- Animals: bovine, poultry, goats, swine, sheep
- Animal Products: dairy
- Animal Production: herbal medicines, homeopathy, preventive practices
- Education and Training: demonstration, networking, workshop
- Production Systems: organic agriculture
The goal of this project is to increase the knowledge and skills of veterinarians regarding the NOP livestock standards and best herd health practices for organic animals, and to give them greater confidence in treating certified organic livestock. The project also delivers educational programming to extension educators, USDA staff, animal nutritionists and other professionals who routinely work with organic livestock herds and flocks. Programming consisted of webinars, conference workshops, on-farm training and tours, and full-day trainings on dairy herd and poultry flock health management. Networks of organic livestock health professionals and a farmer advisory council were established convening at trade conferences and on conference calls. An on-line discussion forum was created to facilitate peer-to-peer learning.
At the conclusion of the 24 month performance period for this grant there were remaining funds. In keeping with the original project goals, the aim was to build agricultural professionals’ capacity to work with organic producers by increasing their knowledge of the National Organic Program standards, organic production practices, and the process of organic certification. Additionally, recognizing that many of these professionals have limited knowledge of how their counterparts in other agencies and organizations were working with organic producers, we targeted increasing communication and collaboration among these professionals as an additional goal under our modified scope. We requested a no cost extension as well as a modified scope as follows:
· Extend our trainings on organics to other agricultural professionals, including those from Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Ohio, Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Ohio, Ohio State University (OSU)-Extension, and others, in order to build their respective staffs’ capacity to serve organic producers.
· Facilitate formation of an inter-agency and multi-stakeholder “organic team” for the state in order to foster communication, coordination, and collaboration.
The modified objectives were achieved, as detailed below.
Project objectives are to provide webinar based trainings on National Organic Program standards, on-farm audits to assess risk, parasite management and control, pain management treatments, and poultry flock health to 75 veterinarians, Extension personnel, and other consultants. In collaboration with IOIA/OMRI provide education to 25 veterinarians on organic livestock input materials. Establish a functional education network for peer-to-peer support and informal information sharing. Establish a farm advisory council to provide guidance and expertise to project personnel, veterinarians, and farmers.
During the project extension period, we targeted three agencies for potential trainings on organics and inclusion in an “organic team” for the state: OH-NRCS, OH-FSA, and Ohio land-grant universities.