2021-2022 OHIO SARE PDP Plan of Work

Progress report for WNC20-110

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2022: $150,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2022
Grant Recipient: OSU Extension
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
State Coordinator:
Mike Hogan
OSU Extension
Expand All

Project Information

Abstract:

Ohio PDP initiatives for 2021 - 2022 include:

-Minority Farmers Engaging in SARE and Sustainable Agriculture Initiatives
-Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
-Soil Health & Quality
-Sustainable Agriculture Travel Scholarships
-New Extension Professionals Training
-Face of SARE promotional activities

 

Project Objectives:

Continuing Initiatives – State-Specific

C1 – New Extension Professionals Training

Outcome:       Newly hired Extension Educators, Specialists, and Program Assistants will become knowledgeable about sustainable agriculture and SARE programs and resources.

Activity:         1. Sustainable agriculture training will be incorporated into new-employee training conducted by OSU and CSU Extension, and one-on-one follow-up support sessions will be conducted for new hires.  Each new hire will receive a Sustainable Agriculture Teaching/Learning Kit.
                          2. A half-day workshop on SARE and agricultural sustainability will be conducted for the first co-hort of ANR educators hired by CSU (seven educators).

Evaluation:    Pre and post tests will be conducted to measure knowledge gained.

Timeline:        1. On-going in 2021 and 2022 as new faculty and staff are hired.
                            2. Workshop for new CSU ANR educator co-hort group will be held in early winter 2021.

 

C2 – Sustainable Agriculture Travel Scholarships         

Outcome:       A minimum of twenty-five Extension Educators, Specialists, Program Assistants will increase their knowledge about various sustainable agriculture concepts and applications and develop new local programs on various sustainable agriculture topics, by participating in various conferences, training program, and other professional development activities.

Activity:         Matching scholarships will be provided.

Evaluation:    The number of local programs developed/taught for clientele as a result of participation in the travel scholarship program will be measured; the number of travel scholarships will be tracked.

Timeline:       On-going in 2021 and 2022  (as Covid constraints permit)

 

C3 – Ohio Soil Health and Quality Training

Outcome:       Twenty agricultural professionals (Extension educators, NRCS professionals, and non-profit leaders) will increase their knowledge and skills related to evaluating various soil health and quality parameters, and crop production practices such as cover crops and not-till production which will positively impact soil health and quality.

Activity:         1. A day-long workshop and follow-up tour will be conducted to help agricultural professionals develop the skills and knowledge to evaluate soil health and quality, as well as crop production practices which will positively impact soil health and quality, including cover crops, no-till crop production, etc.).

                          2. Cover Crop Root Viewing Stations (3) will be developed for Extension Educators to use to demonstrate the benefits of incorporating cover crops into cropping systems.

Evaluation:    Pre and post tests will be administered to workshop participants; the number of agricultural professionals assisting crop producers with soil health and quality will be tracked; the number of new Extension programs offered on soil health and quality topics will be tracked; the number of cover crop root stations built and incorporated into educational programming will be tracked.

Timeline:       Winter, 2021 & 2022

 

New Initiative – State Specific

N1 – Minority Farmers Engaging in Sustainable Agricultural Initiatives

Outcome:   An increased number of minority farmers will become involved with SARE programs and other sustainable agriculture initiatives; state coordinators will develop new SARE programming and adjust existing SARE programs to attract more minority farmers.      

Activity:  Listening sessions and surveys will be conducted with minority farmers to identify barriers which prevent minority farmers from participating in SARE programs and other sustainable agriculture initiatives.  Based on results of the listening sessions, state coordinators will develop new SARE programming and adjust existing SARE programs to attract more minority farmers.      

Evaluation:    Feedback from the listening sessions will be summarized and evaluated; a survey instrument will be developed and administered to minority farmers in order to identify barriers which prevent minority farmers from participating in SARE programs and other sustainable agricultural initiatives.

Timeline:       2021

New Regional Initiative

R1 – Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

Outcome:       Seven to ten Extension Educators and other agricultural professionals will increase their knowledge and skills related to issues around beginning farmers and ranchers and subsequently provide educational programming to other educators and beginning farmers and ranchers.

Activity:         Ohio participated in the NCR SARE  regional initiative on beginning farmers and ranchers by supporting the participation of 11 Extension educators and other agricultural professionals in a regional professional development event organized by NCR SARE on beginning farmers and ranchers held in Indianapolis in October, 2019. This group along with additional stakeholders will implement a Ohio Beginning Farmer Training Program in 2021 and 2022.  This initiative will likely include more than one specific training program for Beginning Farmers in Ohio.  Additional support as needed will also be provided to Extension Educators on the topic of beginning farmers and ranchers (i.e., travel scholarships).

Evaluation:    The number of clients assisted with beginning farmer and rancher related issues will be tracked; the number of new Extension programs on beginning farmers topics will be tracked; the number of beginning farmers who begin farming will be tracked.

Timeline:       2021 

It should be noted that planning for this initiative began in 2019 with implementation planned for 2020, but Covid constraints prevented final planning and implementation.

Advisors

Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Matt Kleinhenz (Educator and Researcher)
  • Eric Richer (Educator)
  • Sarah Noggle (Educator)
  • Dean Kreager (Educator)
  • Christie Welch (Educator and Researcher)
  • Clifton Martin (Educator)
  • Harold Watters (Educator and Researcher)
  • Heather Neikirk (Educator and Researcher)
  • Tony Nye (Educator)
  • Jacqueline Kowalski (Educator)
  • Rafiq Islam (Researcher)
  • Julie Dahl (Educator)
  • Tom Redfern
  • Rachel Tayse
  • Milo Petruziello
  • Jim Hoorman
  • Matthew Keener
  • Marcie Todd
  • Chris Brandt

Education

Educational approach:

Due to COVID restrictions, many educational activities in 2021 were virtual or web based.  Some in-person activities were also conducted during the year.  The following educational methods were utilized in 2021:

-Webinars
-Workshops
-Travel scholarship
-Exhibits at conferences/trade shows
-Educational materials purchased for and provided to educators
-Demonstrations
-Mini-Grants
-On-boarding training for new Extension Educators
-SARE Learning/Teaching Kits for new Extension Educators

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Mini-Grants for Extension Educators
Objective:

To provide Extension Educators with resources to conduct Sustainable Agriculture programming for clientele.

Description:

1. Ten Extension Educators received mini-grants to build cover crop root viewers and utilize the root viewers as a demonstration tool to educate farmers about cover crops.

2. One Extension Educator received a mini-grant to evaluate low input nitrogen usage in wheat production

Outcomes and impacts:

1. More than 325 farmers learned about the benefits of cover crops through exposure to the cover crop root viewers at field days and other events

2. Extension Educator and several farmers learned about the limitations of using low rates of nitrogen on wheat

Travel Scholarships
Objective:

To provide Extension Educators with resources and experiences which increases their knowledge and skills related to sustainable agriculture topics which will enable them to increase sustainable agriculture programming for clientele.

Description:

-Twenty Extension Educators increased their knowledge about organic production systems by participating in the 2021 Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Conference

-Nineteen Extension Educators increased their knowledge about pollinators by participating in the OSU Bumblebee Short Course

Outcomes and impacts:

Extension Educators developed skills which will enable them to develop new and additional sustainable agriculture programs for their clientele

Face of SARE Activities
Objective:

To increase the awareness among farmers and the general public about SARE products and programs

Description:

-Conducted two SARE Farmer and Rancher Grant Workshops
-Staffed SARE display at the following events
      -Farm Science Review, Sept. 21 - 23
      -Ohio Aquaculture Conference, Jan. 16
      -Sinclair Community College Ag Day, June 21

-Provided financial sponsorship of online OEFFA Annual Conference

Outcomes and impacts:

-Farmers and others increased their knowledge about SARE products and programs

-Farmers increased their grant-writing skills

SARE Teaching/Learning Kits for New Extension Educators
Objective:

To provide newly hired Extension Educators with SARE resources to utilize in developing educational programs for clientele

Description:

-Ten SARE Teaching/Learning Kits were provided to new Extension Educators.  These kits contain all available SARE educational resources.

Outcomes and impacts:

-All ten educators reported increased knowledge about SARE and sustainable agriculture as a result of having these kits. Eight of the educators reported using materials in the kit to develop an educational program for clientele.

On-Boarding Training for New Extension Educators
Objective:

To provide newly hired Extension Educators with an orientation to the resources and programs offered by SARE and to increase their knowledge about sustainable agriculture practices.

Description:

-An in-person workshop was taught for 21 new OSU Extension Educators

-An online webinar was taught for 8 CSU Extension Educators

Outcomes and impacts:

-All 21 OSU Extension educators reported learning new knowledge and developing new skills as a result of participating in the workshop and 15 educators have reported that they have actively utilized the knowledge and skills which they learned at the workshop to develop and teach sustainable ag programs for their clientele.

Organic Weed Control Webinar
Objective:

To teach educators and crop producers the fundamentals of managing weeds in an organic crop production system.

Description:

Two-hour webinar on weed control in organic crop production system

Outcomes and impacts:

Forty-eight educators, crop consultants, and farmers learned about weed control strategies in organic crop production systems.

Soil Health & Cover Crop Webinars
Objective:

To teach educators, crop consultants, and farmers about the benefits of utilizing cover crops in cropping systems

Description:

Three  90 minute webinars on Soil Health and Cover Crops were taught.  Topics for these webinars were as follows:

January - Cover Crops in an Organic Cropping System

March - Cover Crops Can Improve Soil Health

August - What's the Return on Investing in Cover Crops?

 

 

 

 

Outcomes and impacts:

More than 150 Extension Educators, crop consultants, and farmers improved their knowledge and skills related to cover crop management and soil health by participating in three different cover crop & soil health webinars.  At the conclusion of one webinar, 88% of participants indicated that they planned to increase the use of cover crops in their operation.

Nine Extension Educators conducted cover crop field days/tour as a result of participating in the webinars.

Sustainable Direct Marketing Webinars & Workshops
Objective:

To teach farmers and farmers market managers best management practices for direct marketing to consumers; to teach direct marketers how to adapt to specific challenges resulting from Covid restrictions

Description:
  1. A series of five different webinars were taught on the topic of Exploring Online Sales for Ohio Farmers Markets and Direct Marketing Producers. Each 90 minute webinar features a different online sales platform available to farmers and farmers market managers.
  2. A virtual CSA conference was held to teach farmers best management practices for CSA operations
  3. An in-person workshop was held on the topic of Direct Marketing in he Age of Covid
Outcomes and impacts:

More than 169 Extension Educators, farmers market managers, and farmers participated in these seven educational programs and developed the skills needed to sustain direct marketing enterprises during the pandemic.

Beginning Farmer Workshops
Objective:

To teach Extension Educators and farmers how to enter agricultural enterprises for the first time.

Description:
  1. An in-person workshop was held on the topic of Business Improvement and Succession Planning on the Farm
  2.  An in-person workshop for college students was taught on the topic of An Introduction to Starting a Sustainable Farm Business
  3. An in-person workshop was held on the topic of Men and Women Work Better Together in Agriculture
Outcomes and impacts:

-More than 60 Extension Educators and farmers learned strategies for starting a farm business and farm succession planning at these three workshops

Educational & Outreach Activities

65 Consultations
1 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
11 Minigrants
11 On-farm demonstrations
11 Online trainings
8 Published press articles, newsletters
40 Travel Scholarships
11 Webinars / talks / presentations
5 Workshop field days
6 Other educational activities: SARE display at Farm Science Review
SARE display at Ohio Aquaculture Association Conference
SARE display at Sinclair Community College Ag Day
SARE sponsorship of Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Conference
Educational resources provided to all OSU Extension Educators: Soil Biology Primer book; Bumblebees: Behaviour, Ecology, and Conservation; Bumblebees of North America
SARE Learning Kits provided to new educators

Participation Summary:

270 Extension
17 NRCS
29 Researchers
31 Nonprofit
16 Agency
14 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
1620 Farmers/ranchers
40 Others

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

4 Grants received that built upon this project
2 New working collaborations
1620 Farmers reached through participant's programs

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

-Conducted two SARE Farmer and Rancher Grant Workshops
-Staffed SARE display at the following events
      -Farm Science Review, Sept. 21 - 23
      -Ohio Aquaculture Conference, Jan. 16
      -Sinclair Community College Ag Day, June 21

-Provided financial sponsorship of online OEFFA Annual Conference

-Provided one-on-one assistance to individuals applying for SARE grants as follows:

     -9 Farmer and Rancher Grant applicants
     -1 PDP grant applicant
     -1 R& E grant applicant
     -1 Youth Educator grant applicant

 

1200 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
80 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.