in order to assess changes in knowledge. Participants were asked to respond to fourteen true/false items on both the pre and post-test. Pre and post-test scores were then compared to determine if the participants experienced a change in knowledge. The average pretest score was 80%, and the average post-test score was 92%.  

 

Changing Communities Using a Theory of Change

Pre and post-tests were completed by nine individuals in order to assess changes in knowledge. Participants were asked to respond to ten true/false items on both the pre and post-test. Pre and post-test scores were then compared to determine if the participants experienced a change in knowledge. 

The average pretest score was 75%, and the average posttest score was 98%. Overall, the results indicate that post-tests scores were significantly higher than pre-test scores, indicating that this workshop was successful in increasing knowledge.  

 

Advanced Individualized Training: 

We sponsored four travel scholarships for Extension professionals and farmers to attend two different conferences across the country.  Upon completion of the trip, scholarship recipients were required to send a report to us about the conference, what they learned, and how they are currently using or plan to use what they learned in their work.  The conferences that we sponsored travel to were the 2017 Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference in Atlanta, GA and the 2018 Northeast Beginning Farmer Learning Network Summit in College Park, MD.

 

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders Conference Panel

“Leveraging Collaboration Opportunities with Land-Grant Universities”

About 30 people attended the panel session.  After brief presentations by the panelists that focused on four topics.  Dr. Swisher’s assigned topic was to clarify the requirements that university faculty members have to meet in their university assigned positions to maintain their faculty status.  This helps non-profits to understand the land-grant university’s role in project collaborations so that misconduct does not occur.

 

Grant Proposal Mentoring

Over the course of the year, two grants were submitted and rejected and two additional grants are pending review.

 

Florida SARE Advisory Council Meeting

We thanked eight of our members for their years of service and welcomed eleven new members to the council.  This year we added three research scientists, one non-profit organization, three Extension professionals, and four farmers.

 

Our Farms, Our Future Conference

We attended the National SARE Conference in St. Louis, MO and represented the Florida SARE Program.

Entrepreneurial Innovation in Sustainable Agriculture
Objective:

This initiative focuses on advancing Extension that provides support for nontraditional agricultural businesses and promotes sustainable food systems to address social and economic community issues. Healthy growing agricultural and natural resource based businesses can contribute to local development and economic vitality if barriers to the establishment and growth of businesses are addressed. We will facilitate workshops, strategic planning, and joint programmatic development for Extension and community partners.

Description:

Successful Grant Writing for Extension Programming:

The target audience for this training consists of county Extension faculty, service providers, community-based organizations, and producer organizations.  The funding opportunities for community-based and producer organizations provide important resources to foster community and farm development. Successful proposal development is a learned skill. While the specific requirements for each proposal will vary depending on the goals of the donor, objectives, and proposal requirements, there are commonalities to most proposals. The objective of this program is to provide participants with an understanding of key factors that donors commonly use to evaluate proposals and how to respond to these factors.  After completing this training, participants will be able to:

  1. Write a problem statement that is responsive to the priorities of the donor.
  2. Develop goals, objectives, and outcomes to address the problem statement.
  3. Develop and describe objective-based activities.
  4. Construct an appropriate evaluation strategy.
  5. Develop an objective-based budget.

 

Florida Food Policy Council

The Florida Food Policy Council (Florida Food Policy Council) works toward fair and healthy food for all Floridians. The first general meeting of the membership was held in 2016 in concert with the UF/IFAS Regional Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference. In 2017, the Council evaluated the data from the regional meetings that occurred in 2016 and used that feedback to form a strategic plan. (Click here for Action Plan). The first annual membership meeting was held on June 24, 2017 and the board meeting held on November 13, 2017 ratified their action steps. 

 

Farmer’s Market/Millenials’ Research

The purpose of this study is to differentiate between shopping and cooking habits of millennials that regularly shop at farmers’ markets and those that primarily shop at grocery stores. The objective of this study is to use this knowledge to develop more effective programming for providing local food to millennials. 

 

Working Food Collaboration

Working Food is a non-profit organization that works to cultivate and sustain a resilient local food community in North Central Florida through collaboration, economic opportunity, education, and seed stewardship.  They work collaboratively at the intersection of kitchens, commerce, and culture to provide business development support and infrastructure, community education on gardening, nutrition, cooking and other food related issues, and to provide better access to fresh and value-added food for individuals, institutions, and businesses.

Outcomes and impacts:

Successful Grant Writing for Extension Programming

Pre and post-tests were completed by fourteen individuals in order to assess changes in knowledge. Participants were asked to respond to ten true/false items on both the pre and post-test. Pre and post-test scores were then compared to determine if the participants experienced a change in knowledge. 

The average pretest score was 79%, and the average posttest score was 86%. Overall, the results indicate that post-test scores were significantly higher than pre-test scores, indicating that this workshop was successful in increasing knowledge.  

 

Florida Food Policy Council

Mickie Swisher and her Ph.D. student, Alia DeLong, are both members on the Council and will continue to participate in the meetings and provide input.  These meetings have been an additional opportunity for us to network with agricultural professionals around the state and promote the Florida SARE Program and other SSARE activities.

 

Farmer’s Market/Millenials’ Research

Farmers’ markets must adapt to the preferences of millennials to maintain customer interest and loyalty. I recommend that all vendors accept debit and credit card, and that vendors use signage to emphasize local, organic food. Market managers should consider changes in convenience such as holding markets in the evening, holding markets more than once weekly, holding markets in areas with ample public parking, and areas with access to public transportation.

PosterPresentation_Brush_2017

 

Working Food Collaboration

We are in the process of submitting a grant proposal with Working Food, Inc. to address seed conservation and varietal selection of heritage cultivars.

Educational & Outreach Activities

71 Consultations
4 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
6 Journal articles
3 On-farm demonstrations
11 Published press articles, newsletters
48 Study circle/focus groups
6 Travel Scholarships
7 Webinars / talks / presentations
6 Workshop field days

Participation Summary

171 Extension
6 NRCS
16 Researchers
7 Nonprofit
5 Agency
3 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
11 Farmers/ranchers
3 Others

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

7 New working collaborations
133 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
601 Farmers reached through participant's programs

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

We distribute SARE educational materials at all of our SARE trainings and other relevant programs in Florida. SARE materials are distributed to the public by state and county faculty that participate in our programs. We also distribute SARE books and educational materials to our advisory council and scholarship recipients.

337 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
461 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.