2023-24 MSP Training Program

Progress report for SLA23-001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2023: $22,000.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2024
Grant Recipient: Louisiana State University Agricultural Center
Region: Southern
State: Louisiana
State Coordinator:
Dr. Carl Motsenbocker
Louisiana State University Agricultural Center
Expand All

Project Information


The Louisiana State University AgCenter (LSUAC) in collaboration with the Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus (SUAREC) will implement programs that enhance the capabilities of Louisiana’s agricultural professionals in the area of sustainable agriculture. Themes for 2023-2024 include: agritourism, intensive grazing and livestock processing, advanced organic farmer training, farmers marketing, fall garden workshop (pastured poultry and meat rabbits), spring garden workshop (food preservation and vegetables), as well as regional sustainable agriculture related conferences and workshops. The target audience for trainings will be extension, non-profit representative, and mentor farmers who will share information and skills gained with local audiences. LSUAC and SUAREC extension personnel will be strongly encouraged to attend the training sessions. Information delivery systems to be utilized include virtual trainings, workshops, conferences, networking sessions, farm tours, field days, hands-on demonstrations, handouts, resource manuals, SARE publications 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/) and a quarterly sustainable agriculture newsletter. The other duties for this position include coordination of state workshops and field days, travel awards and arrangements, promotion of SARE resources and grant opportunities, promotion of related sustainable agriculture resources, events, and opportunities across the state, management and reporting of the PDP organization of advisory board, and collaboration with advisory board members’ programs when applicable. 

Project Objectives:

Outreach Objectives:

  • 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 Georgia Organics Annual Conference. 
  • 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.  

The Louisiana Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Board meets biannually and reviews the past year’s activities and strategic plan as well as the next year’s activities and plan. The 2023-2024 strategic plan and cycle is proposed to focus on themes different than the previous year. The successive years build upon the past workshops and trainings and the needs of the Louisiana SARE PDP stakeholders and feedback from the participants.  

Proposed Trainings:

  • intensive grazing / livestock processing training
  • agritourism training
  • advanced organic farmer training
  • farmers-marketing training
  • attending the 2024 Georgia Organics Annual Conference. 


Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • William Afton (Educator)
  • Anna Timmerman (Educator)
  • Burnell Muse (Educator)
  • Mark Wilson (Educator)
  • Dana Shuff (Educator)
  • Monica Melancon (Educator)
  • Lillie Howard (Educator)
  • Angelina Harrison (Educator)
  • Chris Adams (Educator)
  • Lauren Jones (Educator)
  • Marguerite Green (Educator)
  • Richard Kacir (Educator)
  • Jeremy Hendrix (Educator)
  • Maria Bampasidou (Educator)


Educational approach:

The Louisiana SARE goal to is to provide in-person trainings and scholarships for county agents and other agricultural professionals who work directly with farmers in order to receive training they can use to assist and work with producers and their communities in sustainable agriculture.  

Our educational approach for our sustainable agriculture extension programming for Louisiana has two components:
1. To provide in-person trainings where the target audience consists of extension agents, mentor farmers, producers’ associations, local, regional, state and non-profit organizations, and others that work directly with growers.

2. To facilitate participation by extension agents, nongovernmental organizations, growers and industry representatives, and representatives of non-profit, local, regional and state organizations in on-farm and on-station research, grower assessments of demonstration and research trials, workshops, and on-farm and on-station field days either in state or in the southern region.  

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Sustainable Agriculture Training & Professional Development Activities

The objective of these activities is to provide information and resources on various sustainable agriculture topics as well as networking opportunities to the target audience of extension faculty, mentor and small to medium-scale farmers, local service providers and others that work directly with farmers.



Carolina Farm Stewardship Assoc. Annual Conference & Expo-- Nov 10-13, 2023

Travel scholarships were provided to 8 agriculture professionals to attend the 2024 CFSA Conference & Expo. Attending this conference gave these participants the opportunity to learn more about organic/sustainable practices and business procedures. ( 1 county agent, 3 extension personnel, 1 NGO partner, & 3 mentor farmers) 


Agritourism Workshop--2/23/2024

One-day classroom training on agritourism. LSU Extension Agent Jessie Hoover presented on agritourism certification. Dr. Maria Bampasidou presented on financial considerations for Agritourism. Dr. Mary Helen Ferguson, LSU AgCenter Extension Agent, discussed marketing strategies. Farm Bureau representative, Randall Whitehead, spoke about insurance for agritourism. The final session of this training was a farmer-led panel featuring 5 local agritourism operations' leaders. LA SARE sponsored this event and donated two "Limited Liability Clause" metal signs for farmers beginning their agritourism business.


Composting Workshop & Pasture Walk-- 2/23/2024

One-day outdoor composting workshop at Local Cooling Farms. This event was organized by Grant Estrade (owner of Local Cooling) and Tara Morris (Owner of 312 Beef and event coordinator of LGLCI). LSU SARE donated composting handbooks and 1 cu ft bags of compost to all the participants. LSU SARE also donated a portable handwashing station to Local Cooling Farms. The material covered in this event included composting techniques, materials, sourcing, cost of operation, marketing/sales, and distribution.

After the composting workshop, the participants went on a pasture walk thru Local Cooling's various livestock operations. Participants viewed and learned about small ruminants, cattle, hogs, and poultry. Topics discussed were infrastructure, animal health, and grazing practices.


Commercial Cut Flower Workshop--5/19/2024

One-day classroom training where retired Horticulture Agent, Denyse Cummins, presented on cut flower farming techniques as well as marketing and licensing. The content of this training encouraged sustainable practices and at the end of this training, participants were given time to describe their growing operation and network with others in their area.

Educational & Outreach Activities

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

Participation Summary:

10 Extension
3 Researchers
16 Nonprofit
2 Agency
3 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
62 Farmers/ranchers
22 Others

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

5 New working collaborations
4 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
62 Farmers reached through participant's programs
Additional Outcomes:

"I feel like I've learned so much today! From planning to marketing, I feel full of ideas for my small flower farm. I specifically learned more about when to harvest and marketing ideas. I also want to join a professional group." -Louisiana farmer


Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

SARE educational materials are distributed at all of our SARE trainings and other relevant programs in Louisiana both at Southern and Louisiana State University. SARE materials are distributed to the public by state and county faculty that participate in our programs. SARE books and educational materials are distributed to our advisory council, county agents, mentor farmers, and scholarship recipients. SARE trainings, information, and resources are advertised and shared on social media pages and the Louisiana SARE website.

225 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
113 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.