STX17-001 Model State Program

Final report for STX17-001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $55,555.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2020
Grant Recipient: Texas A&M University
Region: Southern
State: Texas
State Coordinators:
Dr. Diane Boellstorff
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Co-Coordinators:
Nelson Daniels
Prairie View A&M University
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Project Information

Abstract:

The Texas Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Committee meets annually to oversee the state program for training agricultural professionals in concepts of sustainable agriculture. For the reporting period, the program involved a multifaceted effort that provided opportunities to be trained or to participate in delivering training for mentor producers, county Extension agents, various groundwater district personnel, NRCS personnel, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality personnel, Texas Alliance of Groundwater District personnel, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation personnel, Soil and Water Conservation District personnel, NGOs (including World Hunger Relief and the Heart of Texas Urban Gardening Coalition) and other agricultural professionals (including the Producers Resources and Sustainability consulting company) and also incorporates concepts of sustainable agriculture in existing, statewide training efforts. These training opportunities include conferences, field meetings and workshops held at various locations in Texas.

Another approach of the Texas Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Committee is to support travel of selected professionals to regional and national conferences on sustainable agriculture, with the intent of participants gaining knowledge and skills that they will share with other agricultural professionals in Texas.

Program evaluation was accomplished with pre- and post-tests designed to measure knowledge gained by participating in educational programs. A subset of attendees are e-mailed an additional survey instrument four to eight months after the training to determine if participants have adopted any of the sustainable concepts presented. The aim of the evaluation is assess knowledge gained and to determine whether the new knowledge is being applied in new or ongoing programs for their clientele.

Project Objectives:

1) Annually conduct training for new employees of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension (AgriLife) and the Cooperative Extension Program (CEP) at Prairie View A&M University regarding sustainable agricultural practices and Southern Region SARE programs. Goal of training 20 new employees.

2) Annually include USDA -Farm Service Agency (FSA), USDA- Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Credit System personnel in seminars and trainings regarding sustainable agriculture practices and Southern Region SARE programs held locally or on a state-wide basis. Goal of training 20 USDA and Farm Credit personnel.

3) Annually participate in three outreach efforts, such as field days and industry conferences, to inform producers and agricultural professionals regarding the SARE program. Goal of reaching 500 agricultural professionals.

4) Maintain a website to provide timely and updated information related to SARE and the SARE grant program to Texas clientele. Goal of 500 "hits" on updated website.

5) Annually conduct training for Extension agents and agency staffs to learn to instruct socially disadvantaged
farmers, landowners and community leaders, including African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, women and persons who have limited resources of land, labor and capital regarding sustainable agriculture practices and Southern Region SARE programs. Goal of training 20 Extension agents and/or agency personnel.

Advisors

Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Brent Batchler (Educator)
  • Kim Benton (Farmer/Rancher) (Educator)
  • James Cates (Farmer)
  • Susan Beckwith (Farmer)
  • Dr. Diane Boellstorff (Educator)
  • Mark Burow (Farmer)
  • Mark Chavett (Farmer)
  • Dr. Megan Clayton (Educator)
  • Dr. Jason Cleere (Rancher)
  • Dr. Doug Constance (Educator)
  • Mandy Krause (Rancher)
  • Travis Krause (Rancher)
  • Johnie DeBera (Rancher)
  • Kevin Crosby (Educator)
  • Dr. Nelson Daniels (Educator)
  • Steadman Douglas (Educator)
  • Dr. Monty Dozier (Educator)
  • Rebekka Dudensing (Educator)
  • Marvin Ensor (Rancher)
  • Ruby Dunlap
  • Sam Feagley (Gardener)
  • Ben Godfrey (Farmer/Rancher)
  • Mengmeng Gu (Educator)
  • Jennifer Herrera (Educator)
  • Horace Hodge
  • Boone Holladay (Educator)
  • Mary Holliman (Educator)
  • Brent Johnson (Farmer)
  • Searcy Jordan (Rancher)
  • Jackie King (Farmer)
  • Susie Marshall
  • Dr. Patrick Lillard
  • Dr. Joe Masabni (Educator)
  • Laura Miller (Educator)
  • Rene McCracken(Farmer/Rancher) (Educator)
  • Jerome Peters(Farmer)
  • Betsy Pierson (Educator)
  • Robert "Skip" Richter (Educator)
  • Dr. Reid Redden (Educator)
  • Andrew Smiley
  • Allen Smith (Educator)
  • John Smith (Educator)
  • Barbara Storz (Farmer)
  • Brad Stufflebeam(Farmer)
  • Leo Williams (Rancher)
  • Peter Woods (Educator)
  • Dr. Louis Nuti (Educator)
  • Mike Morris (Educator)
  • Dr. Craig Coufal (Educator)

Education

Educational approach:

Texas SARE serves as a leader for training Texas agricultural professionals regarding concepts of sustainable agriculture. For the reporting period, the program involved a multifaceted effort that provided opportunities to be trained or to participate in delivering training for mentor producers, county Extension agents, various groundwater district personnel, NRCS personnel, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality personnel, Texas Alliance of Groundwater District personnel, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation personnel, Soil and Water Conservation District personnel, NGOs (including World Hunger Relief and the Heart of Texas Urban Gardening Coalition) and other agricultural professionals (including the Producers Resources and Sustainability consulting company) and also incorporates concepts of sustainable agriculture in existing, statewide training efforts. These training opportunities include conferences, field meetings and workshops held at various locations in Texas. Another approach of the Texas Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Committee is to support travel of selected professionals to regional and national conferences on sustainable agriculture, with the intent of participants gaining knowledge and skills that they will share with other agricultural professionals in Texas.

Program evaluation was accomplished with pre- and post-tests measuring knowledge gained by participating in educational programs. The aim of the evaluation is to assess knowledge gained and to determine whether new knowledge will be applied by participants.

The Texas Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Committee (AC) conducted their annual meetings in Prairie View on 18 January 2017 to plan training opportunities in sustainability. The Texas AC sponsored training activities related to the USDA-SARE program, grant opportunities, organic vegetable production and marketing, and sustainable systems.

Emphasis was also placed on outreach efforts to increase awareness of Texas SARE. These included partnering with the Texas Department of Agriculture in establishing and manning an educational display at the San Antonio Livestock Exposition. Our outreach efforts were supported through update and maintenance of the Texas SARE program website.  In 2017 there were 42,425 visits.  The Texas SARE website can be found at http://sare.tamu.edu.

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Texas SARE hosted the SARE Fellows program in Texas
Objective:

The SARE/NACAA Sustainable Agriculture Fellows program enhances understanding of sustainable agriculture through broad-based training and hands-on exposure to successful and unique sustainable agriculture programs. Participating fellows are better able to create new programs that meet the needs of their local clientele.

The program aims to:
•Enhance selected fellows’ capability to deliver sustainable agriculture programs
•Develop NACAA leaders committed to sustainable agriculture who can share their knowledge
•Increase agricultural professionals’ awareness of program opportunities and concepts of sustainable agriculture
•Recognize NACAA members who are leaders in the development and adoption of sustainable agriculture

A series of seminars exposes the fellows to sustainable farming and ranching systems, with a focus on basic sustainable agriculture strategies and how they work in the field. Fellows also visit selected farms and ranches to view firsthand the sustainable agriculture principles studied in the classroom.

Description:

SARE-Fellows-Texas-Tour-Final

  • In Texas, training visits included a peach orchard incorporating hoop houses in Stonewall, pastured poultry and grass-fed beef operations in D’Hanis, a 70-acre organic vegetable production and processing operation in Austin for both local and distant markets, wildflower seed farming near Fredericksburg, holistic management practiced at the World Hunger Relief diversified farm near Waco, the largest Texas supplier of biologically based soil conditioners and natural/organic fertilizers in Hondo, an organic feed mill in Elgin, and the 25-acre sustainable community garden for the San Antonio Food Bank.
  • The Texas training also included the “Read the Farm” curriculum, and marketing information for a variety of methods and products through sessions provided by HEB’s Central Market Perishable Products Manager and visits to Pearl Farmers Market in San Antonio and Standard Meats in Dallas.
  • SARE Fellows seminars were delivered by AgriLife Extension specialists, Regional Program Leaders and CEAs including Megan Dominguez Clayton (Ecosystem Science and Management), Jason Cleere (Animal Science), Craig Coufal (Poultry Science), Bryan Davis (Wilson Co.), Todd Swift (South Region), Roy Walston II (Kerr Co.), Lisa Whittlesey (Horticulture) and the Texas AgriLife Extension (Diane Boellstorff and John W. Smith) and Cooperative Extension (Nelson Daniels) SARE hosts.
  • Other (non-Extension) trainers included representatives from the San Antonio Livestock Exposition, Clearwater Underground Water Conservation District, HEB Central Market Perishable Products, San Antonio Food Bank, Medina Agriculture Products, Parker Creek Ranch, Rocky Hill Orchards, Wildseed Farms, Johnson's Backyard Garden, Coyote Creek Organic Feed Mill and Farm, World Hunger Relief, and Standard Meats.

The tour costs were supported in part from a grant from SARE through Western SARE at the University of Wyoming.  However, much more staff time was involved in planning, coordinating and conducting the tour than was provided by the Western SARE grant.  Model state program funds were used for John Smith's salary as he planned and conducted the tour, which was a primary effort for Texas SARE in 2017.  John Smith also attended and assisted with evaluation of the subsequent fall Fellows Tour in 2017.

Outcomes and impacts:

Fellows were provided an overview of Texas sustainable agriculture. Evaluations indicated that the Fellows found Texas to be much different than they expected.  The potential for impact through training these mentor agents is large, especially as they learned to analyze operations using the "SARE Reading the Farm" curriculum for operations such as the example provided by Parker Creek Ranch owners.  Fifteen participants. 

SARE Horticulture Training in Waco, March 31, 2017
Objective:

Provide specific training in organic and sustainable horticulture to Agents, mentor farmers and Master Gardeners and other participants. Texas SARE partnered with USDA, World Hunger Relief, and Heart of Texas Urban Gardening Coalition to provide the program.

Description:

A World Hunger Relief representative delivered a presentation to Agents, mentor farmers and Master Gardeners regarding understanding markets before producing products to sell. Heart of Texas Urban Gardening Coalition shared information regarding how the profitability of cut flowers can aid or be the main or sole source of revenue for a producer. An expanding area of increasing interest in horticulture was addressed through a presentation by a Prairie View A&M University professor and was titled, "Plants Used for Pharmaceuticals." The production of these plants offers a possibility for increased income for growers as this new market continues to expand. Attendees also learned about USDA's High Tunnel Initiative from USDA representatives. Those in attendance planned to share this information with others. Texas SARE funding provided for advertising, coordination, materials, speakers and travel.

Outcomes and impacts:

The 52 in attendance planned to share program information with others. Ten NGO's, 4 Agents, 2 USDA, 4 Mentor Farmer, 17 Master Gardeners, and 15 others.

Water Quality Training in Jim Hogg County, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water screening and train-the-trainer water quality programming by delivering critical information for mentor farmers who irrigate along with other private well owners and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff and groundwater district personnel provided well water screening and train-the-trainer programming by delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The general manager of the Brush Country Groundwater Conservation District described the qualities of the local aquifer and the District's services available to producers and also the District's requirements for registering a well or acquiring a permit to irrigate. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees, a portion of John Smith's salary, a portion of Diane Boellstorff's travel costs and shipping expenses for delivery of water collection vessels distributed in the week before the meeting.

Outcomes and impacts:

The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees.  Participants indicated they would share program information with others.  Two agents, 4 mentor farmers/gardeners and 42 others attended.

Well water quality training in Atascosa, Dimmit, and Frio Counties, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water screening and train-the-trainer programming by delivering critical information for private well owners mentor farmers/ranchers and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith provided well water screening and train-the-trainer programming by providing critical information for private well owners, mentor ranchers and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. Also, the general manager of the Evergreen Underground Water Conservation District described local aquifer characteristics and District plans to continue to attempt to provide sustainable sources of water for producers and others. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees, a portion of John Smith's salary, and shipping expenses for delivery of water collection vessels distributed in the week before the meeting. South Texas screenings were over the course of a week in combination with Jim Hogg County, and Falfurrias and San Isidro locations to increase travel efficiencies. 

Outcomes and impacts:

The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. Four agents, 2 mentor farmer/gardeners and 40 others attended.  Post-tests indicated that all participants increased their knowledge.

Production, Marketing, and Sales of Local Foods Training in Prairie View A&M, Texas
Objective:

Attendees will be trained regarding on Cottage Foods, and Funding Opportunities through many sources including SARE and Food Safety.

Description:

Julie Prouse, AgriLife Extension Service, is a registered Sanitarian with the State of Texas, and provided information on Cottage Food Law. Dr. Larry Sean Payton, Corporate Director of Quality Assurance for Tokyo Gardens Catering delivered a presentation titled "Food Safety for the Retail Market."  Dr. Nelson Daniels, Texas SARE Co-Coordinator, spoke on "Local Food Production Funding Opportunities." Dr. Craig Coufal, Associate  Department Head and Extension Program Leader for Poultry Science spoke on egg sanitation "To Wash or Not-Small Farm Egg Production." Also, attendees were trained regarding marketing of locally-produced eggs. Texas SARE provided support for John Smith's preparation of press releases and other advertising, coordination with speakers, and travel costs.

Outcomes and impacts:

Agents and other attendees were provided trainings regarding Cottage Foods, Requirements for Organic Certification, and Funding Opportunities through many sources, including SARE. Attendees plan to use the information themselves and will train others. Six agents, 6 mentor farmers and 16 others attended.

Water quality training in Angelton, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water screening and train-the-trainer programming by delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff, Drew Gholson and Ryan Gerlich provided well water screening and train-the-trainer programming by delivering critical information for private well owners, watershed coordinators, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. Also, the general manager of the Brazoria County Groundwater Conservation District described District regulations and local aquifer characteristics. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers and county Extension agents plan to use information presented regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. Three agents, 7 farmers and 30 others attended.

Well water quality training in Falfurrias, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water screening and train-the-trainer programming by delivering critical information for private well owners and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith and Diane Boellstorff provided well water screening and train-the-trainer programming by delivering critical information for private well owners and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Private well owners and county Extension agents plan to apply and share the information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. SARE funding supported travel expenses and part of John Smith's salary. Two agents, 5 mentor farmers and 30 others attended. Post-tests indicated that all attendees increased their knowledge.

Water quality training in Hebbronville, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water screening and train-the-trainer programming by delivering critical information for private well owners and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith and Diane Boellstorff provided well water screening and train-the-trainer programming by delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers, master gardeners and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply  that was made available to attendees. SARE also supported travel costs and part of John Smith's salary.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers, master gardeners and county Extension agents plan to use the information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to participants. Two agents and 26 others attended.

Well water quality training in San Isidro, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water screening and train-the-trainer programming by delivering critical information for private well owners, master gardeners, mentor farmers/ranchers and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith and Diane Boellstorff provided well water screening and train-the-trainer programming by delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers and county Extension agents will apply and share information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. Two agents, 7 mentor farmers and 24 others participated.

Well water quality training in Benavides, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water screening and train-the-trainer programming by delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith and Diane Boellstorff provided well water screening and train-the-trainer programming by delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.  The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. 

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers and county Extension agents plan to use information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. Two agents, 4 mentor farmers/ranchers and 12 others attended. 

Well water quality training in Crowley, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming by delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor ranchers/farmers and county Extension agents regarding best management practices for private water wells and the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff, Drew Gholson and Ryan Gerlich provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming by delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. In addition, the Village Creek-Lake Arlington Watershed Coordinator spoke regarding efforts of the Village Creek-Lake Arlington Watershed Protection Plan Partnership to protect and preserve water quality in the area for many purposes, including irrigation. Also, the general manager of the Northern Trinity Groundwater Conservation District described the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing on local groundwater quality, the District's services available to producers and requirements for registering a well or acquiring a permit to irrigate. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. Also, SARE funding supported shipping expenses for delivery of water collection vessels distributed in the weeks before the meeting.

Outcomes and impacts:

Private well owners, mentor farmers, and county Extension agents plan to use and share information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. Four agents, 7 mentor farmers and 25 others attended.

Well water quality training in Henderson, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff, Drew Gholson and Ryan Gerlich provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivering critical information for private well owners, master farmers/ranchers and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.  Also, the general manager of the Rusk County Groundwater Conservation District described qualities of the local aquifer and the District's services available to producers including requirements for registering a well or acquiring a permit to irrigate. An agency representative from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation described siting requirements for private water wells and methods of decommissioning abandoned water wells. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers and county Extension agents plan to use and share information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. Two agents, 8 mentor farmers and 60 others attended. Comparison of average pre- vs. post-test scores indicated a 31% higher post-test score for the group attending.

Well water quality training in Angelton, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff, Drew Gholson and Ryan Gerlich provided well water screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.  Also, the general manager of the Brazoria County Groundwater Conservation District described plans to continue to provide high quality, sustainable sources of water for producers and others. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, county drainage personnel, school employees, an R.V. park operator and county Extension agents plan to use and share information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. Four agents, 6 mentor farmers and 42 others attended.

Well water quality training in Port Lavaca, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivering critical information for private well owners, watershed coordinators, groundwater conservation district personnel, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff, Drew Gholson and Ryan Gerlich provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including providing critical information to private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, a Texas Parks and Wildlife employee, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority personnel, school district employees, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. In addition, the executive director of the San Antonio Bay Foundation spoke regarding efforts of the Lavaca Watershed Protection Plan Partnership to protect and preserve water quality in the area for many purposes, including irrigation. The general manager of the Calhoun County Groundwater Conservation District also described plans in place to continue to provide high quality, sustainable sources of groundwater for producers and others. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. SARE also supported shipping expenses for delivery of water collection vessels distributed in the weeks before the meeting.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners; mentor farmers/ranchers; Texas Parks and Wildlife, Guadalupe-Blanco and school district personnel; and county Extension agents plan to use information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. Six agents, 23 mentor farmer/ranchers, 1 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department employee, 4 Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority employees, 4 school district employees and 65 others attended.

Vegetable Gardening training in Fort Bend
Objective:

Agents and other participants learn about sustainable vegetable production through a series of break-out sessions.

Description:

Boone Holladay, Ft. Bend County Extension Agent for Horticulture, is coordinator of one of the largest and best vegetable garden trainings in Texas.  Through Southern SARE training funds, Boone has continued to keep up to date and expand his knowledge by attending a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference, the 2016 Southern Cover Crop Conference, and a Texas Organic Farmer Gardener Association annual meeting. SARE also provided books for break out sessions for the attendees. Presentations at the 2017 conference included: FSMA Update, Nurturing Soil Health, Pest Scouting, and a Latest Laws and Regulations Update.

Outcomes and impacts:

Agents and participants attended a variety of break out session on sustainable vegetable production. Information will be used and shared by participants and/or to train others. Ten agents, 21 mentor farmer/gardeners and 190 others attended. SARE provided much-appreciated books for break out sessions for the attendees.

Well water quality training in Tyler, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff, Drew Gholson and Ryan Gerlich provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Rusk County Groundwater Conservation District discussed aquifer characteristics and regulations related to using groundwater for irrigation. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents plan to apply and share the information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. Two agents, 11 mentor farmers/gardeners and 76 others attended.

Well water quality training in Goldthwaite, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivery of critical information to private well owners and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith and Diane Boellstorff provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners,  and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. In addition, the watershed coordinator for the Lampasas Watershed Protection Plan Partnership spoke regarding efforts to protect and preserve water quality in the area for many purposes, including irrigation. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. Also, SARE provided shipping costs for delivery of water collection vessels distributed in the weeks before the meeting. Hill Country screenings were done the same week to minimize travel expenses (Goldthwaite, Lampasas and Llano locations).

Outcomes and impacts:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff and the Lampasas Watershed Protection Plan Partnership provided well water screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivery of critical information for private well owners and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. Two agents, 4 mentor farmer/gardeners and 70 others attended.

Well water quality training in Llano, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith and Diane Boellstorff provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners,  and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. SARE provided part of John Smith's salary.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents plan to apply and share information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. One agent, 10 mentor farmer gadeners and 70 others attended.

Well water quality training in Lampasas, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith and Diane Boellstorff provided well water screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. In addition, the watershed coordinator spoke regarding efforts of the Lampasas Watershed Protection Plan Partnership to protect and preserve water quality in the area for many purposes, including irrigation. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. A portion of John Smith's salary was paid by SARE.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents will use and share information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. Two agents, 31 mentor farmer/ranchers attended.

Well water quality training in Glen Rose, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. In addition, the Prairielands Groundwater Conservation District General Manager described the qualities of the local aquifer, District services available to producers and requirements for registering a well or acquiring a permit to irrigate. SARE funded John Smith's travel costs, and part of his salary. Screenings in Glen Rose, Granbury, Weatherford and Montague were all conducted in the same week to minimize travel expenses.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners, and county Extension agents will apply and share information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. One agent, 3 master gardeners and 14 others attended. 

Well water quality training in Granbury, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. In addition, the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District General Manager described the qualities of the local aquifer, District services available to producers and requirements for registering a well or acquiring a permit to irrigate. The manager also brought the District trailer that displays groundwater models, exhibits and videos. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. SARE funded John Smith's travel costs and part of his salary.  SARE also provided shipping expenses for delivery of water collection vessels distributed in the weeks before the meeting.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents will apply and share information delivered regarding best management practices for private water wells and the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. Two agents, 15 mentor farmers/ranchers and 19 others participated.

Well water quality training in Weatherford, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. Also, the general manager of the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District described plans to continue to provide high quality, sustainable sources of water for producers and others.  He also brought the District trailer to exhibit groundwater models, displays and videos. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. SARE also funded John Smith's travelcosts and shipping expenses for delivery of water collection vessels distributed in the weeks before the meeting. Screenings in Glen Rose, Granbury, Weatherford and Montague were done the same week to make the most of the SARE travel funds provided.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners and county Extension agents will use and share information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. Three agents, 31 mentor farmers/gardeners and 55 others attended.

Well water quality training in Montague, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivery of critical information for private well owners, USDA personnel, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivering critical information for private well owners, USDA personnel, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. The Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District General Manager described the qualities of the local aquifer, District services available to producers, and requirements for registering a well or acquiring a permit to irrigate. He also brought the District trailer exhibiting groundwater models, displays and videos. Also, John Smith coordinated closely with two USDA employees also taking in samples in support of the program. SARE provided part of John Smith's salary and travel costs. SARE also provided shipping expenses for delivery of water collection vessels distributed in the week before the meeting.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, USDA personnel, and county Extension agents will apply and share information received regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. One agent, two USDA employees and 51 others attended.

Well water quality training in Brenham, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff, Drew Gholson and Ryan Gerlich provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. SARE funding provided Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. In addition, the Mill Creek Watershed Protection Plan Partnership watershed coordinator spoke regarding efforts to protect and preserve water quality in the area for many purposes, including irrigation. Also, the general manager of the Bluebonnet Groundwater Conservation District described plans to continue to provide high quality, sustainable sources of water for producers and others.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners, and county Extension agents will use and share the information received regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. Two agents, 29 mentor farmers/master gardeners and 61 others attended.

Well water quality training in Milano, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

Diane Boellstorff and Drew Gholson provided well water sample testing and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. Also, the water resources management specialist for the Post Oak Groundwater Conservation District described plans to continue to provide high quality, sustainable sources of water for producers and others, and the District well registration/permitting process. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, and county Extension agents will apply and share information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. One agent, 20 mentor ranchers/farmers and 43 others attended. Attendee post-test scores were on average 31% higher than pre-test scores indicating significant knowledge increase.

Well water quality training in Fredericksburg, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff, Drew Gholson and Ryan Gerlich provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivering critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. Also, the general manager of the Hill Country Groundwater Conservation District described services available to well owners, aquifer status and characteristics, and regulations for registering private water wells or applying for a permit for an irrigation well. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, watershed coordinators, groundwater conservation district personnel, and county Extension agents will use and share information received regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. Six agents, 40 mentor farmers/master gardeners and 140 others attended.

Well water quality training in Wimberley, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff, Drew Gholson and Ryan Gerlich provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. In addition, the Cypress Creek Watershed Protection Plan Partnership Watershed Coordinator spoke regarding efforts to protect and preserve water quality in the area for many purposes, including irrigation. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners, and county Extension agents will apply and share information delivered regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. Five agents, 20 mentor farmers/master gardeners and 28 others attended.

SARE grant opportunities in Rosenburg
Objective:

Share SARE grant opportunities with minority mentor farmers

Description:

Dr. Nelson Daniels, Texas SARE, shared SARE grant opportunities with minority mentor farmers and ranchers.

Outcomes and impacts:

Shared grant opportunities with minority mentor farmers and ranchers that they can use and also communicate this information with others. Forty-two mentor farmers present.

Well water quality training in Liberty, Texas
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivery of critical information for private well owners, watershed coordinators, groundwater conservation district personnel, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith and Drew Gholson provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. In addition, the Cedar Bayou Watershed Protection Plan Partnership watershed coordinator spoke regarding efforts to protect and preserve water quality in the area for many purposes, including irrigation. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners and county Extension agents will use and share information received regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to attendees. Thirty-one mentor farmers/ranchers were present.

Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Conference
Objective:

Serve as a panelist for a discussion providing sources of different funding available for producers. SARE's grant program was explained as part of this session.

Description:

Dr. Nelson Daniels served on a discussion panel at the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Conference to provide information regarding obtaining funding for farming.  Dr. Daniels provided information on SARE grants, particularly the producer and the on-farm grant opportunities. This training provided mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners, and agency employees a better understanding of available funding.  SARE funding supported the cost of a booth and SARE publications distributed to participants addressing grant opportunities.

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants gained a better understanding of funds available to producers to better aid sustainable farmers, gardeners and ranchers. These funding sources could be important to the financial sustainability of their enterprise.

Grass-fed Beef training
Objective:

Participants learn about proper stockpiling of forages to safeguard continued forage availability for finishing cattle, as well as science-based information regarding carcass preparation. The training was held in the Texas A and M Rosenthal Meats Center and included a demonstration emphasizing the proportion of total meat product derived from end rather than middle meats in the fabrication of a side of beef.

Description:

Texas SARE worked closely to assist Dr. Jason Cleere in many ways in coordinating the Grass-fed Beef training held in the Rosenthal Meat Science lab on the TAMU campus.  Dr. Cleere also is a Texas SARE AC member.  Texas SARE also provided assistance with press release development and financial support for the conference.  Texas SARE also provided the SARE book "How to direct Market Your Beef" for each participant. Participants learned about proper stockpiling of forages to safeguard continued forage availability for finishing cattle, as well as science-based information on carcass preparation that included a demonstration emphasizing the proportion of total meat product derived from end rather than middle meats in the fabrication of a side of beef.  The training was held in the Texas A and M Rosenthal Meats Center.

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants including county Extension agents and mentor ranchers will apply and share the information delivered at the conference.  The training was held in the Texas A and M Rosenthal Meats Center. Eight Extension employees, 22 mentor ranchers and 30 others attended.

Texas Sheep and Goat Expo training
Objective:

Participants learn about sustainable production of Wool Sheep, Hair Sheep and Meat Goat production

Description:

Texas SARE worked with Dr. Reid Redden, Extension Sheep and Goat Specialist and Texas AC member, and Marvin Ensor, also a Texas AC member, to coordinate the conference. Texas SARE delivered train-the-trainer programming to Extension agents and mentor farmer/ranchers regarding available SARE grants, with particular emphasis on On-Farm Research and Producer grants.  The conference was structures through three different tracts as participants learned about sustainable production techniques for wool sheep, hair sheep or meat goat production. Topics included: coyote and bobcat management, dealing with feral hogs, ram breeding soundness exams, and physiological selection to disease control and prevention.  Speakers included Lesa Eidman, Director of Producer Resources and Sustainability, Superior Farms, Davis, California. SARE funded part of John Smith's salary and travel costs.

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants including mentor farmers/ranchers and county Extension agents learned about sustainable production techniques for Wool Sheep, Hair Sheep and Meat Goat production. Speakers included Lesa Eidman, Director of Producer Resources and Sustainability, Superior Farms, Davis, California. Twenty-five agents, 180 mentor ranchers and 100 others attended.

Ag marketing for small producers - Minority Landowner Conference in Dallas
Objective:

Help small producers become aware of alternative marketing and SARE grant opportunities

Description:

Dr. Nelson Daniels, Texas SARE, provided information on alternative marketing opportunities for producers, and SARE grants, especially the On-Farm Research grant and the Producer grant. 

Outcomes and impacts:

Provided information on alternative marketing opportunities for producers. Fifteen agents and 150 mentor farmers attended the 4 sessions.

Sustained by our Culture, Urban Gardening Series in Houston
Objective:

Inform producers regarding alternative marketing opportunities and the SARE grant program.

Description:

Dr. Nelson Daniels provided information on alternative marketing opportunities for producers, as well as the SARE grant program.

Outcomes and impacts:

Provide information on alternative marketing opportunities for producers. Forty-three attended each of the 8 programs.

HYPE Freedom School Gardening Series
Objective:

Teach sustainable gardening principles at seven schools in Houston

Description:

Dr. Nelson Daniels, Texas SARE, taught sustainable gardening principles at seven schools in Houston. 320 total attendance.

Outcomes and impacts:

Taught sustainable gardening principles at seven schools in Houston. 320 total attendance.  

Soil Health training for small and minority farmers and ranchers
Objective:

Teach soil health principles to small and minority farmers and ranchers

Description:

Dr. Nelson Daniels, Texas SARE, provided a soil health training for small and minority farmers and ranchers

Outcomes and impacts:

Small and minority farmers and ranchers learned principles of soil health that they can teach others. Thirty-five mentor farmers attended.

Ag risk management training for small farmers and ranchers
Objective:

Teach principles of ag risk management to small farmers and ranchers

Description:

Dr. Nelson Daniels,Texas SARE, delivered ag risk management training to small farmers and ranchers, including mentor farmers/ranches.

Outcomes and impacts:

Ag risk management training for mentor small farmers and ranchers; 124 present.

Well water quality training in Liberty
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith and Drew Gholson provided well water screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. In addition, the Cedar Bayou Watershed Protection Plan Partnership watershed coordinator spoke regarding efforts to protect and preserve water quality in the area for many purposes, including irrigation. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. 

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners and county Extension agents will apply and share information received regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to 31 attendees. All participants increased their knowledge scores.

Well water quality training in Shepherd
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith provided well water screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents will apply and share information received regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to 22 attendees. All participants  increased their knowledge scores. Participation in the program was valued at an average of $902 per participant (for a total of $19,841).  

Well water quality training in Anahuac
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Drew Gholson and Ryan Gerlich provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, master gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. SARE funded shipping costs for water collection vessels distributed in the weeks before the meeting. SARE funding also provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. In addition, SARE paid part of John Smith's salary.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners and county Extension agents will use and share information received regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to 10 attendees. All participants increased their knowledge scores.  Participation in the program was valued at an average of $791 per participant (for a total of $7,908).  

Well water quality training in Conroe
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff, Drew Gholson and Ryan Gerlich provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and a county Extension agent regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. Also, the public awareness coordinator of the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District described District regulations and plans to continue to provide high quality, sustainable sources of water for producers and others. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and a county Extension agent will apply and share information received regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to 40 attendees, including 1 Extension agent.

Well water quality training in New Braunfels
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and a county Extension agent regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff, Drew Gholson and Ryan Gerlich provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. In addition, the Geronimo and Alligator Creek Watershed Protection Plan Partnership watershed coordinator spoke regarding efforts to protect and preserve water quality in the area for many purposes, including irrigation. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents plan to apply and share information received regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to 118 attendees, one Extension agent and one USDA employee. 

Well water quality training in Roby
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, watershed coordinators, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. Also, the general manager of the Clear Fork Groundwater Conservation District described the qualities of the local aquifer, District services available to producers and requirements for registering a well or acquiring a permit to irrigate. In addition, the Upper Clear Fork Soil and Water Conservation District delivered a presentation regarding BMPs for water conservation. In addition, NRCS personnel assisted with tours before the formal program. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees. SARE also supported a portion of John Smith's salary.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to 42 attendees. 

Well water quality training in Rockport
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, fishermen, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. In addition, the executive director of the San Antonio Bay Foundation spoke regarding efforts of the Lavaca Watershed Protection Plan Partnership to protect and preserve water quality in the area for many purposes, including irrigation. Also, the Aransas County Groundwater Conservation District general manager described the qualities of the local aquifer, District services available to producers, and requirements for registering a well or acquiring a permit to irrigate. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, fishermen, master farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents will apply and share information received regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to 50 attendees.

Well water quality training in Port Lavaca
Objective:

Provide well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming including critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff, and Drew Gholson provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, environmentalists, fishermen, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. In addition, the executive director of the San Antonio Bay Foundation spoke regarding efforts of the Lavaca Watershed Protection Plan Partnership to protect and preserve water quality in the area for many purposes, including irrigation. Also, the general manager of the Calhoun County Groundwater Conservation District described plans to continue to provide high quality, sustainable sources of water for producers and others. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents will apply and share information received regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to 69 attendees, including three Texas Commission on Environmental Quality representatives and three county Extension agents.

Well water quality training in Stephenville
Objective:

Provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses.

Description:

John Smith, Diane Boellstorff, Drew Gholson and Ryan Gerlich provided well water sample screening and train-the-trainer programming through delivery of critical information for private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. Also, the Middle Trinity Groundwater Conservation District General Manager and the District Education and Public Relations Coordinator described the District well decommissioning policy and water well database, as well as qualities of the local aquifer and District groundwater planning. SARE funding provided the Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply that was made available to attendees.

Outcomes and impacts:

Attendees including private well owners, mentor farmers/ranchers, Master Gardeners, groundwater conservation district personnel, and county Extension agents regarding the suitability of local well water for sustainable agricultural irrigation purposes, as well as for domestic uses. The Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply was made available to 44 attendees, including 2 groundwater district staff members and one county Extension agent.

Texas County Agriculture Agents Association
Objective:

Present a Texas SARE booth to share agent sustainable agriculture training opportunities available through SARE and grant opportunities for agents' farmers to use to solve sustainable agriculture problems they might be experiencing.

Description:

The Texas SARE booth showcases training opportunities through SARE train-the-trainer programs as well as provides information regarding On-Farm Research and Producer Grant opportunities.   

Outcomes and impacts:

Agents learned about SARE training opportunities, with special focus on the the SARE Fellows program. Many of the agents had been involved with the Texas SARE Fellows tour in May 2017 and so were able to speak from direct, personal experience. Agents also learned about both grant and train-the-trainer opportunities with SARE.   

Battleground to Breaking Ground
Objective:

Texas SARE partnered with Melissa Blair, USDA, to provide SARE resources for a Battleground to Breaking Ground veteran program.

Description:

Texas and Southern SARE provided 100 SARE books for the Battleground to Breaking Ground program for veterans in cooperation with Texas AgrAbility, USDA, NCAT, Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Farm Credit, and Alamo SWCD#330. Veterans learned about Texas AgrAbility, details regarding the Battleground to Breaking Ground Project, rural business ideas, the Farmer-Veteran Coalition, veterans in production agriculture, and business planning basics.

Outcomes and impacts:

Texas SARE partnered with Melissa Blair, USDA-NRCS Public Affairs Specialist and State Earth Team Coordinator, to provide learning opportunities for veterans with 100 SARE books that were used in the Battleground to Breaking Ground program.  Books included 50 Managing Alternative Pollinators and 50 Farmers Market.  200 total participants

Educational & Outreach Activities

317 Consultations
681 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
4 On-farm demonstrations
4 Published press articles, newsletters
6 Study circle/focus groups
4 Tours
2 Travel Scholarships
39 Webinars / talks / presentations
34 Workshop field days

Participation Summary:

136 Extension
4 NRCS
9 Researchers
6 Nonprofit
32 Agency
775 Farmers/ranchers
2361 Others

Learning Outcomes

3195 Participants gained or increased knowledge, skills and/or attitudes about sustainable agriculture topics, practices, strategies, approaches
164 Ag professionals intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned

Project Outcomes

1 Grant received that built upon this project
2 New working collaborations
164 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
775 Farmers reached through participant's programs
Additional Outcomes:

Pre/post test administered indicated a 96 percent increase in knowledge of program participants.  

Recommendations:

Thank you for providing support to make a difference in Sustainable Agriculture in Texas

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

Texas SARE serves as a leader for training Texas agricultural professionals regarding concepts of sustainable agriculture. Cooperative program efforts involved providing opportunities to be trained or to participate in delivering training for mentor producers, county Extension agents, various groundwater district personnel, NRCS personnel, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality personnel, Texas Alliance of Groundwater District personnel, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation personnel, Soil and Water Conservation District personnel, NGOs (including World Hunger Relief and the Heart of Texas Urban Gardening Coalition) and other agricultural professionals (including the Producers Resources and Sustainability consulting company). These training opportunities include conferences, field meetings and workshops held at various locations in Texas and nationwide. The Texas Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Committee also supports travel of selected professionals to regional and national conferences on sustainable agriculture, with the intention for participants to gain knowledge and skills that they will share with other agricultural professionals in Texas.

775 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
164 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.