Progress report for SGA23-A001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2023: $33,000.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2024
Grant Recipient: University of Georgia
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
State Coordinator:
Dr. Timothy Coolong
University of Georgia
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Project Information



The UGA SARE program is in the process of developing a new logic model and a 5-year plan to address upcoming needs for professional development opportunities. We will continue to provide support for Extension professionals to attend conferences and educational programming in addition to providing more opportunities to support the UGA Journeyman Farmer program, which has seen renewed interest in urban and peri urban regions of the state.  Further, the program will address needs in urban food production, which were not part of the prior logic model.  The new SARE program assistant is housed in the Center for Urban Agriculture at UGA in an effort to provide a greater connection to urban audiences.  Further, we will support programming efforts that seek to engage non-traditional audiences for outreach. The new logic model will be completed during the 2023-2024 project year.

Project Objectives:

We will continue to support the Journeyman farmer program.  This program was developed by former UGA SARE coordinator Julia Gaskin.  https://sustainagga.caes.uga.edu/about/sustainable-agriculture-programs-and-events/journeyman-farmer-certificate-program.html.  It has been very successful in helping train beginning farmers in diversified fruit and vegetable production, small ruminant production, and farm financial management.  We are proposing to supply training materials in the form of binders, handouts and USB drives containing recorded talks for this program.  This program has an important niche in that the majority of participants are from peri-urban areas that are under threat of development. 

The MSP routinely collaborates with Georgia Organics and the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Associations, both NGOs that work throughout Georgia to help growers. This includes developing the organic education program track for the SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference held annually in Savannah, GA.  More than 3200 people attended this conference in early 2023 and it is a great way to reach an audience that is primarily focused on large-scale agriculture. We will support SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference. This is the largest produce-related conference and educational program in the SE. U.S. We supported funds to send 3 agents and the SARE program assistant to this program in 2023 and are hoping to support 2 agents in 2024. The MSP program works with Georgia Organics every year in providing a Sustainable Agriculture exhibit at the Georgia Organics Conference, which includes information and publications from SARE. The MSP will be sponsoring a booth with educational materials at the 2023 Georgia Organics Conference in Perry, GA.

SARE materials and program results are distributed at events, workshops, and conferences. We provide SARE books, thumb drives, and materials to county Extension agents and PDCs in 4 Extension districts in Georgia.  There was strong need from UGA Extension for SARE books and flash drives again in 2022, and we expect to distribute more in 2023. In discussions with Extension agents and advanced growers, distributing SARE publications is highly impactful. We will try to do more distribution in upcoming years.

We will support on-farm training efforts through providing honorariums to local farmers who present at these programs.



Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Dr. Timothy Coolong
  • Dr. Mark Latimore
  • Dr. James Brown
  • Dr. Kristie Wendelberger
  • Dr. Laura Ney
  • Billy Mitchell (Educator)
  • Robin Channin
  • Michael Wall


Educational approach:

The UGA Model State Program Assistant works with our the GA SARE Coordinators at UGA and FVSU to conduct outreach efforts throughout Georgia related to sustainable agriculture. The program assistant conducts their own programming at the county and regional level to promote SARE efforts and also assists with agent training as part of the professional development program.

Education & Outreach Initiatives

SARE Program assistant helps coordinate a range of outreach efforts throughout Georgia

The overall objective is to promote sustainable agriculture with agriculture professionals (outreach specialists) as well as growers in Georgia.


The SARE program assistant helps coordinate agent trainings, farmer outreach efforts and other activities related to sustainable agriculture in Georgia. Below is a list of some of the activities that the program assistant has coordinated in the 2023/2024 project year.


  • Organic Farming Agent training

Agent training flyer

Irrigation training for the green industry and agents in urban areas.

Urban irrigation training

SARE materials distribution at joint program with Georgia Organics at Jenny Jack Farm in SW Georgia.

SARE resource distribution
Here is a table showing SARE resources that were distributed at an on-farm training where the UGA SARE coordinator participated.


Additional activities

  • Master Series ANR Hour – Presented Journeyman Farmer Overview for agents – 11 attendees
  • Instructed container gardening class for FFA teachers statewide training ~ 40 attendees
  • Athens Sustainable Growers Network Board Member
  • Co-coordinated Farmers Field Day and taught sustainable ag resources session and provided SARE handouts, book display, and other resources - 27 attended.
  • Co-presented Center for Urban Agriculture overview at ANR Foundations Griffin Campus – 17 attendees
  • Provided support for 8 counties who facilitated the Journeyman Program including updated section of curriculum, promoting program on social media, and schedule Qualtrics surveys
  • Joachim Herz development project –sustainability concepts for the garden and landscape in Newton County
  • Co-coordinated agent training on organic farming with Newton County agent, Georgia Organics and Florida Organic Growers Project – 24 attendees
  • Co-coordinated Urban Ag Council Irrigation and Water Conservation Training ~30 attendees
  • Foodwell Alliance Farmer Resource Roundup Exhibitor ~30 attendees
  • Southeast Green Conference Exhibitor
  • Promoted SARE at the Organic Session of the Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference
  • Sunbelt Agriculture Expo Exhibitor
  • Southern Region SARE Coordinator Training
  • Aglanta Urban Agriculture Hyper local food festival /network ~80 attendees
  • Food Well Alliance Pollinator Census counting event and workshop – 14 attendees
  • Innovative Sustainable Technology Symposium ~ 30 attendees
  • Attended Georgia Farm Bureau Conference and stakeholders breakfast to promote SARE in Georgi a
  • 2022 & 2023 Great Georgia Pollinator Survey work
Outcomes and impacts:

The learning outcomes are that dozens of agriculture agents and hundreds of growers and those interested in agriculture have been provided educational materials and in many cases hands-on trainings that can help promote sustainable agriculture practices in Georgia.

Educational & Outreach Activities

30 Consultations
2 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
3 On-farm demonstrations
2 Online trainings
6 Published press articles, newsletters
3 Tours
30 Travel Scholarships
2 Webinars / talks / presentations
5 Workshop field days

Participation Summary:

80 Extension
5 Researchers
5 Nonprofit
2 Agency
5 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
200 Farmers/ranchers

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

1 Grant received that built upon this project
8 New working collaborations
50 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
300 Farmers reached through participant's programs

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

The SARE coordinator and program assistant have conducted many outreach efforts as listed prior to help promote SARE around Georgia and the SE US. We have made efforts to attend and promote SARE at traditional outlets (GA Organics, etc.) but have also made an effort to promote SARE at large regional events that cater to conventional agriculture such as the Sunbelt Ag. Expo., which has thousands of attendees that may not normally think about SARE.  We feel that by promoting SARE with these non-traditional audiences that we can reach a new group of farmers to consider some of the practices that SARE promotes. Further, we ultimately may be able to impact a greater area of agriculture by reaching out to these traditionally large scale farms.

300 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
80 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.