In the OGRAIN Virtual Field Day Toolbox for Agriculture Service Providers project the University of Wisconsin with partner American Society of Agronomy will contribute to the education of agricultural professionals and technical service providers engaging with transitioning and certified organic clients.
Our target audience will be agricultural service providers, including Certified Crop Advisors, Extension agents, and Natural Resource Conservation Service professionals in the north central region who desire greater expertise in organic methods. Through our proposed project, ag professionals will develop a deeper proficiency and understanding of specific production practices, positioning them to lead clients to organic success.
As a result of this project, agricultural advisors’ knowledge of how to achieve organic production success will increase, including knowledge of organic certification requirements and process, specific weed and pest management and soil building and conservation techniques. Advisors’ ability to assist clients interested in organic practices will increase, and the number of advisors able to help organic clients in the north central region will rise.
Through this project we will create a series of short, targeted, on-farm “Virtual Field Day Segments” and develop an online and phone-based learning community. Videos will showcase specific elements of organic production and highlight on-farm practices on successful organic operations. A targeted listserv will develop a peer learning community supported by bi-monthly phone meetings to address participant’s specific concerns and questions.
As a direct result of this project over 600 ag advisors will gain knowledge that increases their ability to serve clients interested in organic practices.
Project objectives from proposal:
- 10-minute videos focused on specific organic production practices, with an emphasis on highlighting what success looks like and options for achieving it. Each video will include a discussion as well as in-the-field footage and farmer interviews.
- Online learning community consisting of listserv and bimonthly conference calls
- Videos will be linked to University of Wisconsin OGRAIN webpage (https://ograin.cals.wisc.edu) as well as American Society of Agronomy webpage with pre- and post-viewing surveys.
- A publicity campaign will reach members of the American Agronomy Society, Certified Crop Advisors, Extension and NRCS personnel as well as others who advise farmers.
- An anticipated 300 participants will view each video within the grant project period (Oct 2019 through Sept 2021) for an overall audience of 4,800 views. We expect to directly impact over 600 individuals, who will then pass the knowledge on to their clients.
- An anticipated 75 individuals will participate in the virtual learning community
- Reports submitted to SARE will be available for public viewing via the SARE website, guiding learning for other project designers on our lessons learned, project outputs and outcomes.