The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension System, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, North Carolina State University, Clemson University, Auburn University, Alabama A&M, Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network, teamed up to train and educate a total of 217 CES personnel and other agricultural professionals on the philosophy, certification, production methods and economics of organic agriculture systems. Through individual state trainings in Year One and an in-depth region-wide training in North Carolina in Year Two, participants’ knowledge, confidence and technical skills of organic agriculture were improved and enhanced. Materials used in the trainings were used to develop a website (http://organictraining.uark.edu/) to assist Extension agents and other agriculture professionals in developing their own organic training workshops.
The behavior based objectives of this multi-state training project are listed below.
1. Increase knowledge and awareness, and improve attitudes of project participants towards organic agriculture through the development of organic agriculture curricula to be used as in-depth modules during training sessions and for future use by agriculture educators throughout the SSARE region.
2. Increase confidence level and technical skills of participants, for organic related questions, by developing a website for this specific project with organic educational resources, training tools, presentations, videos and case studies which can be used as a model for future trainings as resource for addressing common organic agriculture issues
3. To enable a select group of participants with skills and additional knowledge and expertise to become trainers and be recognized as experts in organic agriculture in their states.