2019 Model State Program- Oklahoma State University

Final report for SOK19-001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2019: $22,222.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2022
Grant Recipient: Oklahoma State University
Region: Southern
State: Oklahoma
State Coordinators:
Jason Warren
Oklahoma State University
Terry Gipson
Langston University
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Project Information


The Oklahoma Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development Program continues to exemplify a high level of cooperative commitment by Langston University and Oklahoma State University to the sustainability of agriculture by promoting the economic viability, sound environmental/natural resource management, and awareness/recognition of social acceptability. This Annual Report demonstrates that we have built upon and extended prior efforts. The goal of the program is to integrate and increase sustainable agricultural practices into the historically mainstream agricultural practices of this region while enhancing the quality of our natural resources. 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 daily agricultural operations; management and enhancement of soil and water quality; integrated resource management for large and small scale livestock, horticulture and agronomic enterprises; strategic use of irrigation, fertilizer and herbicides in crop production; production and marketing of organic and value-added products; sustainable forage-based livestock systems; and production/marketing for community-based organizations. Training will be provided through attendance at national, regional and local workshops and trainings, demonstrations, tours, research presentations, online and small group in-service training. Evaluation will be conducted on an on-going basis and feedback on the effectiveness of these various trainings and programs will be tracked and reported.

Project Objectives:

SARE outreach objectives for the state and expected outcomes including a revision of the state strategic plan:
1) Encourage participation in trainings related to sustainable agriculture concepts such as cover cropping, conservation tillage and crop rotations aimed at reducing fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide inputs.
a.) The 2019-2020 year will see a change in the programming supported by OkSARE. There has been a cooperative effort launched by OSU to consolidate several of the trainings that have historically been offered by the various commodity and producer groups in Oklahoma. For each of these groups to hold separate trainings and meetings has become cost prohibitive as well as an inefficient use of the time available for travel by our Educators and producers. We have partnered with six of the most active groups to hold an Oklahoma All-Crops Conference. This will offer five different training tracks for both Educators and producers to attend in one place over a two-day period.
2) Provide information and education on organic (certified and non-certified) production and the marketing of these agricultural products.
a.) In the 2019-2020 cycle of planning, OkSARE is continuing their support for the Organic Oklahoma initiative and actively pursuing the development of an organic wheat production training program. To accomplish this, we are participating in a regional conference for organic wheat production in the Southern Great Plains (which includes a significant portion of Oklahoma).
3) Encourage the incorporation of community-based food systems for fruit and vegetable production into statewide training programs.
a.) Langston University has made great progress in the development of their Horticulture programming. In 2019-2020 OkSARE PDP anticipates greater involvement with their calendar offerings as they are announced.
4) Encourage participation in trainings that will provide information and education with respect to the sound management of natural resources-especially water, soil and air.
a.) In 2019-2020, OkSARE will be working closely with various state specialists to develop a curriculum for trainings to address irrigation issues specifically to deal with the shifting climate and depletion and quality of the available water for agriculture.
5) Provide educators and others with opportunities for trainings in food handling safety.
a.) In 2019-2020 OkSARE will continue to support the inclusion of FSMA trainings into scheduled programming.
6) Encourage educators to be better prepared to assist and provide technical direction for producer driven research and on-farm demonstration activities.
a.) OkSARE has been actively encouraging on-farm and producer driven grants. In 2019-2020, we anticipate a number of such proposals to be written and submitted.
7) Encourage professionals to be trained in sustainable livestock practices such as rotational grazing for beef, poultry and goat production.
a.) In 2019-2020, OkSARE will continue to be active in promoting speakers for the Langston University Goat Conference, but will add to that support a regional level meat goat boot camp programming.
8) Provide opportunities for educators and producers to receive training in IPM techniques to include scouting and remediation strategies.
a.) The OSU Entomology has continued to develop the IPM Scouting Training program for Educators that was initiated in the previous funding cycle. This program has been extremely well received and is expected to continue in its success at the county level.
9) Provide opportunities for educators and producers to receive training in irrigation systems management and irrigation scheduling technologies.
a.) The OSU irrigation team will be developing and delivering a Master Irrigators program that will focus on utilizing irrigation scheduling tools that have been shown to increase water productivity and reduce irrigation water use. The program will also provide on-farm irrigation system efficiency assessments that will improve energy and water use efficiency for irrigated crop production in OK.


Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Steven Alspach (Educator)
  • Brian Arnall (Educator and Researcher)
  • Lynn Brandenberger (Educator and Researcher)
  • Damona Doye (Educator and Researcher)
  • Jeff Edwards (Educator and Researcher)
  • Brian Freking (Educator and Researcher)
  • Gilbert Guerrero (Educator)
  • Dwight Guy (Educator and Researcher)
  • James Jones (Educator and Researcher)
  • Chris Kirby (Educator)
  • David Lalman (Educator and Researcher)
  • Julia Laughlin (Educator and Researcher)
  • George Luker (Educator and Researcher)
  • Roger Merkel (Educator and Researcher)
  • Tracey Payton-Miller (Educator and Researcher)
  • David Nowlin (Educator and Researcher)
  • Sara Siems (Educator)
  • Tom Royer (Educator and Researcher)
  • Micah Anderson (Educator)
  • Jim Shrefler (Educator and Researcher)
  • Jeff Stearns (Educator)
  • Haldor Howard (Educator)
  • Julie Gahn
  • Steve Upson (Educator and Researcher)
  • Kenda Woodburn (Educator and Researcher)
  • Josh Lofton (Educator and Researcher)
  • Misha Manuchehri (Educator and Researcher)
  • Cody Linker (Educator)
  • Kyle Worthington (Educator)
  • Greg Scott (Researcher)
  • Steven Glasgow (Educator)
  • Joshua Ringer (Educator and Researcher)


Educational approach:

Please note that the activities outlined in this report cover that were supported by the Oklahoma Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development Program used a couple of different educational approaches. The most widely used was a directed teaching format. This format involves a designated speaker (or panel) presenting information to a group of attendees. This format is utilized in both a classroom setting and a tour/field setting. In both, the speaker (or instructor) discusses data supported by examples (photos, graphs, charts or actual physical specimens) to explain a concept. Experience (and attendee feedback) continues to indicate that the audience tends to gain more understanding when physical specimens are presented. This is why short courses, small groups and field tours tend to be very appreciated by our agricultural professionals. “Hands on” type learning is generally more effective for us versus a “theory only” program. Our program participants have also expressed appreciation for the Southern SARE printed publications which we continue to make available free of charge through the auspices of the Southern SARE office.

Education & Outreach Initiatives

No-till and minimum tillage and reduced fertilizer/herbidie/pesticide inputs and improved forage management on farms.

To encourage participation in trainings related to sustainable agriculture concepts such as cover cropping, conservation tillage and crop rotations aimed at reducing fertilizer/pesticide/herbicide inputs

  1. The OSU Winter Crop School was held in December, 2020 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  There were 137 people in attendance.  This program addressed cropping systems, crop rotations and reducing on-farm inputs such as fertilizer and herbicides.
  2. The Red River Crops Conference was held in January 2020 in Altus, Oklahoma.  There were 196 total attendance.  The program addressed crop production information designed for Southwest Oklahoma and the Texas Rolling Plains. The goal of the conference is to provide agricultural producers on both sides of the Red River with relevant management information that will create and enhance the profitability of their farm and ranch enterprises.
Outcomes and impacts:

The learning and action outcomes and impacts from these programs include:

  1.  The OSU Winter Crop School provided attendees with the latest data from ongoing research initiatives regarding crop rotations, tillage practices and promoting the judicious application of fertilizer and herbicides.  These individuals can take this information and use it to make on-farm decisions in evolving their own cropping system.
  2. The Red River Crops Conference covered a wide range of commodities under production in the Southern Great Plains region.  Participants can use this learning to make decisions concerning their crop rotations, management practices and enterprise budgeting.
Natural Resource conservation and quality as it relates to soil and water issues

To encourage participation in trainings that will provide information and education with respect to the sound management of natural resources-especially water, soil and air.

  1.  The Oklahoma Irrigation Conference was held in February 2020 in Goodwell, Oklahoma.  There were 47 people in attendance.  The Goodwell conference is essentially “one-stop shopping” where participants – be they certified applicators, agricultural producers or others – can receive the latest research-based insights and information about many irrigation-related subjects.
  2. The Colorado Master Irrigators Training was held in February 2020 in Wray, Colorado. 
Outcomes and impacts:
  1.  The Oklahoma Irrigation Conference covered a range of topics relating to improving the efficiency of irrigation practices. Conference sessions focused on cotton production in the Oklahoma Panhandle, safety protocols for working with center-pivot irrigation systems, an introduction to industrial hemp production, irrigation pumping energy efficiency, irrigated sorghum, mobile drip irrigation and updates relative to Oklahoma Water Resources Board projects and Oklahoma Mesonet environmental monitoring. “Water is among the most important and in-demand resources in any state,” said Saleh Taghvaeian, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension water resources specialist. “Participants will not only have an opportunity to hear and interact with some of the region’s top experts but also to compare notes with participating producers and others in their career fields.” 
  2. The Colorado Master Irrigator Training included the topic of Soil properties impacting water dynamics presented by Jason Warren, Ph.D., Oklahoma Cooperative Extension soil and water conservation management specialist and OkSARE State Coordinator, Stillwater, Oklahoma
  3. Additionally, as a direct result of both of these meetings, the need for a new program was identified. We also formed an advisory committee to develop a master Irrigators program to be held in the Oklahoma Panhandle during 2020.  With the guidance of this committee of farmers and crop consultants we developed a 4 day curriculum on conservation irrigation management which was delivered in January and February 2021.  We will provide detailed report on the outcome of these events in 2021.
Production and marketing of organic and value-added agricultural products

To provide information and education on organic (certified and non-certified) production and the marketing of these agricultural products

  1. WWAREC certification 2021 In early 2019, The WWAREC Honey Bee Project: Development of cropping systems to provide season-long forage for Honey bees was established as the result of a cooperative effort involving a mini-grant from the OkSARE PDP and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service-Southeast District. This project is expected to continue for three years with the option for future funding.

    In early 2019, the WWAREC Honey Bee Project was initiated to seek and evaluate potential crops that southeastern Oklahoma beekeepers could use to provide a sustained food supply for honey bees to enhance the maintenance of healthy colonies and honey production.  The general objective was to find crops that could be established in a staggered fashion to ensure that crops would be in flowering stages throughout the April through October time frame. One of the most important aspects of crop selection is to determine the attractiveness of a crop to the bees.  There is a lot of conflicting information on the Internet as to the value of a particular crop for bee forage. This is one of the challenges faced by those wanting to establish a productive honey bee business. In addition, cultivar or variety of a particular crop is often critical.

    The site chosen for this work is the Wes Watkins Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Lane (Atoka County) in an area of about 7 acres that has been certified organic since 2005.  Two of the 7 acres have been cultivated periodically over the last 15 years and soil fertility maintained following National Organic Program guidelines.  The remaining 5 acres are located about 100 yards from the 2-acre area and the two are separated by a wooded area.  The 5-acre area has been unimproved meadow or hayfield for over 25 years.   For the past 5 years, most of the 2-acre area has been mostly fallow with occasional small area plantings of various vegetables and two high tunnels which were removed this year.  Organic certification of the entire 7 acres has been maintained since 2005 through the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Organic Certification Program.  

Outcomes and impacts:

The following is a description of the learning and action outcomes and impact of the first year of this multi-year initiative.

The project was initiated in late winter of 2019 using crops shown in Table 2 that were mentioned in various honey bee culture information sources as being good food sources for honey bees.  For the first year of the project about ½ of the 2-acre field was mowed short in late winter and over-seeded with several clover species including Hubam white clover, Ladino clover and yellow sweet clover.  Another ½ area of the field was tilled and used to plant several row crops.  Wet conditions during the spring and early summer resulted in several problems.  Clovers planted in late winter / early spring emerged but did not establish successfully.  Planting of the row crops was delayed by over a month to the middle of July due to wet field conditions.  Once planted, these crops did establish successfully and flowered during late summer and fall until killed by freezing temperatures in late October.  In addition to the planted crops, there was also appreciable amounts of already present crimson clover, vetch and white clover in several areas within the 2-acre field.  In the five-acre field, soil fertility was very low and vegetation growth was poor.  Other crops grown on the WWAREC facility during 2019 included grain sorghum, watermelon, Sesame, ??????     2019: Watermelons, onions, Tomatoes, Bermuda grass, wheat, fescue, clover, rye, cotton, grain sorghum, okra, turnips.  2020: soybeans, grain sorghum, sesame, cotton, cucumber, okra, tomatoes, greens, onions, sweet corn, greenbeans, buckwheat, wheat, rye, oats, barley, fescue, rye grass.

This project is intended to produce a combination of research, outreach and training outcomes.  Initial project activities addressed in 2018 and 2019 included review of various literature sources to identify plants that could be grown at this location to provide food for honey bees (Table 1).  As shown in Table 2, some of these were selected for planting in 2019 to initiate the field activities.  It was also necessary to introduce honey bee hives to the location.  Since there are feral bees established at the Research Station, a Bee Trap #44 was attached to a tree in an attempt to catch a swarm of bees.  The Trap Box was baited with the lure Swarm Commander.  No swarms were captured during 2019.  Three platforms were erected at the north end of the field to hold a total of six bee hives. 

Table 1. Crops found in literature reported to be good food sources for honey bee sustenance.





















Feral, All species are great for honey bees.

Potential of120–250 pounds honey from Asclepias syriaca








In western US is one of the best spring forage sources for honey bees. Blooms 45–60 days

Potential 180–1,500 pounds honey per acre and 300–1000 pounds of pollen.










Alsike Clover





One of best honey plants in America



Difficult plant to establish

major, up to 500 pounds/acre








Known as

Honey Clover




Red Clover





Known as Honey Clover




White Sweet









Major, up to 200 lbs/hive

Yellow Sweet









Major, up to 200 lbs

per hive

White Clover





Known as clover honey;



White or nearly white honey with  very mild flavor and does not granulate readily.

Pima Cotton

Gossypium barbadense













Table 2. Crops planted in 2019


Planting time

Overseeded or cultivated


Hubam white clover

Late winter


Not good.  Fertility problems

Ladino clover



Not good.  Fertility problems

Yellow Sweet Clover




Sunflower – black oil



Primarily a pollen source

Sunflower – Lemon Queen



Did not plant

Cotton – Non-GMO



Need old-world cotton

Okra - Longhorn



No bee activity

Cowpea – Iron clay



No bee activity




Very little bee activity


An initial outreach activity was a presentation on the project overview and preliminary results that was made to 42 County Extension Educators in November of 2019. 

Results for 2019

Establishment of the over-seeded crops in was poor in general.  Although seedlings were found in the over-seeded areas, very little plant establishment was detected.  In non-tilled areas there was appreciable Crimson clover and vetch in early spring and unidentified white clover in late spring and summer.  Crops planted into tilled areas were planted later than intended due to wet conditions that prevented tillage in spring.  However, once planted crops including okra, cotton, cowpea, sunflower and  sesame established and flowered. 

Honeybee results in 2019: 

Four double-deep hives were transferred to the Research Station from the Bruton-Morgan Apiary in Atoka on 05 June 2019 to initiate the Bee Project.  On 10 June, honey supers were put on each hive in an attempt to harvest honey by August or September.  Checked each hive and took notes on the hive about every two weeks during warm weather months.  On 28 September, all honey supers were removed from the hives.

As an example of things that can go wrong over the summer, select notes on Hive JH-4 from July through October are shared below.

 17 July 2019

There are 6 frames in Honey Super #1 that have capped honey.  May need to add another super in a few days.  It is not all capped but they look very good.  Very nice bees.  Using very little smoke.

15 August 2019

Has 6 frames with some degree of capped honey.  Need to watch them closely and add another Honey Super possibly.

18 September 2019

Population is way down in this hive.  No honey in this one!

28 September 2019

Not many bees.  No honey or nectar in super.  Brood boxes were pretty weak with lack of bees and nectar.  MUST FEED STARTING NOW!!!  Brought Honey Super #1 home for storage.  There were 0 frames of honey.

12 October 2019

By the time I got back from vacation, the hive was eat-up with wax moth and the bees were either dead or gone.  Suspect pesticide poisoning.  Same thing happened to Hive JH-1 at the same time.  Consequently, two hives were lost in the middle of July likely due to pesticide poisoning.

As a result, honey production from the two remaining hives totaled 18 lbs of honey which was a pretty disappointing yield.

To control Varroa mites, weekly treatments (three total) of Oxalic Acid were applied to each hive starting 19 October.  On 03 November, AP-23 pollen patties were placed on top of the frames to give the bees a boost going into winter.  One hive (JH-3) was very light and did not have sufficient honey reserves to get it through the winter.  An in-hive feeder filled with granulated pure cane sugar and wetted with sugar solution plus Honey-B-Healthy was placed on top of the hive bars.  A spacer was placed on the hive to accommodate the feeder.  Did some late-season feeding using 2 parts pure cane sugar and 1 part water plus Honey-B-Healthy.  Fed four 5-gallon cans of sugar syrup prior to cold weather. 

Hives housed on organic acres under cover crop production
Production and marketing of organic (both certified and non-certified) and value-added agricultural products

To provide information and education on organic production and the marketing of these agricultural products

  1.  The Organic Oklahoma Conference was held in October in Oklahoma City.  There were 82 in attendance.  This program represents a cooperative effort between the NRCS, The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, the OkSARE PDP and the OSU Extension Service.  Additionally, the Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Association and several tribal organizations sponsor their members to participate.  The event was a two-day program that allowed for directed presentations as well as a field tour and demonstrations at the OSU-OKC horticulture facility. 
Outcomes and impacts:

The learning and action outcomes and impacts of this initiative are as follows:

  1.  As a result of attendance at this program, the participants will be able to use cover crops for soil improvement and green manures.
  2. Attendees will have a better understanding of soil biometrics and the issues involved in the remediation of urban soils.
  3. Educators and Producers will be able to integrate composting in their system in new and innovative ways.
  4. 2019 Organic Oklahoma Program


Farmer/community-based market development and Sustainable practices in urban and suburban settings

To encourage the incorporation of community-based food systems for fruit and vegetable production into statewide training programs for urban and suburban food production

    1.  The 2020 Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group held their annual (and final!) conference in Little Rock, Arkansas in January of 2020.  The OkSARE PDP was able to sponsor a group of 7 Educators to attend this multi-day conference.  Five of them participated in some of the pre-conference programming involving pollinators, rotational grazing and vegetable production in high tunnels.  
    2.  https://www.ssawg.org/january-2020-conference
Outcomes and impacts:

The learning and action outcomes and impacts of this initiative are described below

  1.  The SSAWG Conference had become a true highlight every year for our Educators to attend.  This conference provided them the opportunity to see what others are doing in and around the southern region in sustainable practices.  Several of our Educators have returned to Oklahoma and developed their own training programs as a direct result of their experience at SSAWG.  Below is an excerpt from one of our extremely innovative and engaged Educator that can attribute his success directly to his attendance at the 2020 SSAWG Conference.

    "Supporting urban and smaller-scale producers is a large part of my role as an Urban Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator at Oklahoma State University. Through support from OkSARE, I have been able to attend the SSAWG and Oklahoma Organic Conferences as well as participate in other in-service learning opportunities. These experiences have grown my knowledge and interest in sustainable and small-scale agriculture, and I have helped me develop the skills I needed to begin effectively supporting the producers I serve in my county. After attending a veteran in agriculture session at the SSAWG Conference I realized the need for more programming in my county to support veterans and other historically underserved farming populations. This spurred me to develop the a new and beginning farmer training program. This program covers production, marketing, and financial risk management subjects of importance for new and beginning producers. In the first year I graduated 30 participants from my program and continue this program with plans to graduate at least 40 more participants in 2021. The OkSARE program has given me opportunities to become a better Extension Educator and equipped me with the support I need to serve my clientele more effectively," reports Joshua Campbell (Oklahoma County)

    Pastured poultry tour for new and beginning farmers
  2. .
    Tour of goat dairy for new and beginning farmers

    2.  The full conference program may be viewed at the following website... https://www.ssawg.org/2020-conference-program

Meat and dairy goat production and marketing

To encourage professionals to be trained in sustainable livestock practices such as rotational grazing for beef, poultry and goat production

  1. The 2019 OSU Meat Goat Boot Camp was held in October in Ada, Oklahoma.  There were 52 participants representing 15 states. The event is a three-day camp that uses a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on exercises to explore production practices involved in meat goat operations.  The production practices to be covered include: ear-tagging, castrating, tattooing, hoof trimming, electric fence building, forage testing, forage production, farm business planning, nutrition, ration balancing, FAMACHA diagnostic testing, determining fecal egg counts, herd health practices, kidding, neonatal care, reproduction and pregnancy determination using ultra sound.  Small class sizes allow for a high level of interaction between teachers and participants. Program participants are allowed to take extra time if needed for the practical exercises.
Outcomes and impacts:

The learning and action outcomes and impacts of this initiative are as follows

    1. Goat Herd size and Value of Goat Camp
      • The average herd size was 89.
        • Herd size ranged from 15 to over 500

      Each participant were asked to place a value of the education and skills learned at the goat camp. Below is there response.

      • Total value equals $382,503
      • Three participants listed the value as priceless.


      Session Rankings

      Each participant was asked to indicate the knowledge learned from each session during the boot camp. A five point scoring system was used were 1 = no knowledge gained and 5 = great deal of knowledge gained. Below are the results.

      • Average score for all 22 sessions was 4.45.
      • Session scores ranged from 3.98 to 4.74
      • Top five sessions were:
        • Fecal Egg Count – 4.74
        • Parasite De-wormer Resistance and Eye Scores – 4.72
        • Fecal Egg Count Demo - 4.70
        • Birthing and Neonatal Care - 4.68
        • Parasite Life Cycle Management - 4.66

      Adoption of New Skills

      Participants were asked if they planned to adopt any of the practices taught during the 20 sessions. The average adoption rate for all sessions was 76.8%. Across all sessions, the range of planned adoption was 55.3% to 93.6%.

      Pre and Post Test Score Results 


      In an attempt to measure the amount of knowledge gained during the Oklahoma Meat Goat Boot Camp, a 30 question test multiple choice/true-false test was developed by the instructors of the Boot Camp. Each question was taken from the material being presented at the Boot Camp. This test was then given to each participant at the beginning and the end of the Boot Camp. The following are the results:


      Test                              Average Score                   Range                       % Correct

      Pre-Test                               17.5                            11-24                           58.5%

      Post-Test                             23.0                            15-30                           76.7%

      The results show that participants improved their test scores by 31.2%.

      Further, we can group the 30 questions into 7 areas of production and management. Then we can look at the test scores to determine which areas the group were the most and least knowledgeable before the Boot Camp and which areas had the biggest improvement in knowledge gained. The seven areas are as follows:

Meat and dairy goat production and marketing

To encourage professionals to be trained in sustainable livestock practices such as rotational grazing for beef, poultry and goat production

  1.  The 2019 Langston University Goat and Hair Sheep Field Day was held in April at Langston University.   There were 219 in attendance.  The one day meeting is held annually at the Langston University Goat Farm.  The theme was "The Holistic Approach".  Two keynote speakers were brought in to discuss various topics relating to the theme.  They were Gianaclis Caldwell and Dr. Ann Wells.

    Gianaclis Caldwell is the author of several books on cheesemaking and dairy topics, including Holistic Goat Care, Mastering Basic Cheesemaking, Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking, The Small-Scale Dairy, and the Small-Scale Cheese Business. She also contributed to The Oxford Companion to Cheese and writes for several magazines. Gianaclis speaks and consults on a variety of animal husbandry, dairy sanitation, and cheesemaking science topics in the United States and occasionally abroad. For a decade she was the cheesemaker at Pholia Farm Creamery (https://pholiafarm.com) and specialized in aged, raw, goat milk cheeses. Pholia Farm continues to milk goats as well as hold several on-farm cheesemaking and goat management classes per year (https://gianacliscaldwell.com) .

    Pholia (fo-LEE-a) Farm is owned by Vern and Gianaclis Caldwell. It is named after their two daughters, Phoebe and Amelia. The farm is located on 23 acres at the base of Elk Mountain in Jackson County, Oregon, about 10 miles outside of the town of Rogue River. The farm is part of 220 acres that Gianaclis grew up on. The does browse daily, weather allowing, on the 23 acres. Herd health is approached in the most holistic and natural way possible along with treating the animals with respect and love. The cheeses are named after local landmarks and are each distinctive in their processing, shape, and flavor. Since Nigerians are not seasonal breeders, as most goats are, half of the herd is freshened in the fall and half in the spring. This allows for a consistent supply of sweet, creamy milk and year-round cheesemaking. The herd is small and the goats, being miniatures, are not large producers, but the milk is so unique in its components, that it makes for incredible cheese. Production is under 100 pounds of cheese per month and will always remain low. Pholia’s motto since 2005 is: “If we can’t remember the doe’s name, we have too many goats.”

    Ann Wells graduated from Oklahoma State University School of Veterinary Medicine and has more than 25 years experience in livestock production, including producing and selling natural lamb and grass finished beef. Dr. Wells worked in private practice for eleven years and has worked for several sustainable agriculture organizations. While working for Heifer International, she researched parasite management strategies to reduce the need for anthelmintics. Currently, Dr. Wells operates two businesses, teaching and consulting about sustainable animal wellness plans under Springpond Holistic Animal Health, and producing and marketing grass-finished beef and lamb for Ozark Pasture Beef.

    Operating a sheep and goat veterinary practice sparked her interest in complementary veterinary medicine. Her philosophy is to focus on the health of the animal through controlled grazing management and stress reduction techniques and strategies. She really feels that nutrition is the key to good health. Dr. Wells works with ruminant producers, large and small, helping them develop health management plans.

    Ozark Pasture Beef (http://www.ozarkpasturebeef.com) is a partnership of farms that are all committed to producing beef in a natural, environmentally sustainable manner. Their web site states “Our beef and lamb is 100% grassfed and grass finished throughout their lives. We graze the cattle and sheep on lush, green grass, allowing for time and mother nature to provide us with a healthy, quality animal to produce quality beef for your family.”

Outcomes and impacts:

The learning and action outcomes and impacts of this initiative are described below. 

  1. Tools for the Holistic Approach with Dr. Ann Wells.
  2. It’s what’s on the Inside that Counts: Exploring the Anatomy and Physiology of the Goat (Part I) with Ms. Gianaclis Caldwell.
  3. It’s what’s on the Inside that Counts: Exploring the Anatomy and Physiology of the Goat (Part II) with Ms. Gianaclis Caldwell.
  4. It’s what’s on the Inside that Counts: Exploring the Anatomy and Physiology of the Goat (Part III) with Ms. Gianaclis Caldwell.
  5. Basic Herd Management –hoof trimming, body condition scoring, FAMACHA scoring, etc. with Dr. Lionel Dawson.
  6. What Processors Want – learn from a panel of Oklahoma meat processors concerning the type and weights of lambs and goats that they want.
  7. The Art of Cheesemaking with Dr. Steve Zeng.
  8. Nutrition for Health and Production – calculation of energy, protein and feed intake requirements with Dr. Steve Hart.
  9. DHI Training – supervisor/tester training for dairy goat producers including scale certification with Ms. Eva Vasquez.
  10. USDA/NRCS: Conservation programs with Mr. Nick Jones and USDA/FSA: Farm loans with Mr. Phil Estes.
  11. USDA/WS: Wildlife programs with Mr. Kevin Grant and NRCS: Conservation programs with Mr. Nick Jones.
  12. USDA/FSA: Farm loans with Mr. Phil Estes and USDA/WS: Wildlife programs with Mr. Kevin Grant.
  13. Fitting and Showing for Youth and Adults – tips and pointers on fitting and show ring etiquette (this is a half-day afternoon workshop)

Educational & Outreach Activities

71 Consultations
3 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
1 Journal articles
2 Minigrants
13 On-farm demonstrations
17 Online trainings
79 Published press articles, newsletters
16 Tours
31 Travel Scholarships
31 Webinars / talks / presentations
41 Workshop field days

Participation Summary:

105 Extension
11 Researchers
14 Nonprofit
10 Agency
8 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
62 Farmers/ranchers
7 Others

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

8 Grants received that built upon this project
21 New working collaborations
84 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:

Putting forth the SARE program is accomplished in several ways within Oklahoma.  As demonstrated previously in this report, the OkSARE PDP takes an active role in various programs which are identified by the members of our Advisory Committee within their specialized focus groups.  Our efforts have proven very successful in meeting the objectives which are targeted specifically to those program area topics as dictated by this same Advisory Committee.  The information and results from SARE activities is distributed and promoted through announcements, field days, presentations at conferences and other appropriate events. Fact sheets, production manuals and handbooks have historically been generated as a direct result of this work.  These materials are then posted on our mobile print-on-demand (PODS) website sponsored by the Oklahoma County Extension Service.  Announcements are sent out to all extension personnel when new materials are ready for distribution and the Educators may then request copies of these products.   One of the most efficient and popular methods for assimilating information regarding OkSARE cooperative trainings has been the use of social media.  Various cooperators maintain Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook pages where announcements are routinely sent out with links back to program information and pertinent materials.  If funding permits, these materials are printed and distributed to target audiences at sustainable agriculture events such as the Market Garden School and the Biennial Extension Conference. Southern SARE provided materials are also made available to all new Educators and presented for distribution at targeted meetings through the state. 

214 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
125 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.