MSSTATE Program Assistant for Sustainable Agriculture: Small Ruminants, Beef and 4H

Progress report for SMS23-A001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2023: $33,000.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2024
Grant Recipient: Department of Animal & Dairy Sciences at Mississippi State University
Region: Southern
State: Mississippi
State Coordinator:
Dr. Leyla Rios
Department of Animal & Dairy Sciences at Mississippi State University
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Project Information


Traditional agriculture producers benefit and utilize sustainable agriculture practices that prove more economical and/or improve the quality of life and the community in which they live. One training objective is to assist all agriculture producers with a better understanding of sustainable agriculture and fulfill the mission of the S-SARE program: “to expand knowledge and adoption of sustainable agriculture practices that are economically viable, environmentally sound, and good for all members of the community”. Each year MSSTATE Extension meets in Advisory Council Meetings to find out directly from stakeholders what are the needs of each Commodity group. This year we are planning to include in the State program not only small ruminant producers, as we have done in the past two years, but also beef producers and the most important group, which is the new generation of 4H groups, so getting the information on educational and research programs for all will be a priority. Other target audiences for this Program include educators, researchers, commodity organizations, agri-business leaders, community leaders, and the general public with program delivery through workshops, seminars, conferences, in-service training, and mass media. The Program Assistant will help with the development of this program in person, and also through social media and web pages.

Project Objectives:

Most of the objectives will be the same since the Program Assistant was in the position for only a few months. For 2023-2024 more farmers will be included, and also 4H groups.

• Promotion of all SARE-related programs and projects
• Assist the Coordinator with reports, budgets, and programs
• Assist the Coordinator with the events where SARE will be promoted, including small ruminants, beef, and 4H activities
• Assist the Coordinator with the collection of data and evaluation
• Provide input in the development of research and educational programs
• Provide communication and seek additional contacts with stakeholders
• Serve as a Sustainable Agriculture liaison for MSSTATE and stakeholders
• Provide a link with National, Regional, and other State SARE programs
• Lead effort to increase appropriate grant activities


Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Dr. Angus Catchot (Educator)
  • Dr. Paige Manning - Producer
  • Herschel Bradley Jones - Producer (Educator)
  • Helen Brooks - Producer (Researcher)
  • Timothy Higgins (Researcher)
  • Timothy Oakes


Educational approach:

The Program Assistant at MSSTATE hands important information related to SARE and farmers, students, and researchers. Opportunities SARE offers to people in the Southeast, grants, scholarships, training, and more.

Education & Outreach Initiatives

SSARE Displays

Teaching farmers, researchers, and students all the grant opportunities, publications and training that SSARE has to offer


The Program Assistant attends events and displays all the information related to SSARE, such as grants, publications, scholarships, and events.

Outcomes and impacts:

The more people know about SARE the more applications are submitted and the higher access to funds for the university community on a critical topic: SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE.

Educational & Outreach Activities

100 Consultations
5 Minigrants
1 Published press articles, newsletters
1 Tours
2 Travel Scholarships
5 Webinars / talks / presentations
5 Workshop field days

Participation Summary:

20 Extension
20 Researchers
20 Nonprofit
20 Agency
20 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
100 Farmers/ranchers
100 Others

Learning Outcomes

100 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

5 Grants received that built upon this project
5 New working collaborations
1,020 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

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

SSARE Displays at Producers Advisory Meetings in MS (03 events in 2024)

SSARE Displays in other events of MS (04 events in MS)

Summer SSARE Meetings (01 event)


150 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
50 Ag professionals received information about SARE grant programs and information resources

Information Products

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.