Oregon 2018-20 PDP project

Final report for WSP18-014

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2018: $28,636.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2022
Host Institution Award ID: G175-19-W7506
Grant Recipient: Oregon State University
Region: Western
State: Oregon
State Coordinator:
Maud Powell
OSU Extension
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Project Information

Abstract:

We expect mini-grant projects to enhance the knowledge and influence the behavior of 200-1000 farmers and other agricultural professionals each year. Participants learn new information on a variety of topics related to sustainable agriculture. They will strengthen their understanding of scientific principles fundamental to SA, and practices utilized by successful sustainable farms, ranches and food businesses. We anticipate that some participants will put this new information into action when interacting with farmers and students or managing their farm or food business. While we cannot list specific topics before reviewing applications, we are aware of interest in increasing knowledge on mechanical weed control, irrigated pasture management, beekeeping, pollinator health, parasite management in small ruminants, and sustainable hazelnut production. Extension education methods, farm systems management, animal health, pasture management and other topics.

Project Objectives:

 1) 200-1000 farmers and other agricultural professionals will learn SA topics each year at events co-sponsored by SARE. An additional 60 farmers and ag professionals will participate in intensive workshops.
2) Better comprehension of pesticide labels regarding risks to pollinators and best management practices and motivation to adopt those practices from leading growers and public awareness of the role farmers play in pollinator protection.
3) 30-50 ag professionals and producers will participate in organic hazelnut production training. An estimated 75% of participants will complete evaluations in the organic production training. Evaluations will demonstrate that participants show an average 1.5 point increase in knowledge of organic production techniques.
4) Ag professionals will understand field preparation and planning that can ensure successful in-row mechanical cultivation techniques for weed management in organic vegetable production.
5) Between 80-100 Cooperative Extension agents and other agricultural professionals will understand the basic elements of the niche meat industry.
6)Commercial beekeepers will use scheduled project training events, tour and a new manual to increase efficiency, quality, and sustainability of their new or existing operation.

Advisors

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Sarah Brown (Educator)
  • Elanor O'Brien
  • Ryan Koch
  • Clare Sullivan (Educator)
  • Teresa Matteson (Educator)
  • Steve Pierson
  • Scott Duggan (Educator)
  • Alejandro Tecum (Educator)
  • Sarah Brown (Educator)
  • Elanor O'Brien
  • Ryan Koch
  • Clare Sullivan (Educator)
  • Teresa Matteson (Educator)
  • Steve Pierson
  • Scott Duggan (Educator)
  • Alejandro Tecum (Educator)

Education

Educational approach:

Our mini-grant projects utilize a wide range of educational approaches. These include one-on-one advice and development of management plans, formal workshops, written information and graphic info-cards, websites, podcasts, field days, farm tours, and sustainable agricultural demonstrations.

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Mechanical weed cultivation in Organic vegetables
Objective:

Enhance mechanical cultivation expertise

Description:

This group hosted one field day with demonstrations of a wide range of new cultivation equipment in young lettuce and snap bean plantings. They are also developing a mechanical cultivation website.

Outcomes and impacts:

The final report for this mini-grant is due in March, 2021 and will report on outcomes and impacts.

Furthering Oregon's Organic Hazelnut Sector
Objective:

Enhance organic hazelnut production and processing in Oregon

Description:

This group hosted an Organic Hazelnut Growers Association summer tour, they are disseminating resources for growing organic hazelnuts, and convening meetings between organic hazelnut growers, processors and other stakeholders with the goal of enhancing access to processing facilities for organic hazelnuts.

Outcomes and impacts:

The final report for this mini-grant is due in March, 2021 and will report on outcomes and impacts.

Strengthening Oregon's niche meat industry through extension
Objective:

Enhance niche meat processing in Oregon by training agricultural professionals to support expansion of facilities and development of new facilities.

Description:

The project team manages the National Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network, and have developed a Beginners’ Guide to Local Meat Processing. They are developing a series of presentations for use at agricultural professional meetings that will introduce participants to different types of local meat processing, regulations in Oregon, the economics of small processors, ways to build capacity and support development of new facilities, and ways to improve coordination between meat producers and processors.

Outcomes and impacts:

The final  for this mini-grant is due in March, 2021 and will report on outcomes and impacts.

Pesticide applicator infographics and bee-friendly grower showcase podcast
Objective:

Increase adoption of BMPs for pollinator safety when using pesticides.

Description:

This team is developing four postcard info-graphics to train growers in best management practices (BMP’s) for protecting pollinators when using pesticides. The info-graphics will be adapted for western Oregon specialty seed, cherry, clover seed and nursery crop producers. The team is also developing a series of eight 30-minute podcasts that showcase two growers in each industry that have implemented recommended BMP’s.

Outcomes and impacts:

The final report for this mini-grant is due in March, 2021 and will report on outcomes and impacts.

Educational & Outreach Activities

25 Consultations
6 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
9 Minigrants
11 On-farm demonstrations
1 Online trainings
2 Published press articles, newsletters
4 Tours
2 Workshop field days

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

4 Grants received that built upon this project
16 New working collaborations
209 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
Additional Outcomes:

Strengthening Oregon’s niche meat industry through Extension training,

  • Between 80-100 Cooperative Extension agents and other agricultural professionals shall participate in at least one of the trainings aimed at increasing understanding of local meat processing and its role in the niche meat supply. A better understanding by this audience will lead to them being more informed advocates for local meat producers. Although we achieved the numbers of Extension agents and agricultural professionals targeted in our initial proposal, we did not survey people before and after they attended our workshops or presentations. Therefore, we cannot say if they now have a better understanding of the niche meat supply or not.
  • At least 200 people will view the meat processor video series on the NMPAN YouTube Channel over the two years of the project. The audience for our YouTube Channel is generally meat processors, meat producers, sustainable livestock advocates, third-party certification entities, non-profits, Cooperative Extension and other academia.  A better understanding of meat processor needs, concerns, and ways to strengthen this aspect of the local meat supply chain will result from watching these videos.This was achieved with the 10 “Meet the Meat Processor Series” videos on the NMPAN YouTube Channel (which have been viewed hundreds of times).

Mechanical weed cultivation in Organic vegetables

We hosted two Mechanical Cultivation Field Days at OSU. In 2018 the event was held at the OSU Vegetable Research Farm in Corvallis on August 16th. In 2019 it was at the OSU North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora on August 29th. The 2019 events page is here, and the program agenda is here. Most of the event involved field demonstrations of cultivation equipment being used in recently seeded and transplanted vegetable crops. In 2018, Eric Gallandt from the University of Maine was our keynote speaker, in 2019 an experienced farmer panel addressed the field day by sharing tips from the field. They were Joe Siri from Siri and Son Farms (large farm), Frank Battilega from Big B Farm (mid-sized farmer) and Josh Volk from Slow Hand Farm (small-scale farmer).

 

An article in Oregon Small Farm News featured the 2018 field day and was reprinted on the OSU Extension website. George Plaven from The Capitol Press also featured the events in an article on July 31, 2019.

 

In 2018 participants had very positive experiences at the field day: 95% said they gained new information to improve weed management in their crops, 91% planned on adopting one of the practices shown, and 87% said they planned to use new cultivation equipment on their farm. On a scale of 1-5 in terms of how useful the field day was, average participant response was 4.6 for demonstrations, 4.2 for exhibitor booths, and 4.1 for the presentations.

Evaluation comments included: “Tillage demos were very helpful and vendors were extremely knowledgeable”. “It was great. Wish you would have done this years ago, or at least before I bought the wrong stuff! Look forward to coming next year”.

In 2019 participants also had a very positive experience: 88% said the demonstrations were very useful or extremely useful; 96% said they gained new information to improve weed management in their crops; and 80% said they planned to use new cultivation equipment on their farm. Comments included, “Tractor tool demos were very useful for me. Talking to the company reps was a quick way to get questions answered”, and “What was most useful was seeing the tools demonstrated, and having an opportunity to operate them.”

Commercial Beekeeper Training Workshops

The Oregon SARE mini-grant that we received for 2018 and 2019 not only allowed us to produce educational workshops for commercial beekeepers of Oregon, it also helped build momentum and establish a long-term conference series. Feedback from our post-event surveys indicated that these educational efforts have been useful for new and existing commercial beekeepers with their businesses.

In 2018, we had two events with 50-60 commercial beekeepers participating in each. The first event was a summer field day at a commercial beekeeper’s operation. Invited speakers included Kirk Lloyd, an agricultural safety expert, Julie Willoughby, a Food Safety Modernization Act expert from GloryBee, and Harry Vanderpool, a commercial beekeeper well versed in transportation of bees. We invited commercial beekeepers from all over the state. The crew members of commercial beekeeping operations were also invited to the workshops, as they are critical for those operations and are often not included in bee conferences and events. Kirk Lloyd and Julie Willoughby led a tour through the honey processing facility and pointed out potential safety hazards. Kirk Lloyd then gave attendees a demonstration on forklift safety. He showed the group some common mistakes, and how to properly position your body in the event of an overturn. Harry Vanderpool discussed the permits, record keeping, and other important aspects of bee transportation. It was an informative event.

The second event was a formal presentation-style gathering at the Salem Convention Center in October. Jim Grew spoke to the group about whether to pass your bee business down to family members or sell it outside the family. Jennifer Dresler of the Oregon Farm Bureau spoke about recent legislation that affects beekeepers, and John Burr of the Oregon Department of Agriculture spoke about regulations for honey processing facilities. It was a day full of diverse and necessary education for commercial beekeepers.

In 2019, we adjusted our training plan in response to a honey bee brood disease that was particularly problematic that spring. European foulbrood was found in many apiaries across the state, and the usual treatments didn’t seem to be working. Furthermore, it was apparent after casual conversations that many beekeepers could use a training on honey bee brood diseases. In October 2019, we gathered about 75 commercial beekeepers at the Florence Convention Center and focused the day on honey bee diseases. First, OSU professor and veterinarian, Dr. Michelle Kutzler, gave the group an overview on how to obtain a Veterinarian Feed Directive (VFD) for antibiotics for treating brood diseases, which is a new requirement for beekeepers. I delivered a presentation on brood diseases: symptoms, treatment, prevention, and current research. Then, we split up into groups and rotated though tables with diseased brood in frames on display. Participants we able to get a close up, hands-on look at diseases and asked questions to experts. Each participant left with a diagnostic kit which included gloves, forceps, a flashlight, sample containers, and testing kits. Feedback from this event was overwhelmingly positive.

Increased comprehension in pesticide sections focused on pollinator protection, increased adoption of bee-friendly practices and improved public recognition of the efforts of growers and applicators to protect pollinators.

 

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

We requested to all mini-grant recipients to have information about SARE grants and SARE publications made available at all professional development programs.

400 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
209 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.