Oklahoma State University and Langston University continue their commitment to the sustainability of agriculture by promoting economic viability; sound environmental/natural resource management, and awareness/recognition of social acceptability. This training POW builds upon and extends prior efforts. The goal of the program Is to Integrate sustainable agriculture practices into the mainstream agricultural practices of this region. Objectives remain to train agricultural professionals (OCES, federal/state agencies, and NGOs) and mentor farmers in the concepts and practices of sustainable agriculture as well as disseminating information regarding sustainable agriculture through various outlets. Topics to be emphasized are Integrating sustainable practices into dally agricultural operations, management of animal waste, management of unwanted vegetation, Integrated resource management for large and small scale livestock and horticulture enterprises, strategic use of fertilizer and herbicides In wheat, production and marketing of organic and IPM certified products, sustainable forage-based livestock systems, sustainable viticulture production, alternative Income through agro-tourism, and production/marketing for community-based organizations. Training will be provided through attendance at national and regional workshops and trainings, experiential learning, demonstrations, tours, research presentations, online and small group in-service training. Documentation will be conducted on an on-going basis and evaluation of trainee knowledge, attitudes, skills, actions and behavioral changes will be reported.
1) Thirty extension educators and twenty-five agricultural related personnel will include sustainable agricultural concepts into ongoing programming efforts such as cover cropping, crop rotations and rotational grazing.
2) Thirty agriculture professionals will be able to provide information and education on organic and IPM certified production and marketing of agricultural products.
3) Twenty educators would incorporate community-based markets for fruit and vegetable production into programming.
4) Sixty extension educators and others will be able to provide information and education with respect to the environmentally sound management of natural resources- especially water, soil and air.
5) Eighty extension educators and others (agencies, producers, tribes, and NGOs) will have opportunities for joint trainings in community food systems, farmers markets, and food handling safety leading to cooperative efforts in sustainability for producers.
6) Twenty extension educators would be better prepared to assist and provide technical direction for producer driven research and on-farm demonstration activities through producer program granting opportunities such as the USDA and SARE.
7) Twenty to thirty educators and others will attend cropping systems and conservation tillage workshops to subsequently help producers in developing alternative economic opportunities in their operations to improve sustainability.
8) Forty professionals will be trained in composting and solid waste management.
9) Forty professionals will be trained In sustainable livestock practices to include beef, poultry, and
This report contains a shortened discussion of our yearly Oklahoma Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development Program activities due to the shifting of the reporting deadline. Contained herein are the activities undertaken in the interval from August 2017 through May 2018. The OkSARE PDP has continued to be very active in encouraging sustainability in the commodities community. Trainings have been offered in improving soil fertility, water quality and managing cropping systems for maximum pest control and profitability. Due to recent programming upgrades made possible by a reaffirmation of their commitment to sustainability, Langston University has expanded their outreach role in the urban/rural horticulture industry. This has made it possible to expand the reach of OkSARE trainings in this area. We anticipate a much greater cooperation between the two universities with regards to working in community food systems and food desserts. Of additional note is the formation of the Oklahoma Native American Coalition. This group has been formed to serve as a resource for remote native american communities which do not have the ability to attend area or statewide training events in food production and marketing. This program is anticipated to greatly enhance the quality of life for these populations.
The OkSARE PDP continues to partner with the various organizations and groups involved in the sustainable agriculture movement within the region. With that in mind, our educational approach is best described as a hybrid. We respect the programming formats of these cooperating groups and act to support or enhance the approach they use based on the location and facilities of the programming. Historically, the most popular educational approach has been a directed format. The speaker delivers information supported by a power point presentation to a seated audience. We have found that if that type of program is supplemented with a hands-on opportunity (i.e. learning lab with relevant specimens and examples) or a ‘feet in the field’ opportunity (i.e. visiting the crops in demonstration plots or scouting for the pests directly) then the learning is greatly enhanced and more likely to be used and shared. Examples of other approaches that have been effective in our state are the YouTube videos, applications (apps) developed for use in local situations, and high quality ‘flip books’ for in-field comparisons. OkSARE has been instrumental in making these tools available to our targeted audience this year. We have continued to be very aggressive in promoting the face of SARE through the sharing of the publications made available to us from the University of Georgia. The handbooks on Managing Native Pollinators, Improving Soil Fertility, Planning Crop Rotations on Organic Farms and Cover Cropping continue to be very popular and we receive high praises for making them available for those groups that may not have access to funds for the purchase of these types of teaching materials.
Education & Outreach Initiatives
Thirty extension educators and twenty-five agricultural related personnel will include sustainable agricultural concepts into ongoing programming efforts such as cover cropping, crop rotations and rotational grazing.
A.) The Oklahoma Native American Agricultural Coalition is a group of State Extension Specialists and members of other government and non-governmental agencies that has been formed to serve as on-site consultants and mentors to a coalition of Native American groups within Oklahoma that maybe do not have access to well-funded and organized local tribal facilities. OkSARE provides travel assistance and educational materials to send these consultants to relevant training opportunities or directly into the remote tribal lands to assist with the horticultural activities in those areas. To date, 65 tribal members have been participated in this educational opportunity.
B.)The OSU Winter Crop School was held in Stillwater, Oklahoma on December 12th and 13th, 2017. There were 160 participants present. The topics covered included in-depth trainings on individual commodities as well as discussions on crop rotations, nitrogen use efficiency and cover cropping.
C.)The 2018 Canola College was held in Enid, Oklahoma on January 26, 2018. There were 190 in attendance to attend trainings on the best management practices in Canola production and how it can enhance traditional crop rotations.
A.)The impact and outcome from the Oklahoma Native American Agricultural Coalition has the opportunity to be profound in the long term. This is the first year for the initiative and thus far, the Trainers have been impacted as much as the Participants. These are small informal events held at the local level. There have been some unanticipated protocols that must be observed by those in attendance in order to show proper respect for the earth. The purpose of these trainings is to bring traditional food systems back to the lower SES Native American populations in the state. Topics covered include heirloom varieties, pest management, fertility management, seed saving, food safety and nutrition. These topics have major impact on the health and nutrition of the served communities in an effort to combat hunger and diseases such as diabetes.
B.)The Winter Crop School continues to be a very popular event for the Agriculture Educators and other NRCS personnel. This event allows for continuing education for the Certified Crop Advisor and Applicator licensing that is required of all of these individuals. This year there has been an uptick in the requirements for Advisors and Applicators due to the tightening of federal guidelines regarding the use of DiCamba, therefore, these meetings have been quite popular this year with the professionals as well as the Producers.
C.)The 2018 Canola College was once again quite well attended. The production of Canola in the southern portion of the great plains has proven to be quite challenging. Reports indicate that approximately 1 in 4 years have proven successful. One of the important issues that we stress to our Producers to that crop rotations provide such an effective means of weed and insect control, canola can play a significant role in such a rotation. This enables other commodity crops to potentially be easier to manage and therefore more profitable.
Thirty agriculture professionals will be able to provide information and education on organic and IPM certified production and the marketing of agricultural products.
A.)The 2017 Organic Oklahoma Conference was held on October 5th, 2017 at Oklahoma State University-OKC. There were 75 producers and 12 educators present.
B.)The IPM Training for county personnel began in January 2018. At that time, 75 Educators attended the initial general session held in Stillwater, OK at the Biennial Extension Conference. Each Educator will participate in subsequent area based trainings conducted by State and Area Specialists focusing on the specific pest problems endemic to the different areas of the state.
A.)The topics covered at the 2017 Organic Oklahoma Conference included the organic production of fruits and vegetables for market growers and backyard gardeners. Special emphasis was given to pest management and variety selection for disease resistance in both the hoop house and open ground production. One of the most well received presentations involved the introduction of ‘Banker Plants’ in the hoop house. These can be used to introduce beneficial insects or to attract harmful pests and allow ease of their removal. Attendees had the opportunity to hear speakers actively involved in Organic production in Oklahoma as well as from Minor Morgan from North Valley Organics in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We heard from Mike Appel and Emily Oakley who currently serve on the North American Organic Standards Board and farm in eastern Oklahoma.
B.)The IPM Training Initiative for Extension Personnel has been developed by the Entomology and Plant Pathology department and partially funded by the OkSARE PDP. This new program is geared toward enabling the county personnel to be able to go out into the field and directly diagnose potential insect and disease presence without the need for collecting samples and sending them to laboratories for identification. This process has historically proven time-consuming and requires financial input that many producers are unable or unwilling to commit. If the local educator has the skill and the simple tool with which to diagnose the issue, a significant amount of time and money could be saved.
Twenty educators would incorporate community-based markets for fruit and vegetable production into programming.
A.)The Horticulture Industry Show was held in Fayetteville, Arkansas on December 13th and 14th, 2017. This past year’s conference was entitled, “Local Food, Farms, Gardens and Success”. This two-day event is extremely popular and covers such a broad range of topics. OkSARE makes this conference available to twenty participants each year.
A.)The HIS has consistently provided growers and the public with the latest information on vegetables, fruit, Christmas trees, farmers market crops and public gardening issues. The public and growers from Arkansas, Oklahoma and surrounding states attend.
Sixty educators and others will be able to provide information and education with respect to the environmentally sound management of natural resources--especially water, soil and air.
A.)The OSU Biological Control Workshop was held in September in Stillwater, Oklahoma at Bear Creek Farms. 35 people attended.
B.)The OSU Winter Crop School was previously mentioned under Objective #1. The information presented at this workshop can be perused at the following website: http://www.nue.okstate.edu/
C.)The first DiCamba Training Workshop was held in Shawnee, Oklahoma on February 7, 2018. The workshop was limited to the first 50 attendees and is a required training for a the continued use of a Certified Applicator license.
D.)The OkSARE PDP worked in conjunction with Dr. Brian Arnal to produce the 2017 OSU Field Guide to Nitrogen Use Efficiency. In this printing of the flip-type book, 1500 copies were produced for free distribution.
A.)The OSU Biological Control Workshop the following covered topics designed to reduce the amount of pesticide and herbicide employed in the production of fruits, vegetables and cut flowers. This will accomplish several targeted objectives. It would reduce the need for synthetic chemical amendments; thereby protecting soil health, water quality and reduce costs for the producer.
B.)The OSU Winter Crop School stresses the need for the efficient use of nitrogen in the production of both cereal grains and vegetables. The judicious application of nitrogen puts the nutrient exactly where it is needed precisely when it is needed. This greatly reduces the amount of nitrogen applied and subsequently available as run-off into surface water.
C.)The first Dicamba Training covered the recent controversial topic of Dicamba application. Producers have experienced decimating losses due to Dicamba drift in recent years. The state and federal government have mandated new protocols for it’s use. In order to be able to purchase and apply it, the applicator must have completed this new training regardless of the status of their current certification. There were a limited number of trainings scheduled as well as a limited number of seats available at each training.
D.)The following is the electronic file for the above mentioned publication: 2017-Field-Guide_Small
That eighty extension educators and others (agencies, producers, tribes and NGOs) will have opportunities for joint trainings in community food systems, farmers markets and food handling safety leading to cooperative efforts in sustainability for producers.
A.)The Oklahoma Market Gardening School is an eight week intensive production course for beginning market garden growers. It was held beginning March 6, 2018 and held weekly at Langston University, Langston, Oklahoma. There were 30 participants participating in this program.
B.)The Native Horticulture Conference was held on May 22, 2018 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. OkSARE offered participation for 20 Educators to attend.
C.)A Food Safety Modernization Act Training was held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on October 4th, 2017. The workshop was limited to 30 attendees.
D.)The Oklahoma Women in Ag and Small Business Conference was held in Moore, Oklahoma on August 3rd and 4th, 2017. There were 216 attendees.
A.)The Oklahoma Market Gardening School covers topics from business planning through facility construction, best management practices for production, food handling and safety and marketing direct to the consumer through csa’s, farmer’s markets, farm-to-school and direct to restaurants. It is an extremely popular program and OkSARE is pleased to be able to sponsor attendance for new educators, provide educational materials for the program as well as sponsor speakers and presenters.
B.)The Native Horticulture Conference focuses on the cultivation of species native to Oklahoma in fruit, vegetable and cereal grain production. The discussion includes the suitability of these varieties to our local climates and their ability to withstand disease and pest pressure and be drought and weather tolerant.
C.)The requirements for the Food Safety Modernization Act Trainings have been anticipated for the last few years. The Oklahoma training team has been partially supported by OkSARE in order to make this program available at our sponsored trainings. The training is not mandated for many of our small-scale producers, however, the information on the safe handling and storage of fresh fruits and vegetables is always a major topic for inclusion in any of our programming for the grower of fruits and vegetables.
D.)The Oklahoma Women in Ag and Small Business Conference offers an energizing and dynamic lineup of speakers and presentations for the attendees at this meeting. This year’s event featured Pamela Ronald who is a distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis. Ronald was part of a team of experts who were instrumental in identifying genes in rice that control the grain’s response to infection and tolerance to stress. The co-author of “Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food,” Ronald was named by Grist magazine in 2016 as one of 50 innovators and visionaries who will take the lead in creating a more sustainable future.
“This conference draws women from all backgrounds and we’re always trying to bring in interesting speakers who can emphasize commonalities. We believe Dr. Ronald has that kind of unifying message,” said Sara Siems, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension assistant specialist and conference coordinator. The conference featured four educational tracks: Agricultural production, alternative enterprises, business and finance and beginning farmer. There were also exhibits providing helpful resources designed to enhance attendees’ farming or small business efforts as well as a mini mall, where vendors will be selling Made in Oklahoma products. Concurrent post-conference workshops on Quicken record-keeping software and the Beef Quality Assurance Program were offered, as well.
“I consider myself a farmer, not a ‘farm woman,’ so for years I didn’t see the need to attend a conference targeted at women. But, after attending these conferences, I realized there is so much value,” said Karen Eifert-Jones, a farmer near Waukomis, Oklahoma, who also is a member of the conference’s organizing committee. “What is unique about the Women in Ag and Small Business Conference is the camaraderie; the drive to build one another up and the excitement that comes from seeing other women succeeding at their business.”
Twenty extension educators would be better prepared to assist and provide technical direction for producer driven research and on-farm demonstration activities through producer program granting opportunities such as the USDA and SARE.
A.)The Extension Demonstration Training was presented at the Biennial Extension Conference in January 2018 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. 75 Extension Educators were in attendance.
B.)The Southern SARE Administrative Team visited on November 6th and 7th to both Oklahoma State University and Langston University to present specifics on the grant opportunities available through SARE.
A.)The Extension Demonstration Training was developed through a cooperative effort of OkSARE and the Dean of Agriculture and Extension’s office. A curriculum has been put together to equip the county educator in how to encourage, recruit and work with their local clientele to conduct on-farm research work and to establish demonstration plots both at the county office facility and on producer farms. There was one successful SARE grant that has been a result of this effort.
B.)The Southern SARE Administrative Team met with the Administration and staff of Extension at both OSU and LU. In total, 120 people were presented with the information on the various grant opportunities available through SARE as well as brainstorming on suggestions for keeping sustainable agriculture moving forward across Oklahoma.
Twenty to thirty educators and others will attend cropping systems and conservation tillage workshops to subsequently help producers in developing alternative economic opportunities in their operations to improve sustainability
A.)The 2019 Oklahoma Commodity Conference is currently planned for February 19th through 21st, 2019. It is to be held at the National Center for Employee Development in Norman, Oklahoma.
A.)The 2019 Oklahoma Commodity Conference is a joint effort between OkSARE, the NRCS, the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, the Oklahoma Soy Bean Commission, the Oil Seed Commission, the Oklahoma Wheat Growers, Oklahoma State University Extension and the Great Plains Canola Association. These organizations have come together in an effort to streamline the programming for Educators and Producers. Historically, each group has held separate conferences to present their programming and yearly trainings. This is always an expensive endeavor and extremely difficult to schedule for each group. Additionally, for the producer this presents a problem as it means they will be away from the farm several different times and can become very expensive for them. Most have reported that they usually pick and choose just one or two meetings to attend for efficiency. With this new collaborative effort, there will be one larger meeting held. This will reduce the costs for each organization and producer as well. One single conference eliminates the need for picking and choosing which event to attend. They will all be held in one location over a two day period. As the different commodity groups will be sharing the expenses, they are able to conserve funds while still accomplishing their desired training efforts. This will keep costs down for the producers and educators. OkSARE is providing the administrative function for this conference and will be facilitating the attendance for Educators, NRCS and cooperating producers.
Forty professionals will be trained in proper composting and solid waste management practices
A.)The Market Gardening School held at Langston University beginning on March 6th and running for 8 consecutive weeks. Thirty people participated in this program.
B.)Extension Demonstration Training held at the Biennial Extension Conference held in Stillwater, Oklahoma in January 2018. There were 154 Educators in attendance at this training.
A.)The Market Gardening School covered the topic of composting for vegetable and fruit production. It covered the proper procedure for ensuring safe clean composted materials prior to application for food production. This program was discussed previously under Objective #5
B.)The Extension Demonstration Training included information on the establishment of compost piles for demonstration purposes particularly at the county offices. It should be mentioned that this is a topic of considerable interest both to the organic fruit and vegetable producer and the master gardener participants.
Forty professionals will be trained in sustainable livestock practices to include beef, poultry and goat production
A.)The Langston University Artificial Insemination Workshops beginning in October 2018. A series of four workshops were held at Langston University. Ten people were trained at each session (40 total).
B.)The 2018 Langston University Goat and Hair Sheep Conference was held in Langston, Oklahoma on April 28, 2018. There were 225 people in attendance.
C.)Updated copies of the Langston University publication on Meat Goat Production and Dairy Goat Production were sent to each of the 77 county offices.
A.)The LU AI Workshops have become very popular through the years as it makes it possible for the small-scale producer to improve the quality of their meat goat or dairy goat herd through artificial insemination. The agenda and registration information can be found at:
Participants learned how to synchronize and detect estrus and how to artificially inseminate does.
B.)The Langston University Goat and Hair Sheep Field Day this year was focusing on “Preventing Loss”. The conference agenda is attached.
C.)The Meat Goat and Dairy Goat Production Handbooks have been extremely well received by the county educators. We received favorable feedback on the quality of the information contained within the book as well as the quality of the book itself.
The following is the ordering information and table of contents for the Meat Goat Production Handbook: http://www.luresext.edu/sites/default/files/handbookorderform-1.pdf
The following is the ordering information and table of contents for the Dairy Goat Production Handbook:http://www.luresext.edu/sites/default/files/DGPHorderform_1stEdition_case_spiral.pdf
Educational & Outreach Activities
Face of SARE
The outreach and promotion of the OkSARE PDP is a product of a multi-dimensional effort. Conferences, travel scholarships, field days, publications and other training activities are publicized through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube), traditional media (AP/UPI type press releases), articles written and televised interviews concerning sponsored events (Southwest Farm Press, SunUp and Oklahoma Gardening) as well as an extensive email list made available by OSU and LU Extensions. Important links to the Southern SARE, the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture and National SARE websites are available on our OkSARE PDP webpage which is found at oksare.okstate.edu.
The Oklahoma Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development Program has experienced a two-fold expansion of our outreach programming. As we historically has made a conscious commitment to serve all aspects of the agricultural community within our state, we have formed close working relationships with cooperating agencies in the agronomic sector. Those relationships continue to strengthen and publicize the role that sustainability plays in our ability to feed the world. The ability to leverage our funding with that of other agencies and programs makes this continuation possible. Of particular note will be the Oklahoma Native American Coalition that has been formed and which OkSARE has made a substantial commitment to support and enable the work of this group of state specialists and extension personnel. As with most new endeavors, there have been some unanticipated outcomes. When these Trainers travel to the remote native communities for consulting, they have learned that there are often certain formalities that must be observed. One thing that has occurred that may prove of interest is that these tribal groups are often matriarchal. That is that they are led locally by the women. Generally, there is an elder woman of the tribe that is looked to for guidance and leadership. One of our cooperators learned that before he is invited to enter a garden, the garden must be blessed by this elder before the work can begin. These are the kind of rituals that are often followed by these groups to show respect for the earth. Subsequently, our specialists must learn and observe these customs in order to gain the respect of the tribe and render them more open to the valuable assistance being made available. It is safe to say that in these situations, the learning is a two-way street.