2021 Western SARE State Professional Development Program

Final report for WSP20-001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2020: $31,250.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2023
Host Institution Award ID: G205-22-W7905
Grant Recipient: Northern Marianas College
Region: Western
State: Northern Mariana Islands
State Coordinator:
Patricia Coleman
Northern Marianas College
Expand All

Project Information


The Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) program of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) will work collaboratively with stakeholders and growers to develop an outreach educational campaign to promote sustainable agricultural technologies and programs in CNMI. The SARE program of CNMI (hereafter SARE-CNMI) will work with all stakeholders to engage and encourage participation of members of local communities in program activities so that they could be inspired to adopt and integrate sustainable agriculture technologies and practices into their local agricultural production systems. Overall, greater productive capacity for local agricultural produce will be achieved by strengthening local food systems and by promoting concepts of sustainability and environmental stewardship, which will ultimately contribute to improved health and economic status of local communities.

Project Objectives:
  • Identify, evaluate, and promote locally appropriate sustainable agricultural technologies
  • Develop outreach and educational materials to promote sustainable agriculture for multispecies and multipurpose crops
  • Organize seminars, webinars and zoom meetings for stakeholders and local growers to disseminate knowledge and increase visibility of the SARE programs and grants
  • Provide assistance and technical advice to local growers to develop SARE farmer and rancher grant proposals
  • Develop a multi-year collaborative educational and professional development program


Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Joaquin Ogumoro
  • David Calvo
  • Guillermo Borja


Educational approach:

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) has developed an unsustainable and economically detrimental reliance on imported foodstuff, especially fruits, vegetables, and other food products. The increase in the consumption of imported food has led to an overall decline in local food production resulting in the in-sufficient means of income generation for local farmers and food insecurity in the region. Hence, to ensure food security and to build a viable economy, there is an urgent need to increase local food production. In addition to the stiff competition between local and imported food products, many other limiting factors such as the non-availability of disease-free and elite seedlings of vegetatively propagated crops, increased incidents of pests and diseases, unstable supply of local produce, lack of agricultural professionals and limited knowledge and skills of agricultural workforce in locally appropriate technologies and practices hinder sustainable production of agricultural commodities in CNMI, as evident in the inputs of the key stakeholders. Appropriate extension intervention in form of innovative climate-friendly strategies and sustainable agricultural practices will help the island communities to learn the skills required to develop and sustain small agricultural farm enterprises for local food production and thus provide means of income generation and enhanced food security.

During the reporting period, the program concentrated on “train-the-trainer” approach, was applied through field days and demonstrations, onsite technical advice, interactive workshops, PowerPoint presentations, hands-on activities, and question-answer sessions. The program also provided adequate opportunities to educate and train farmers and rural communities in farmer/rancher grant writing and on-farm implementation of sustainable agriculture and climate-smart practices through training workshops (including PowerPoint presentations and hands-on trainings) at the agriculture research station, and field days (demonstrations at the Agriculture Research Station and producer sites). In addition, as much as possible, an interactive component was incorporated into every training session. As a part of this interactive approach, role playing and problem-solving activities were designed to encourage and promote behavioral change among the trainees.

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Enhance food security, promote sustainable economic development, and improve quality of life

Program aims to enhance food security, promote sustainable economic development, and improve quality of life by improving local agricultural production of staple food and cash crops. This will include increasing knowledge and skills of agricultural workforce, providing technology to prolong the shelf-life of agricultural commodities, introducing affordable changes in locally appropriate production systems, and reducing pesticide and herbicide use. Also, increase visibility of the program among stakeholders and local growers and provide them assistance and technical advice for farmer/rancher grant proposals.


Outreach and education activities, farmer/rancher grant writing seminar and one-on-one sessions were organized to increase visibility of the program among stakeholders and local growers, and to provide them assistance and technical advice for grant proposals.

Outcomes and impacts:

The outreach, extension and education activities increased knowledge, created awareness, and developed skills of participants in grant writing.  Ultimately, various activities developed positive attitudes, zeal for learning and adoption of innovative writing techniques of the participants. 

Educational & Outreach Activities

5 Consultations
1 Workshop field days

Participation Summary:

23 Farmers/ranchers

Learning Outcomes

5 Participants gained or increased knowledge, skills and/or attitudes about sustainable agriculture topics, practices, strategies, approaches

Project Outcomes

23 Farmers reached through participant's programs

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

All local outreach activities commenced with a summarized presentation that included a description of the Western region SARE Program with an overview of the goals, organizational structure, funding opportunities, and contact person(s) of the local SARE team. During the reporting period, outreach initiatives included classroom training sessions and one-on-one sessions. As much as possible, each outreach event was comprised of a hands-on component.

23 Farmers 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.