North Dakota SARE State Professional Development Program 2021-2022

Progress report for WNC20-109

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2022: $130,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2022
Grant Recipient: North Dakota State Univerity CREC
Region: North Central
State: North Dakota
State Coordinator:
Dr. Karl Hoppe
North Dakota State Univerity CREC
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Project Information

Abstract:

The North Dakota SARE State Professional Development Program continues with 5 initiatives:  

 1) Soil Health, Cover Crops, and Water Quality,

2) Local Agriculture serving Diverse Communities and Meeting Nutritional Needs,

3) Integrated Production Systems - Livestock and Crops,

4) Beginning Farmers and Ranchers -- regional training initiative, and

5) Advancing Sustainable Agriculture in 1994 Land Grant Colleges and Tribal Institutions  

Project Objectives:

Professional Development Initiatives - 2021-2020

1)  Soil Health, Cover Crops, and Water Quality

The NDSU soil health team has created a variety of learning experiences for farmers to improve saline and sodic soils and advance the concept of improved soil health leads to improved water quality.  This team addresses research and educational issues related to soil health and underlying water quality issues in ND.  ND SARE will cooperate with the team to support their efforts that meet our goals and support funds with professional development projects.

Outcomes will include increased knowledge about soil health and improving water quality including: use of cover crops to enhance soil health, saline soil management and general soil health management aspects and effects on water quality.  Tours of cover crop plantings and outreach meetings will be provided to visually share the effects of cover crops.  Café meetings will be used to expand the soil heath discussion among farmers to advance new ideas in soil health and water quality. Thirty farmers and 20 extension and NRCS personnel will be trained with a 35 % increase in knowledge of cover crop and soil health.  

The objectives and goal of this initiative also include a proactive approach to involve tribal college educators throughout the project.

Evaluation of these outcomes will be via NCR SARE PDP evaluation forms to determine changes in program delivery and new collaborations.

Travel and mini grant support for NDSU/tribal educators, 319 water quality coordinators and farmers ($4500 per year * 2 years) is requested to make possible their participation in soil health and water quality workshops held throughout the state and in national trainings. The State Co-Coordinators will provide SARE printed materials for support.

 

2)  Local Agriculture serving Diverse Communities and Meeting Nutritional Needs

The North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association meets annually and conducts outreach efforts to the public.  The State Co-Coordinators will help facilitate these efforts when appropriate.

Short term outcomes will include increased knowledge about small farms-local foods and scaling up initiatives by the advancing the Local Foods effort (12 educators) and 25 non-team educators.  We anticipate increased delivery of local foods programming by the educators involved as well as collaborative efforts to find funds for additional research and outreach to support scaling up initiatives.

Efforts to increase partnership with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and Local Foods program to enhance outreach and education in limited access areas.

This initiative also includes a proactive approach to involve tribal college educators throughout the project.  Tribal youth and college students will participate in gardening workshops and then grow food locally at home or school.  They will expose 35 tribal members to opportunities for locally growing food.

Evaluation of these outcomes will be via NCR SARE PDP evaluation forms to determine changes in program delivery and any new collaboration.

Travel and mini grant support ($4500 per year * 2 years) for educators to attend training events will be spent from existing and requested ND SARE funds.  $400 for teleconference expenses are expected.  

 

3)  Integrated Production Systems - Livestock and Crops

Farmers markets are finding a demand for locally sourced meat and crops.  While limits on processing facilities impede growth of the market, ND SARE will provide information on developing local markets.   Market support will be addressed with collaboration from the ND Department of Agriculture. 

Outcomes will include increasing knowledge about North Dakota livestock marketing, providing educational support for raising livestock and poultry with a local food and sustainable emphasis, and working with Food coops and Food Hubs to increase ND meat in their markets. Develop trainings and activities showing benefits from integrating livestock with crops including organic production.   Thirty farmers and 20 extension personnel will be trained with a 50% increase in knowledge of synergies from integrating crops and livestock. Cover crops and grazing mentoring networks will be used to advance sustainable production through synergies of crops and livestock.

The initiative will seek opportunity to work with and provide education and experiences to tribal college educators and youth about sustainable livestock production and purveying.

The interaction of soil health, cover crops and livestock will be demonstrated through on farm projects.   Field days will be hosted by NDSU extension agents to teach sustainability with a soil and livestock aspect.

Evaluation of these outcomes will be via NCR SARE PDP evaluations.  Evaluations will also identify strengths and weaknesses in program delivery and collaborations.

Travel and mini grant support for NDSU/tribal educators and farmers ($4500 per year * 2 years) is requested for providing educational programs about sustainability with livestock for meat production and crop production integration.

 

4)  Beginning Farmers and Ranchers -- regional training initiative

Six NDSU extension agents and one extension specialist participated in a regional professional development event organized by NCR-SARE on beginning farmers and ranchers in 2019.  Educators were given support from ND State SARE funds to travel to this regional training and are expected to provide educational programming to other educators and/or beginning farmers and ranchers.  This professional development will include workshops, study tours, webinars, or other educational programming.  During the two-year plan of work period, we will also offer additional SARE-funded travel scholarships, and where appropriate, mini-grant support to further educational programming that increases the sustainability and success of beginning farmers and ranchers. 

Short term outcomes will include increased knowledge about beginning farmer and rancher issues/problems and how to overcome these issues/problems with sustainable practices. These outcomes will be reached through 2 seminars to be conducted in this topic area within NDSU Extension programming.  Educators will reach out to Tribal entities involving beginning farmers and ranchers and identify opportunities for programming.

Increase profitability and knowledge in issues for beginning farmers and ranchers.  Program knowledge increase by 80% in 30 extension participants.

Evaluation of these outcomes will be via surveys held at workshops and via follow-up meetings.

Travel and mini grant support ($4500 per year * 2 years) will be used for the cost of meeting room expense, meeting material expense, food and travel, lodging and per diem for educators to participate in workshops.

 

5)        Advancing Sustainable Agriculture in 1994 Land Grant Colleges and Tribal Institutions  

In 2019, ND SARE actively engaged tribal colleges in North Dakota.  One ND SARE PDP Co-coordinator was designated to make contact and build relationships to enhance sustainable activities in North Dakota tribal reservations.  While contacts and relationships with the tribal colleges were encouraging, turnover in tribal positions made growth limited.  ND SARE PDP will provide continued emphasis on outreach and program development. 

North Dakota has five 1994 Land Grant institutions.  These are:

              Sitting Bull College, Standing Rock Reservation, Fort Yates, ND

              Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Spirit Lake Tribe, Fort Totten, ND

              United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, ND

              Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, Three Affiliated Tribes, Fort Berthold, ND

              Turtle Mountain Community College, Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation, Belcourt, ND

Within the two-year plan of work, ND SARE PDP will provide SARE-funded travel scholarships and mini-grant support to further educational programming that increases agricultural sustainability.

Additionally, a North Central SARE grant funded program will be promoted to each of the five 1994 Land Grant Colleges to increase sustainable agriculture education and provide funding for tribal projects in Sustainable agriculture.

Short term outcomes will include increased knowledge about sustainable agriculture issues and how to address these issues with sustainable practices. Educators will reach out to Tribal entities involving beginning farmers and ranchers and identify opportunities for programming.

Increase profitability and knowledge of beginning farmers and ranchers.  Program knowledge increase by 60% in 40 participants.

Evaluation of these outcomes will be via surveys held at workshops and via follow-up meetings.

Travel and mini grant support ($2300 per year * 2 years) will be used for the cost of meeting room expense, meeting material expense, food and travel, lodging and per diem for educators to participate in workshops.   An additional 5 grants at $5000 each will be available for each North Dakota 1994 Land Grant College after completion of an application for Sustainable Agricultural funding (NC SARE for 1994 Land Grant Colleges and Universities Request for Proposals).  

Advisors

Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Denna Kemmit (Educator)
  • Brad Brummond (Educator)
  • Sue Isabel (Educator)
  • Justin Zahradka
  • Verna Kragnes
  • Stephanie Blumhagen
  • Ted Alme
  • Kent Schmaltz
  • Katelyn Landeis (Educator)
  • Mark Hawly (Educator)

Education

Educational approach:

Creating educational linkages between Extension and SARE was accomplished through participatory programming where Extension professionals were provided travel support for educational opportunities.  The teach-the-teacher model was used to extend information and ideas to local constituents. 

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Soil Health, Cover Crops, and Water Quality
Objective:

Increase knowledge about soil health and improving water quality including: use of cover crops to enhance soil health, saline soil management and general soil health management aspects and effects on water quality.

Description:

The NDSU soil health team has created a variety of learning experiences for farmers to improve saline and sodic soils and advance the concept of improved soil health leads to improved water quality.  This team addresses research and educational issues related to soil health and underlying water quality issues in ND.  ND SARE will cooperate with the team to support their efforts that meet our goals and support funds with professional development projects.

Outcomes and impacts:

Tours of cover crop plantings and outreach meetings will be provided to visually share the effects of cover crops.  Café meetings and pod casts will be used to expand the soil heath discussion among farmers to advance new ideas in soil health and water quality.  Educators participate in soil health and water quality workshops held within state and nationally.  

Local Agriculture serving Diverse Communities and Meeting Nutritional Needs
Objective:

Increased knowledge about small farms and local foods and scaling up or 'growing' the Local Foods effort in a population scarce state

Description:

Awareness of local foods in association with the North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association was cultivated.  Funds were available to increase educator awareness and knowledge of local food production and marketing.  Increase awareness and programming leads to expanded consumer demand.

Outcomes and impacts:

Efforts to increase tribal involvement were limited due to covid restrictions.  Local markets and education were limited also due to pandemic concerns.

Integrated Production Systems - Livestock and Crops
Objective:

Increase knowledge about North Dakota livestock marketing, providing educational support for raising livestock and poultry with a local food and sustainable emphasis, and working with Food coops and Food Hubs to increase ND meat in their markets

Description:

Farmers markets are finding a demand for locally sourced meat and crops.  While limits on processing facilities impede growth of the market, ND SARE will provide information on developing local markets.

Outcomes and impacts:

Support was provided to develop trainings and activities showing benefits from integrating livestock with crops including organic production.  Local meat sales have grown leading to a year long wait for processing opportunities locally.

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
Objective:

Increase knowledge about beginning farmer and rancher issues/problems and how to overcome these issues/problems with sustainable practices.

Description:

Educators were provided travel support to regional trainings in order to provide educational programming to other educators and/or beginning farmers and ranchers.  Increasing capacity in educators will lead to opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers through workshops, study tours, webinars, or other educational programming. 

Outcomes and impacts:

Extension educators were provided with trainings to overcome beginning farmer/rancher barriers.  Pandemic issues led to training and schools provided virtually. 

Advancing Sustainable Agriculture in 1994 Land Grant Colleges and Tribal Institutions
Objective:

Develop relationships to enhance sustainable activities in North Dakota tribal reservations

Description:

Provide a SARE coordinator to contact and encourage relationships with 1994 land grants.

Outcomes and impacts:

Increased awareness about sustainable agriculture issues and how to address these issues with sustainable practices.  All 1994 land grant colleges in North Dakota were contact in person and SARE opportunities were shared.

Educational & Outreach Activities

250 Consultations
3 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
10 Minigrants
2 On-farm demonstrations
18 Online trainings
8 Published press articles, newsletters
4 Study circle/focus groups
5 Tours
8 Travel Scholarships
30 Webinars / talks / presentations
9 Workshop field days

Participation Summary:

70 Extension
20 NRCS
40 Researchers
20 Nonprofit
20 Agency
5 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
500 Farmers/ranchers

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

14 Grants received that built upon this project
125 New working collaborations
250 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
575 Farmers reached through participant's programs

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

The North Dakota SARE program continues to bring SARE to the public via the www.northcentralsare.org/State-Programs/North-Dakota website, email notices, interviews, displays and booths at meetings, speaker sponsorship at meetings, professional development activities, and news releases.  The State Co-Coordinators will also promote SARE grant and information opportunities and provide assistance for grant writers usually via the telephone or email.  Co-Coordinators also continue to promote greater inclusion of 1994 Land Grant programs and staff.

525 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
450 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.