2020 Model State Program- Florida A&M University

Final report for SFL20-002

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2020: $11,111.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2023
Grant Recipient: Florida A&M University
Region: Southern
State: Florida
State Coordinator:
Gilbert Queeley
Florida A&M University
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Project Information


Activities for 2020-2021 will build upon the basic framework for the model state program. Planned activities include utilizing field demonstrations of sustainable agricultural production models suitable for rural and urban settings; conduct guided field tours of demonstration plots to enhance acceptance of sustainable agricultural production models; and identifying niche market opportunities (CSAs, U pick operations, etc.) for farmers who adopt sustainable agricultural production practices.  Results of these SARE funded Research and Extension activities, will provide a data driven platform for developing train the trainer educational programs.  Targeted training will be provided for state and county Extension faculty, who will transfer the knowledge gained to beginning farmers and ranchers, military veterans, representatives of non-profit organizations, representatives of state and federal government agencies, limited resource farmers, including minority farmers and farmers from other underrepresented populations. To fulfill the priorities and objectives of our program, our training funds will be used to address programs in one subject matter area:
(1) advancing Extension capacity in sustainable agriculture.

Project Objectives:
  1. Maintain existing and establish new collaborative Extension trainings and programs with faculty members and county agents at University of Florida and Florida A&M University whose work address sustainable agriculture.
  2. Extend collaboration with organizations that are active in the post-production components of food systems, particularly non-profit, state, and governmental organizations whose work foster development of food and agriculture businesses.
  3. Support the development of Extension programs in food systems, including Regional Specialized Agents whose work include both on-farm production and post-farm gate aspects of food system development.
  4. 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.

Florida SARE Expected Outcomes:

  1. County faculty members will participate in regional and national training programs in sustainable agriculture and will apply the lessons learned in their own programs.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 crop and livestock enterprises and will play key roles in outreach and research projects that focus on alternative crop enterprises and niche market development.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

The 2020-21 Florida SARE programming built upon our previous years’ will continue to work in several ways:

(1) We will continue to focus on outreach and training that enhance the environmental and economic benefits of production agriculture.

(2) We will continue hosting trainings that emphasize local and regional food systems that address issues and policies that impact our food systems and

(3) We will expand our programming to include beginning farmers and ranchers, military veterans and farmers from vulnerable and underrepresented populations.


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Educational approach:

Our educational approach used in this project provides:

  1. Training scholarships to attend sustainable agriculture trainings.

The target audience consisted of county Extension agents, industry collaborators, research scientists, private sector technical advisers, small scale crop producers, pasture and hay producers, organic growers, home gardeners, agriculture teachers, students and citizens.

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Advancing Extension Capacity in Sustainable Agriculture

This initiative provides individualized training in specialized topics in sustainable agriculture. Cooperative extension faculty, food system NGOs, and mentor farmers can participate in trainings relevant to their programs that may not be a focus or an emphasis in the other Florida SARE initiatives. We allow cooperative extension faculty, food system NGO leaders, and mentor farmers 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, food system NGOs, and mentor farmers.


Advanced Individualized Training

The target audience consists of cooperative extension faculty, food system NGOs, and mentor farmers that host trainings or engage in peer-to-peer learning groups. Scholarships are available to support attendance to a professional development program where the participant will receive training in topics relevant to sustainable agriculture. Program objectives:

  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 programming relevant to the goals of the Florida SARE program.
  4. Expand the current extension responsibilities of cooperative extension faculty participants to include programming related to sustainable agriculture and food systems.
Outcomes and impacts:

Advanced Individualized Training

We provide scholarships for participants to complete virtual or in-person training workshops and attend conferences that support sustainable agriculture. Upon completion of the event, scholarship recipients are required to send a report to us about the event, what they learned, and how they are currently using or plan to use what they learned in their sustainable agriculture programming.


The MSP at FAMU is under transition to a new state coordinator.  Activities under the new leadership will begin in 2023/24.

Educational & Outreach Activities

59 Consultations
12 Published press articles, newsletters
2 Webinars / talks / presentations

Participation Summary:

167 Extension
87 Researchers
56 Nonprofit
25 Agency
41 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
211 Farmers/ranchers
96 Others

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

4 New working collaborations
34 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
Additional Outcomes:

We held our 2020 Florida SARE Advisory Council meeting on 1/29/2020 and our 2021 meeting on 5/17/2021.  Training activities have been limited due to COVID-19 restrictions and low participation at in-person events.  In-person events will resume in 2023/24.


The MSP at FAMU is under transition to a new state coordinator.  Activities under the new leadership will begin in 2023/24.

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.

361 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
313 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.