SLA17-002 Model State Program

Final report for SLA17-002

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $11,111.00
Projected End Date: 03/30/2020
Grant Recipient: Southern University Agriculture & Extension Center
Region: Southern
State: Louisiana
State Coordinators:
Mila Berhane
Southern University Agcenter
Co-Coordinators:
Dr. Carl Motsenbocker
Louisiana State University AgCenter
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Project Information

Abstract:

The Southern University Research and Extension Center (SUAREC) in collaboration with The Louisiana State University AgCenter (LSUAC) will implement programs that enhance the capabilities of Louisiana’s agricultural professionals in the area of sustainable agriculture. Themes for 2017 – 2018 include: pastured poultry, fruit crops, small ruminants, fall garden and the Louisiana Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (LA SA WG) annual meeting as well as regional sustainable agriculture related conferences and workshops. 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.soutbemsare.org/SARE-in-YourState/ Louisiana) and Facebook 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, marketing, integrated pest management, small ruminants, 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

06.10.17 Cut Flower Hands on Workshop
Objective:

A Training workshop on cut and edible flowers was conducted, giving emphasis on production and marketing of cut flowers, edible flowers and value added, regulations for the floriculture field from the Louisiana Horticulture Commission.

Description:

June 10, 2017 –SU-Cut-Flowers-Flyer-06.10.17 The target audience was low income women in urban and rural communities, extension agents, agricultural professionals and small farmers. A diversity of speakers were invited.  Three horticulturists and nursery owners conducted hands-on trainings and lectures.

Outcomes and impacts:

40 participants including extension, ag professionals

10.31.17 Hoop House Production Training
Objective:

The Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives (SCRI) - a satellite campus of the Southern University AgCenter – hosted a train the trainer workshop on hoop vegetable production for an urban farm/homeless shelter. Community garden coordinators, farmers and extension agents were invited to attend the workshop, which was free and open to the public.

Description:

The workshop focused on the topics of: • Soil Preparation tips • Greenhouse maintenance and production • The benefits of hoop houses and raised beds

Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities that included: • Seedling Preparation and • Transplanting Seedlings

Attendees were provided with seedlings and seeds for the fall planting. More than 20 people attended this event.

Outcomes and impacts:

20 Participants including extension, NRCS, mentor farmers and state agencies

11.21.17 2017 Fall Garden Workshop
Objective:

A Fall gardening workshop will be conducted to train farmers, extension agents, teachers, and community garden leaders to address issues and to increase knowledge of urban farming, net houses/ hoop house construction, pest control, irrigation and vegetable marketing.

Description:

November 21, 2017 –  Southern University AgCenter hosted the 2017 Fall Garden Workshop in Baton Rouge, LA.

The Institute for Medicinal Herbs, a new program at Southern University AgCenter, used the opportunity to hold a full day training on herbs and invited extension agents, ag professionals, and farmers to learn about the new research and work done on medicinal herbs.

The training included topics such as production and marketing of herbs, value-added dry herbs, and healing with herbs.  The workshop also included a session on growing and marketing non-traditional vegetables, which discussed the types of vegetables that can be grown in each season.

Other presentations included a hands-on demonstration on herb production in greenhouses and a tour of the pest exclusion research at the Southern University Horticulture farm.

The Fall Gardening Workshop was co-sponsored by the Southern University AgCenter, The Wisteria Alliance Program, and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program.

Outcomes and impacts:

83 Participantsof extension agents, ag professionals, and farmers

11.21.17 Agenda Fall Garden Workshop 11.21.17 Flyer Fall Garden Workshop

01.17-20.18 Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Annual Conference
Objective:

Travel to SSAWG conference and meeting with LA SAWG group in order to address issues related to sustainable agriculture in Louisiana.

Description:

January 17-20, 2018 – At Southern University we were able to secure funds for 12 participants, and because of having a smaller group and budget, we decided to drive university vehicles, selected Ag professionals, and extension agents from Southern University and LSU as well as mentor farmers were able to travel to Chattanooga, TN.

Outcomes and impacts:

12 participants

03.15-17.18 8th Louisiana Small Farmers Conference
Objective:

The conference was designed to provide expanded awareness of educational opportunities; U.S. Department of Agriculture programs and services; and other resources to help small farmers stay in business. The event was targeted at beginning farmers, small and urban farmers, agricultural business owners, community leaders, extension agents, Ag professionals, and community-based organizations.

Description:

March 15-17, 2018  The theme for this year was “Transforming and Elevating Louisiana Small Family Farms.”

03.15.18 Flyer Louisiana Small Farmer Conference – SARE Grant Writing Session 03.15-17.18 Flyer Louisiana Small Farmer Conference 03.15.18 Agenda Louisiana Small Farmer Conference 03.15.18 Flyer Louisiana Small Farmer Conference – Managing Feral Hogs

Sessions were held on grant writing, emergency preparedness, integrated pest management, agro-tourism, seed quality, composting, estate planning and small herd profitability.

Managing feral hogs was a one full day event, presenters to this event were a Texas Extension agent and a member of La Department of Agriculture. This event was well attended.

Other events during the conference include the Louisiana Living Legends Banquet and the graduation ceremony for the 2016 Class of the Louisiana Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Institute.

Mr. Brennan Washington, Minority Farmer/Outreach Specialist from SARE, was one of the presenters.

SUAREC faculty and staff members and experts from other governmental, NGO’s and private organization from Louisiana and other states provided their expertise to make all the mentioned events a success.

Outcomes and impacts:

120 participants consisting of university extension, mentor farmers, NRCS and state agency representatives, non-profit representatives, beginning and experienced farmers and ranchers.

04.25.18 2nd Annual Flower and Garden Conference
Objective:

• Conduct workshops on sustainable agriculture for extension and agriculture professionals.
• Encourage extension and agricultural professionals to continue to attend sustainable agriculture meetings such as the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group annual meeting.
• Promote the SARE program results, resources, and grant opportunities in Louisiana.
This event was a collaborative effort of a community organization and the staff of the SU Ag Center to inform and educate farmers, flowers producers of opportunities in flower production; Southern University, SARE and the “Flower Lovers’ Garden Guild.”

Description:

April 25, 2018

04.25.18 Agenda 2nd Spring Garden Workshop 04.25.18 Flyer 2nd Spring Garden Workshop

Flowers growers from the Greater Baton Rouge and other Louisiana areas poured into the Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus to attend the 2nd Annual Flower and Garden Conference. 

The event brought together the Wisteria Alliance-Women in Agriculture program, research and extension staff, the North Baton Rouge “Flower Lovers’ Garden Guild” along with farmers, Ag professionals, and university students. The speakers consisted of: Juanita Horton, President of the “Flower Lovers’ Garden Guild”, with a historical overview of the organization; Karen “Mimo” Davis of St. Louis, MO, Flower Farmer and Florist and founder of “Urban Buds” served as the keynote speaker; Sara Woods of “Sunshine Tea Louisiana” from Elton, LA, gave a presentation on tea blending and marketing and provided samples for everyone to enjoy; Rita Stephens, Florist and member of the “Flower Lovers’ Garden Guild”, gave a corsage making demonstration; and Vice Chancellor of Extension, Dawn Mellion Patin, provided closing remarks.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees were introduced to a Mimo Davis, whose humble beginnings started in a vacant lot and grew to become one of the most successful florists in the urban St. Louis, MO area.  Teas were made at a conference demonstration by blending flowers, herbs, and fruits together to create custom combinations for sale.

The conference concluded with a trip to the Southern University greenhouses.  There the attendees learned about different mixtures of healthy soils, flowers, and herbs.  A show-and-tell demonstration and tour of equipment used in the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Garden was provided. As an added bonus, the ladies had the opportunity to participate in a flower arrangement class and the arrangements were given away as door prizes for the lucky winners.

The day ended with well over 100 attendees including university extension, non-profit representatives, state agency representative, beginning farmers/gardeners, entrepreneurs and flower-lovers.

04.24.19 3rd Cut Flower and Spring Garden Workshop
Objective:

• Conduct workshops on sustainable agriculture for extension and agriculture professionals.
• Encourage extension and agricultural professionals to continue to attend sustainable agriculture meetings such as the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group annual meeting.
• Promote the SARE program results, resources, and grant opportunities in Louisiana.

Description:

04.24.19 Flyer Spring Garden Workshop

A Training workshop on cut flower production was conducted, giving emphasis on production and marketing of cut flowers, edible hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdarifa) and value added products, house plant care and business, hands-on demonstrations on construction of rain barrels, raised beds and hydroponic systems. This workshop is put together by Southern University Agcenter in partnership with “Flower Lovers Garden Guild” and Wisteria Alliance (SU Women in Agriculture group).

Outcomes and impacts:

The Cut Flower and Spring Garden Workship took place April 24, 2019.  95 participants were in attendance.  The target audience was low income women in urban and rural communities, extension agents, agricultural professionals and small farmers. A diversity of speakers were invited.  Three horticulturists and nursery owners conducted lectures and extension agents conducted hands on trainings.

3rd Annual spring flower and Garden conference: 105 Attendees: 30 Extension agents, 20 Farmers/ranchers, 20 educators, 25 Faculty members, 6 NRCS , 4 State employees.

Hibiscus and butterfly flyers were printed with SARE funds and distributed at the workshop:04.24.19 Handout Hibiscus Jelly Recipe Card 04.24.19 Handout Milkweed & Monarchs 04.24.19 Handout Hibicus Chutney Recipe Card

04.24.19 Survey Results Spring Garden Workshop

06.01.19 13th Annual Small Ruminant Field Day
Objective:

• Conduct workshops on sustainable agriculture for extension and agriculture professionals.
• Encourage extension and agricultural professionals to continue to attend sustainable agriculture meetings such as the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group annual meeting.
• Promote the SARE program results, resources, and grant opportunities in Louisiana.

Description:

06.01.19 Agenda Small Ruminant Field Day 06.01.19 Flyer Small Ruminant Field Day

A field day on small ruminants was held June 1st, 2019 at the Maurice A. Edmond Livestock Arena on the Southern Land Grant Campus.  Sessions include raising livestock on alternative forages, reproductive performances in sheep and goats, mobile technology, marketing of small ruminants’ products with special emphasis on co-op, Food Safety Modernization Act, meat goats, and parasite and disease management.  Hands-on demonstrations were held on soil, drenching, Famacha, and injections.

The event was sponsored, organized and hosted by Southern University Land Grant Campus and Louisiana SARE, and sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

Outcomes and impacts:

46 participants: 10 research members, 12 Extension agents, 10 ranchers and farmers, 10 ag professionals, 4 NRCS.

The Goat Production Handbook for Small Producers was printed with SARE funds for this event and distributed to attendees. 

06.07.19 2019 St. Helena Ag Day
Objective:

• Conduct workshops on sustainable agriculture for extension and agriculture professionals.
• Encourage extension and agricultural professionals to continue to attend sustainable agriculture meetings such as the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group annual meeting.
• Promote the SARE program results, resources, and grant opportunities in Louisiana.

Description:

The St. Helena Ag Day was held June 7th, 2019 in Amite, Louisiana.  The event included a farm tour, technical sessions, and a hands-on demonstration.  A farm tour visited vegetable producer, Warner Hall, and a diverse operation at Muse 3 Farm that included vegetables, goats, cattle, and chickens.  Sessions included NRCS updates, vertical gardens and hydroponic growing, and edible landscapes.  State co-coordinator, Mila Berhane, was a speaker in the edible landscapes session.  Demonstrations included backyard poultry, petting zoo, transplanting hibiscus, and building hydroponic systems.

The event was sponsored, organized and hosted by Southern University Land Grant Campus, Louisiana SARE, and LSU AgCenter.  The event was also sponsored for lunch and financial donations by Kentwood Co-op, Bracy’s Nursery, Landmark Bank, St. Helena Cattlemen Club, and St. Helena Parish Sheriff Nat Williams.

Outcomes and impacts:

75 participants including extension, mentor farmers, NRCS

Agendas were printed with SARE funds and distributed at the event.  06.07.19 Agenda St. Helena Ag Day

Educational & Outreach Activities

20 Consultations
2 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
3 Journal articles
4 On-farm demonstrations
9 Published press articles, newsletters
5 Study circle/focus groups
3 Tours
12 Travel Scholarships
15 Webinars / talks / presentations
9 Workshop field days

Participation Summary

45 Extension
10 NRCS
18 Researchers
30 Nonprofit
15 Agency
75 Farmers/ranchers
300 Others

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

3 New working collaborations
5 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
50 Farmers reached through participant's programs
Additional Outcomes:

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

* Increase awareness of SUAREC 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.

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.

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