Toolbox for Small Ruminant Educators: Building on the Small Ruminant Resource Manual

2008 Annual Report for ES08-089

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2008: $61,523.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
Principal Investigator:
Linda Coffey
National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)

Toolbox for Small Ruminant Educators: Building on the Small Ruminant Resource Manual


Sheep and goat enterprises offer diversification opportunities for small and limited-resource farmers in the South. Educators need materials to meet farmers’ increased interest in these enterprises. We will:

Expand and update the training manual and resource list including new ready-to-use presentations

Organize training workshops in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky to provide practice in collaborating with producers in planning educational programs and in using these resources:

o Small Ruminant Sustainability Checksheet
o Small Ruminant Resource Manual
o PowerPoint tutorial library

Objectives/Performance Targets

The overall purpose of this project is to increase the ability of educators to assist sheep and goat producers, thereby encouraging diversification of agricultural enterprises and increasing sustainability. This project will create new materials, improve on existing materials, and offer training workshops for educators. All activities will be done with input from sheep and goat producers. The products created during this project and used during the training workshops are described as “tools”. The desired results of this project are that:

1. At least 100 educators (Extension agents, NRCS field staff, Young Farmer advisors, Heifer International field representatives) will be better equipped to serve the needs of sheep and goat producers, especially limited-resource producers. At least 40 will actually use the materials within six months of receiving the training.
• Tools: PowerPoint library, tutorial, manual, FAQ list, and checksheet

2. At least 100 educators will know how to obtain further information about sheep and goat production and marketing.
• Tool: Small Ruminant Resource List, Small Ruminant Manual

3. At least 100 educators will gain knowledge of organic sheep and goat production and will have tools in their possession to help farmers interested in this option.
• Tools: Organic Sheep and Goat Resource List, organic chapter in manual

4. Educators will understand the value of whole farm planning and will be equipped to present the Small Ruminant Sustainability Checksheet (a tool for whole farm planning created during the previous project, ES02-060) to sheep and goat farmers in their area. At least 40 will use the materials within six months of receiving training.
• Tools: Checksheet, workshops

5. Educators will be prepared to plan and deliver workshops for sheep and goat producers and at least 15 will host a workshop in their region within six months of receiving training.
• Tools: PowerPoint library, workshops

The project leader will be responsible for compiling the data and information from each state and incorporating the feedback to improve materials.


As of April 15, 2009: Our collaborators have surveyed ag educators and producers in their states (Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Tennessee)to assess needs for training materials. We are compiling those surveys and checking results with the collaborators.

We have also begun assembling recent materials about organic sheep and goat production, and we are reviewing and updating a Small Ruminant Resource List which will become part of the toolbox.

Student interns will be available in May for assistance to the project team and we expect much faster progress on milestones in the next few months.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The work planned for this project will enhance the ability of educators in five states (AR, KY, TN, OK, and GA) to provide educational programming for sheep and goat producers. They will receive updated materials and will invite a local producer to attend the training workshop. At that training, they will work together (educator and producer) as a team to learn about the available tools produced through this project, and to practice planning a program for their local producers, including a workable date and time, topics to be addressed, and speakers to invite.

By including the producer in the planning, educators will develop a highly relevant program and will increase attendance at programs. By using the tools from this project, educators will be able to offer producers a powerpoint presentation to adapt and use at a program. This will give producers confidence to share what they have learned through their experiences and will make it easier for educators to find speakers for programs. As producers are more engaged in the educational process, they will help to build enthusiasm in the community and will therefore encourage educators to continue to offer programs for producers.


Dr. Kenneth Andries
Kentucky State University
225 Cooperative Extension Facility
400 E. Main Street
Frankfort, KY 40601
Office Phone: 5025975094
Dianne Hellwig
Dianne Hellwig Consulting
970 Manse Rd.
Paint Lick, KY 40461
Office Phone: 8599252210
Will Getz
Professor and Extension Specialist
Fort Valley State University
Fort Valley, GA
Dr. Steve Jones
State Extension Specialist
University of Arkansas CES
2301 S. University Avenue
PO Box 391
Little Rock, AR 72203
Office Phone: 5016712067
Steve Hart
Research Scientist II
Langston University
PO 730
Langston, OK 73050
Office Phone: 4054666138
An Peischel
Small Ruminant Extension Specialist
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37209
Office Phone: 6159631351