Building Extension Capacity in the North Central Region to Address Agricultural Energy Use
A second set of professional development webinars was schedule to start in December 2012 and will extend through March/April 2013. The topics include grain drying, irrigation, dairy farm, field production, greenhouses, using biomass for heating, anaerobic digestion, life cycle analysis of dairy production, lighting, and ventilation of animal housing. As of the end of December, two of the webinar had been completed. Attendance has been much higher than the 2011 webinar series. An opportunity to develop an on-line curriculum has produced written materials that parallel the content of the webinar series. This now provides us with an on-line and pdf documents for energy efficiency in grain drying, irrigation, greenhouses, animal housing, field operations, and dairy farms.
1) Develop materials and PowerPoint presentations on energy efficiency for crop production, animal housing, grain drying, irrigation and greenhouses.
2) Deliver curricula to educators including extension agents, USDA-NRCs agencies, utility companies, non-government organizations. Target is to reach 10 educators in each state or 120 educators in the NC region.
3) Educators to deliver programs to producers.
4) Resources from activities to be posted on eXtension so educators have easy access to information.
A second set of professional development webinars was started in December 2012 and will extend through March/April 2013. The topics include grain drying, irrigation, dairy farm, field production, greenhouses, using biomass for heating, anaerobic digestion, life cycle analysis of dairy production, lighting, and ventilation of animal housing. Two of eleven webinars have been completed with registrations of 28 and 35 each. Of the 63 people that registered, 44% were from USDA/NRCS, 7% from extension or university, 22% farmers, 18% from the energy sector and 9% others. Participants were from the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and New Zealand. The webinars have been advertised through the SARE State coordinators in the NC region and through eXtension.org to educators. The webinar are being recorded and we intend to post the videos at eXtension.org in the near future.
During the past 2 years many of the same participants involved in this SARE Grant were also collaborating with a project to develop an on-line curriculum on Biomass energy. The participants of a Biomass curriculum development project realize the value of energy conservation and contacted us to develop the content for an energy efficiency curriculum which is now complete except for some minor editing at http://fyi.uwex.edu/biotrainingcenter/online-modules/series-two-on-farm-energy-conservation-and-efficiency/. The curriculum can be downloaded as pdf documents or viewed on-line. These documents will provide additional training aids for helping people to understand ways to save energy and parallel the content presented in the webinars. The remaining webinar have been well attended. We have been doing a pre and post evaluation of attendees and will summarize the results in the final report. A survey of the people that attended the 2011 webinar series is currently underway to evaluate how many people beyond the folks who attended the webinars the information has reached.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
To date we have had 335 people register for 9 webinars for an average of 37 people per webinar for the 2012-13 series compared to 15 for the 2011 series. In addition as people have attended the webinars some have asked for the link to the recordings of previous webinars so they can view them. A summary of the pre and post evaluation for all of the 2012-2013 webinar will be detailed in the final report after all of the webinars have been completed.
University of Nebraska
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Michigan State University
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