2019 Model State Program- Southern University Ag Center

Progress report for SLA19-002

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2019: $11,111.00
Projected End Date: 04/30/2022
Grant Recipient: Southern University Agriculture Research and 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 Agricultural Land-Grant Campus (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 2019 – 2020 include: practical farm certifications, sustainable farm tour, beneficial insects, honey and value-added products, hoop house production, insect control research, climate challenges, the Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) annual meeting, and the Louisiana SAWG annual meeting, as well as regional sustainable agriculture related conferences and workshops. LSUAC and SUAREC extension personnel will be strongly encouraged to attend the training sessions. Information delivery systems to be utilized include trainings, workshops, conferences, networking sessions, farm tours, field days, hands-on demonstrations, handouts, 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.southernsare.org/SARE-in-Your-State/Louisiana) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/LouisianaSARE/). The other duties for this position include coordination of state workshops and field days, SSAWG travel awards and arrangements, sustainable agriculture materials generated by the project, promotion of SARE resources and grant opportunities, promotion of related sustainable agriculture resources, events, and opportunities across the state, and development of on-line and hard copy sustainable agriculture resources.

Project Objectives:

The overall objectives of the Louisiana Model State Plan (MSP) are:
• Conduct workshops on sustainable agriculture for extension and agriculture professionals.
• Maintain the state SARE website with sustainable agriculture materials and resources, and links to related state organizations.
• 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 Board.
• 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 (SUAREC, LSUAC). The MSP has allowed for the increased number of training sessions per year. The MSP has allowed the Louisiana SARE PDP 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

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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, agronomic crops, marketing, vegetable production, small ruminants, pollination, horticulture, local food systems, and food preservation and safety. 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

Morehouse Parish Field Day, July 19, 2019
Objective:

Conduct workshops on sustainable agriculture for extension and agriculture professionals.
• Encourage extension and agricultural professionals to continue to attend sustainable agriculture meetings.
• Promote the SARE program results, resources, and grant opportunities in Louisiana.

Description:

The event included a farm tour, technical sessions, and a hands-on demonstration on field crops such corn, vegetables, soybeans. This farm tour takes place at a Hill Family Farm, a black owned farm, this farm is located in North Louisiana and they host this Field day/Farm tour every year.
LSU and Southern University as well as other organization such as NRCS, Louisiana department of Agriculture, Black Farmers organizations and SARE cosponsor this event.
Several hundred people attend this event.

Outcomes and impacts:

Fall Garden Workshop, 11- 26-2019
Objective:

A Fall gardening workshop was conducted to train farmers, extension agents, teachers, and community garden leaders to address issues and to increase knowledge of food preservation techniques and regulations on safety and cottage law, vegetable grafting, and hydroponic and conventional vegetable production.

Description:

This year’s workshop focused on learning how to preserve fruits and vegetables and abiding by the state’s Cottage Food Rules and Regulations. Stephanie Elwood, Extension Associate for the SU Ag Center, facilitated a session on eating locally grown produce; Sarah Sims, SU Ag Center’s Nutrition Educator for Madison and Richland Parishes, provided instructions on the proper way to make preserves and jams from fresh fruits and vegetables; Gabriela Crespo Gutierrez, Assistant Manager of the Food Incubator at LSU’s School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, discussed the state’s cottage food rules and regulations; Mila Berhane, Senior Research Associate at the SU Ag Center, demonstrated how to graft vegetables; and Yemane Ghebreiyessus, Ph.D., Professor of Urban Forestry and Soil Sciences in SU’s Department of Urban Forestry and Natural Resources and Marlin Ford, Ph.D., Urban Agricultural Specialist at the SU Ag Center, conducted a session on hydroponics.
Attendees were also able to participate in either a hands-on vegetable grafting or hydroponic systems assembly

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.https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/entertainment_life/home_garden/article_0205d1ee-ec4c-11e9-8816-17d80059305e.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share&fbclid=IwAR04tS6dkyrhZQcTnDs6eOJndZJ-bEiHtJcWr8Q1OC0S14jsPuxIH3yHXXk

Outcomes and impacts:

01.23-26-20 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 23-26, 2020 – At Southern University we were able to secure funds for 12 participants, and because of having a smaller 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 Little Rock, Arkansas.
A total of 72 attended to Last SSAWG conference, some with the support of Lsuagcenter and Southern University in providing transportation for attendees with support from agencies like NIFA and Southern SARE.

Outcomes and impacts:

Educational & Outreach Activities

3 On-farm demonstrations
1 Published press articles, newsletters
3 Tours
12 Travel Scholarships
10 Webinars / talks / presentations
2 Workshop field days

Participation Summary:

50 Extension
16 NRCS
20 Researchers
25 Nonprofit
10 Agency
100 Farmers/ranchers

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

2 Grants received that built upon this project
100 Farmers reached through participant's programs
Additional Outcomes:

100 Ag professionals intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned

400 Participants gained or increased knowledge, skills and/or attitudes about sustainable agriculture topics, practices, strategies, approaches

400 Service providers reported changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness as a result of project outreach

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

300 Ag professionals received information about SARE grant programs and information resources

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