Project was continued through December 31, 2019, and a no cost extension will be requested for one more year. During this year 2017-2018 funds were used up and activities completed, so this is the final report for these funds. A significant added focus, and use of both 2017 and 2018 funds, during 2019 were the preparations for and hosting of the 2019 WSARE PDP Coordinators meeting, additionally helped prepared the affiliated Western Pacific Land Grants for WSARE teams’ visits following the Coordinators meeting.
a) Topic(s) – In response to client requests, we explored the use of “You Tube” (in workshops) and social media (encouraged participants to share their experiences with the home assignments through Facebook & WhatsApp) and online conferencing (Zoom) for educational delivery/support and curriculum development. This period’s topics included but were not limited to: soil and water conservation practices, farm
planning and development, record keeping, enterprise budgeting, permaculture, agroforestry, home, school, and community gardening, food security, and promotion of government programs. During 2019 we hosted the WSARE PDP Coordinators annual meeting on Guam and facilitated COM island Land Grant Institutes’ preparations for site visits following coordinators’ meeting. This was a central focus in all of our planned activities from January to June of 2019. Many of our advisory groups meetings were to prepare our partners for this visit.
b) Context, justification and assumptions – The Guam Sustainable Agriculture Professional Development Program (PDP) is a part of the New and Veteran Farmer Program under the NIFA Guam Food Security and Global Hunger POW. The PDP program coordinates collaboration among agricultural support agencies/NGOs in the delivery of educational programs by providing support in collaborative curriculum development, demonstrations, and workshop delivery. In recent evaluations, a recurring theme in educational delivery was the desire for web, video, and social media formats for information delivery. Subject matter and core issue topics were identified in past sub regional conferences, then further refined by annual needs assessments though advisory groups’ meetings. The program facilitates multi-agency project planning to outreach professionals in their efforts to address the identified local and regional needs.
c) Stakeholder and partner involvement – Over the year’s on Guam, the client base of agriculture professionals and paraprofessionals has grown. In this period we started to reform the advisory group keeping representatives of core partners (NRCS, FSA, DoAg, CE&O, AES, and
local ag consultants.) In 2019 we held planning meetings with advisory subgroups to prepare for the WSARE visit, and conducted focus groups with our island agricultural professional partners to identify topics for WSARE Professional Producer grants. We still plan focus groups of agricultural production sectors like; livestock, commercial vegetable, commercial fruit, market gardeners, aquaculture, and paraprofessional agriculture groups. In 2019 we participated in a focus group of commercial fruit and vegetable producers and market gardeners. We plan to invite the core partners and representatives from these industry sectors to identify future program topics and update members on current program progress. These advisory members are active partners in the education and outreach efforts of Guam’s PDP efforts.
d) Inputs – The Guam WSARE PDP has three focus areas for professional training and program development. Inputs for each focus area follow:
1) Adapting New Farmer Curriculum with a focus on online zoom conferencing/workshop across the Western Pacific, use of educational videos and social media for use by Outreach/Education Professionals that do not have agricultural backgrounds and delivery to nontraditional clients, by training professionals in use of this curriculum for use in home and subsistence gardener contexts. The program will attempt to integrate earlier developed curriculum with existing and new online videos like (Youtube) in workshops and utilize social media (Facebook) in client group network building. Inputs include; local Smith Lever funds, PDP funds, UOG CE&O new Community Healthy Living program staff and expertise from UOG: CES & AES & SBDC, NRCS and DoAG staff, and other agriculture, food, and health professionals. WSARE PDP will facilitate gardener need assessment, program planning, and coordination of curriculum development and role modeling.
2) Agricultural Professional Support for capacity building for technical support of agricultural producers including, subsistence producers and home market gardeners. In the past WSARE PDP effort focused on developing New Farmer curriculum for commercial producers and supporting agricultural professionals in workshop delivery. WSARE PDP funds will be leveraged with local Extension to support agriculture professionals’ trainings of island commercial and subsistence farmers. Other inputs include: staff support from UOG CES & AES, DoAG, GCC culinary program, and NRCS as they also assist each other in training delivery. The WSARE PDP program will support curriculum development, training in its use, maintaining demonstration sites, and assisting Narrative Guam State/Protectorate WSARE Implementation Proposal 2017/18 partner groups in delivering trainings to their client groups. The PDP program will also conduct strategic planning sessions with farmer, agricultural professionals, and community groups to identify new topics.
3) Delivering New and Veteran Farmer Trainings by developing curriculum and demonstrations for trainings for clients that want to begin agricultural production. Our multi agency outreach group has identified three types of producers; subsistence/producers (those striving to reduce the family food bill and increase food diversity by gardening), market gardeners (gardeners who produce a surplus for sale as a first step to larger commercial production), and commercial producers (those who derive a significant portion of their income from agricultural production). For inputs, local support is available from Northern and Southern Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), Farmers’ Co-Op, Guam DoAG, MCA, UOG Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and GCC culinary program. This core group regularly works in smaller partnerships to obtain outside funding for targeted efforts.
e) Outputs –
1) Adapting New Farmer Curriculum with a focus on educational videos and social media for use by Outreach/Education Professionals that do not have agricultural backgrounds and delivery to nontraditional clients, (a) target audience includes community leaders, local health professionals, veteran support, teachers and outreach professionals concerned with developing gardening programs and community clients. (b) Activities and
methods include curriculum trainings, client workshop series and set up of new demonstrations where PDP team models recommended practices. (c) Products beyond fact sheets and Power Point presentations will involve posting on web and identifying useful YouTube videos and referencing useful WSARE, ATTRA and eXtension resources to support our curriculum.
2) Agricultural Professional Support, (a) target audience is island ag. professionals. (b)Activities include the development of a new curriculum materials to add to the existing New Farmer Narrative Guam State/Protectorate WSARE Implementation Proposal 2017/18 series. (c)Products are workshop materials, extension fact sheets, field demonstrations, and use of new media.
3) Delivering New and Veteran Farmer Trainings, (a) target audience includes commercial producers, market gardeners, and subsistence/gardener producers. (b) Outputs include New and Veteran Farmer trainings, events and media. (c) Products will include curriculum in new formats and on the web and social media pages, and new grants.
1)New advisory group formed and provided input from industry focus groups, many of the members were able to interact with WSARE Coordinators and staff through workshops, tour, and farmergrill night during the week of the PDP Coordinators meeting.
2) Island Outreach professionals will utilized the adapted curriculum for new and veteran producers in workshops and maintain demonstrations on recommended practices.
3) Harder to document but expect new gardens initiated, and increased production and consumption of fruits and vegetables by island families, adoption of sustainable practices taught by these producers.
4) Agriculture and non-agriculture professionals conducting workshops promoting home, school and community gardening efforts utilizing recommended practices. Increase in home, school, and community gardens. The 2019 WSARE staff grant writing workshop got University faculty, agents, and specialist to attend that never attend the annual workshops put on by the Guam PDP Coordinators. At least 4 grants were submitted by attendees of this workshop.
The PDP program coordinates collaboration among agricultural support agencies/NGOs in the delivery of educational programs by providing support in collaborative curriculum development, demonstrations, and workshop delivery. Subject matter and core issue topics identified in past sub regional conferences and refined though advisory meetings were addressed from the multiple perspectives of food security during this period. In particular we gave a focus on curriculum development to support the growth of subsistence farming on Guam and the regions’ islands. We promoted the growth of agro-forests or forest gardens adapting traditional farming systems of the islands with modern soil and water conservation practices as one of the more productive and sustainable systems for these limited resource subsistence farms. Key was utilizing a micro-plot approach to break these multi-year endeavors into task doable by limited resource family groups. The program, as always, facilitated multi-agency project planning among outreach professionals in their efforts to address the identified local and regional interest and needs.
During this period we adapted existing New Farmer Curriculum for use by Outreach/Education Professionals that do not have agricultural backgrounds and delivery to nontraditional clients. We trained professionals in use of this curriculum for use in home and subsistence gardener, and other contexts. The program attempted to integrate earlier developed curriculum into formats suitable for other audiences and developed new lecture materials for their use.
In our efforts to focus on using online technologies in the program development this period focused on building and operating a peer-to-peer communications network that trained WSARE liaisons with a focus on island sustainable agriculture issues. The state PDP program resources (and coordinators’ time) was use to support a Enhanced Coordinators grant for this purpose. Since February of 2018 bi-weekly (sometimes weekly) liaison Zoom conference calls were held to coach the participants through these tasks. Our island network is becoming comfortable with regular Zoom conferences and we look to expand the network members and broaden the Sustainable Ag online trainings.
During 2019 the Zoom network was utilized to both help the island partners prepare the WSARE visits following the coordinators meetings and then to assist several in preparing WSARE grants. During the week of the Coordinators visit during May these funds brought Craig Elevitch to conduct two workshops on agroforestry and food forest design and also participate in the Coordinators tour. This supplemented and supported our efforts in our micro plot development of subsistence agroforestry systems.
The 2019 coordinator’s visit also enhanced the PDP programs outreach as WSARE staff was able to both conduct a grant writing session and hold a special session for one group of outreach/education professionals that do not have agriculture background, our island teachers. We also held two more WSARE grant writing sessions during the year on Guam and two over zoom for our island liaisons team.
During 2019 due to campus construction and installation of a new drainage system on the cliffline, the micro-plot demonstration was blocked from access and was damaged by heavy equipment movements and trenching on its border. During the second half of the year from July to December of 2019, the demonstration was restored and replanted where needed. The ease with which this was restored showcased the resiliency of environmental adapted agro-forestry forest garden approach for island production systems.
In the last months of 2019 the University and the Cooperative Extension and Outreach were approached by two different groups to provide training during 2020. The first was the Chamorro Land Trust Commission specifically requested the University to re-engage with the CLTC, specifically by providing the WSARE New and Veteran Farmer Trainings first for their land agents and then for their agricultural lessees and applicants. The second group was the Guam AmeriCorps program requested the same training as part of their volunteer technical training under their UOG CE&O Global Food Security endeavor which Guam WSARE program is a part. The PDP program will implement these agreements during the 2020 reporting year.
Education & Outreach Initiatives
The Guam PDP program with support from a WSARE Professional Producer grant established an on campus micro plot agroforestry demonstration for use in trainings. Then use adapted Guam PDP New Farmer curriculum in workshops at this demonstration. Also the Guam PDP nursery was used to support the grants efforts to establish 4 farmer demonstrations.
The on campus demonstration is now in its 4th year and is used regularly for tours and workshops. The initial fenced micro plot has been expanded with an adjacent micro-plot as a result of workshop hands on activities and to give workshop/tour participants a view of the succession in multi-storied agroforestry establishment. During the 2019 January to June period access to the site was blocked off and site was damaged by heavy equipment. The period from July to December focus on repairing the site and replanting portions. During this period of 2019 a new on campus demonstration was developed in the riparian buffer surrounding the University’s primary groundwater recharge area. UOG fall agriculture classes utilized both areas in classes and student projects and youth tours.
In the third year the micro-plot (2,000 sq ft) food forest harvested over 1,400 pounds of fruits and vegetables primarily from a few fast to fruit trees like breadfruit (1 year older than rest of plot), soursop, calamansi, and intermediate fruits like papaya and banana, perennial crops like lemon grass, malabar spinach, wing bean, morengia, tree spinach, and vegetables like chinese cabbage, eggplant, tomatoes, long beans, okra, herbs, and root crops (sweet potato and taro). This demonstration and its output is an inspiration to workshop participants.
Four variations of this demonstration have been establish on Guam farms under the supported “Seven Trees, Seven Practices” grant. Guam PDP program and the program developed curriculum has been a key input in the success of this grant. While not used for workshops due to lack of access the demonstrations were used between October and December for the Agriculture and Life Sciences undergraduate and Sustainable Agriculture Food and Natural Resources (SAFNR) classes.
Also, in 2018 and 2019 the produce from the site and propagation materials were used in a 12 week wellness program of CE&O the “Walk to Wellness” program where 3 villages had cohorts of 30 participants each meeting once a week for 12 weeks first for an hour of group walking and then for an hour of wellness training each night local produce was featured and subsistence production promoted. The produce and plant materials were given out each night as raffle prizes. Participants (79 evaluations) reported 419 plants planted out of this 218 were fruit trees and 201 were vegetable/herbs. They also reported an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption.
Coordinate and plan summer meeting logistics, tours, workshops, business meeting, and other related activitieswith WSARE, COM, NMC, partner agencies/NGO's/, farmer/ranchers, and guest presenters.
Guam hosted the PDP summer meeting for the very first time. WSARE State Coordinators, Administrative Council members, and agricultural professionals attended the meeting. Several educational workshops were held during the week of the business meeting, (2) Agroforestry for Food Security (Craig Elevitch), Grant Writing (Al Kurki and Kim Kroll), and Farm to School (Al Kurki and Kim Kroll). Farm tours were conducted to showcase agricultural practices on subsistence and commercial farms on Guam. Following the tour, a Farmer-Chef Grill-Off competition was held in collaboration our advisory group members the University of Guam’s Cooperative Extension and Outreach, Micronesian Chef’s Association, and the Guam Farmer’s Cooperative Association of Guam to highlight local produce prepared by local chefs.
Prior to the summer meeting, several online trainings and meetings were conducted with WSARE liaisons, Micronesia/CNMI state coordinators, and WSARE team to plan logistics, travel, tours,
After the Guam meeting concluded, twenty-seven facilitators from WSARE traveled to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Chuuk, Yap, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and the Marshall Island’s. Both Guam coordinator’s joined the Marshall Islands WSARE team and collaborated in conducting workshops on Grant Writing, Introduction to WSARE, Livestock waste management, Sheet Mulching, Agroforestry. etc. The Guam coordinators continued through Zoom to coach the Marshall Island liaison in preparing a Professional Producer grant for submission.
Several grants submitted from Guam and the region. Guam was awarded a Research to Grassroots grant to continue promoting sustainable agroforestry practices through demonstrations in Micronesia.
Marshall Island’s: The Guam Coordinator and Co-Coordinator led the team to Marshall Islands. Group and one-to-one workshops/hands on trainings were conducted on several topics to meet the island’s needs such as an overview of WSARE programs, grant-writing, Farm to School, dry litter waste management, windbreaks, nitrogen fixing hedgerows, soil building, and sheet mulching. Two topics for WSARE grant submissions in November 2019 were identified and initial writing was started during the visit. Through followup Zoom meetings the Guam coordinators assisted with the preparation of an integrated hog Dry-litter/crop fertility through use of litter as mulch Marshal Island grant submission under the Professional Producer call.
Overall, in 2019 the WSARE team met and provided training to over 200 farmers, agricultural professionals, local officials, and teachers in the islands. Workshops were designed to meet locally identified needs which included: SARE grant writing assistance, soil health/building (including tropical cover crops), nutrient management, plant propagation, pest management, seed saving, swine production and artificial insemination, alternative livestock and livestock feeds, and small-scale irrigation.
Educational & Outreach Activities
As a core activity of the Guam PDP program we hold 2 or more WSARE grant writing workshops each year.
During this project period we conducted intensive trainings (both online through zoom and on Guam during a 1 week conference during 2018) to a group of our College of Micronesian WSARE liaisons. From these efforts three grants were submitted 1 Guam Farmer Rancher, 1 regional Enhanced Coordinator, and one Pompeian professional producer. Two were funded. Several drafts were initiated across the islands that were not ready in time but efforts on will be continued. During 2019 one research to grass roots grants from Guam was submitted and funded and two Grants from COM (Pohnpei and Marshall islands) were also submitted that were supported by this program effort.
In 2018 renewed WSARE Advisory Focus group on Guam was held with Ag professionals, farmers, food industry reps, and health and educational professionals. A new focus on island food security was identified for multi-agency collaboration where sustainable food production promotion (both subsistence and commercial) has a key role.
In 2019 the advisory group members played an active role in hosting the tour of the Coordinators (Marilyn Salas farm, the Micronesian Chefs Association and the Farmers Cooperative Association of Guam (FCAG)) and hosting the Farm Grill night at the new Co-Op facility. Partners from the advisory group (FCAG, SWDC’s, and Farm to School) both attended and recruited participants to attend the two agroforestry workshops and the WSARE grant writing workshop and the session for educators during the week of the 2019 Coordinators’ meeting.
The Guam PDP implementation effort now in addition to its core PDP team is providing outreach support to six agricultural professionals with the College of Micronesia in both the Federated States of Micronesia and Republic of the Marshall Islands. This effort is also expanded to provide some support to the Northern Marianas College’s WSARE effort during 2019 and resulted in NMC representatives attending the coordinators meetings in Guam.
Coordinators meeting reported in multiple newsletters:
(In press) UOG CE&O Impact Report
Face of SARE
A major activity of this period has been the preparation activities for the 2019 WSARE PDP meeting to be held on Guam.
This has included since August of 2018 promotion of WSARE PDP meeting among agriculture professionals on Guam.
Holding regular advisory and focus group meetings. These identified food security issues, promotion of value of subsistence agriculture system and food security. PDP coordinators also meet regularly with farmer groups for input.
2019 two weeks of activities for PDP Coordinators Meeting and Island Teams’ visits, Guam PDP program provided significant funding support for this effort and for Craig Elevitch workshops on Guam and Pre-coordinator meeting workshop on Saipan. Guam also provided significant support for the Marshall island team visit.