SLA17-001 Model State Program

Final report for SLA17-001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $44,444.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2020
Grant Recipient: Louisiana State University
Region: Southern
State: Louisiana
State Coordinators:
Dr. Carl Motsenbocker
Louisiana State University AgCenter
Co-Coordinators:
Mila Berhane
Southern University Agcenter
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Project Information

Abstract:

The Louisiana State University AgCenter (LSUAC) in collaboration with the Southern University Research and Extension Center (SUAREC) wiJl implement programs that enhance the capabilities of Louisiana’s agricultural professionals in the area of sustainable agriculture.

Themes for 2017-2018 include: small ruminant production and forage crops, fall farming and focus on net houses/high tunnels, beginning/advanced organic fanning, sustainable farm workshop and farm tour and the Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) annual meeting. Louisiana State University AgCenter and Southern University Agricultural Center extension personnel will be strongly encouraged to attend the training sessions. Information delivery systems to be utilized include workshops and long-distance education training sessions, field trips, resource manuals and informational bulletins. The Louisiana Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Board will meet twice annually for programmatic planning and evaluation. The Program Assistant (half-time), funded by this project, will be responsible for maintaining the state SARE website (http://www.southcrnsarc.org/SAREin-Your-State-/Louisiana) and Face book page.

The other duties for this position include assisting in coordination of the state workshops and field days, the SSA WG scholarships and arrangements, the sustainable agriculture materials generated by the project, promotion of SARE resources and grant opportunities, and development of on-line and hard copy sustainable agriculture resources.

Project Objectives:

The overall objectives of the Louisiana Model State Plan (MSP) are:
• Maintain the state SARE website with sustainable agriculture materials and resources, and links to related state organizations.
• Conduct workshops on sustainable agriculture for extension and agriculture professionals.
• Conduct bi-annual state advisory board meetings with the purpose of revising and modifying the strategic plan.
• Identify annual training objectives with the input from the Louisiana Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Committee.
• Encourage extension and agricultural professionals to continue to attend sustainable agriculture meetings such as the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group annual meeting.
• Continue participation in workshops. meetings, and field days that highlight sustainable agriculture practices.
• Promote the SARE program results, resources, and grant opportunities in Louisiana.

The MSP for Louisiana will allow for enhanced programming effort beyond the state plans of work for the separate institutions (Southern University Agricultural Research and Education Center, LSU AgCenter). The MSP has allowed for the increased number of training sessions per year. The MSP has allowed the Louisiana SARE PDP program to have greater resources available for training activities, using the Southern SARE Louisiana webpage for sustainable agriculture resources, as well as increased coordination and networking. The hiring of a program assistant through the SARE PDP allowed for a unified sustainable agriculture programming effort for the state.

Advisors

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • William Afton (Educator)
  • Dr. Grace Peterson (Educator)
  • Allison Guidroz
  • Lee Weeks
  • John Dean
  • Lisa Gray
  • Emery Van Hook Sonnier
  • Chris Coreil
  • Jeremy Hendrix
  • Dr. Dawn Mellion-Patin (Educator)
  • Dr. John Westra (Educator)
  • Emily King (Educator)

Education

Educational approach:

The SARE PDP will emphasize an interdisciplinary and participatory approach to training. Training will range from beginner to intermediate and be provided in a classroom environment followed by hands-on experiences and demonstrations such as field days and on-farm tours to fortify training subject matter in a variety of ways. Handouts will be provided for attendees to follow along during the training, in order to take notes, and to review after the workshop is over. Subjects for trainings include cover crops, high-tunnels, hoop-houses, marketing, best business practices, integrated pest management, urban agriculture, pollination, horticulture, local food systems, and soils. The primary audiences for the trainings are 1862 and 1890 extension agents, NRCS conservation field staff, and other agriculture professionals and mentor farmers. Agriculture professionals and those who train farmers and serve small-scale, minority, and limited resource farmers as well as those who serve larger-scale conventional farms will be encouraged to attend. Educational program participants will increase their competency and skills in areas related to sustainable agriculture. Participants will have increased confidence and knowledge that will enable them to respond to client inquiries with knowledge and authority regarding sustainable agriculture principles and practices.  

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Sustainable Agriculture Training and Advancement Opportunities
Objective:

To train agriculture professionals, extension agents, NRCS agents, and mentor farmers in sustainable agriculture practices, and through their training pass this information on to farmers, land owners, and the general public.

Description:

NOLA-Urban-Farm-Tour-Nov-30-Flier MarketReady-Training-Flyer-2018-Hyperlinks-Final-1 MarketReady-Training-Flyer-2017-Final-I-1 LaSAWG-2017-Agenda 2017-F2S-Conference-Flyer

Louisiana SARE holds and sponsors several workshops, meetings, conferences, and trainings in cooperation with other agencies in all areas of the state throughout the year.  LA SARE also distributes scholarships to several conferences in and out of the state of Louisiana, such as the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference.  These trainings and scholarships together promote SARE’s mission of providing diversified sustainable agriculture education.

Outcomes and impacts:

Louisiana SARE was able to provide travel scholarships to 30 extension and agricultural educators to attend the SSAWG conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  LA SARE hosted or sponsored 15 training events including several meetings, conferences, and workshops.  Over 85% of participants of the trainings used the information they learned to answer client questions, as well incorporate those ideas into their regular programming.  Over 40% of participants developed new programming based on information learned at the conferences.  At least 80% of attendees created new and useful professional contacts at the training events.  These events educated attendees and served as an opportunity to make them aware of SARE and other resources that will be useful in their field.

Educational & Outreach Activities

1 Published press articles, newsletters
1 Tours
13 Travel Scholarships
15 Webinars / talks / presentations

Participation Summary

30 Extension
15 NRCS
5 Researchers
55 Nonprofit
12 Agency
71 Farmers/ranchers

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

2 New working collaborations
35 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
72 Farmers reached through participant's programs
Additional Outcomes:

The training sessions and programs discussed above had the following outcomes:

  • Increase awareness of SUAREC and LSU AgCenter extension and research programs.
  • Knowledge of resources that are available to agricultural professionals regarding all the topics above mentioned.
  • Increase request for information regarding topics on sustainable agriculture.
  • Increase interest from agricultural professionals, extension agents, farmers in attending sustainable agriculture events around the state.
  • Greater regional impact
  • Increased collaboration of research and extension personnel in sustainable agricultural programs
  • More awareness about SARE programs. Brochures are made available at each event.
  • SARE books and jump drives have been given to agricultural professionals, extension agents and attendees to each event.

All these events have been partially or fully funded with SARE funds.

Recommendations:

SARE should offer trainings, workshops, or literature dedicated to farm to school, as well as beginning and manging a student-run campus farm.

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

The overall objectives of the Louisiana Model State Plan (MSP) are:

  • Maintain the state SARE website with sustainable agriculture materials and resources, and links to related state organizations.
  • Conduct workshops on sustainable agriculture for extension and agriculture professionals. 
  • Conduct bi-annual state advisory board meetings with the purpose of revising and modifying the strategic plan.
  • Identify annual training objectives with the input from the Louisiana Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Committee. 
  • Encourage extension and agricultural professionals to continue to attend sustainable agriculture meetings such as the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group annual meeting.
  • Continue participation in workshops, meetings, and field days that highlight sustainable agriculture practices.
  • Promote the SARE program results, resources, and grant opportunities in Louisiana.

The MSP for Louisiana will allow for enhanced programming effort beyond the state plans of work for the separate institutions (Southern University Agricultural Research and Education Center, LSU AgCenter).  The MSP has allowed for the increased number of training sessions per year.  The MSP has allowed the Louisiana SARE PDP program to have greater resources available for training activities, using the Southern SARE Louisiana webpage for sustainable agriculture resources, as well as increased coordination and networking.  The hiring of a program assistant through the SARE PDP allowed for a unified sustainable agriculture programming effort for the state. 

100 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
85 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.