Sustainable Agriculture Distance Learning

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 1997: $57,700.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2000
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $28,850.00
Region: North Central
State: North Dakota
Project Coordinator:
Thomas Hanson
North Dakota State University

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: barley, canola, corn, flax, millet, oats, potatoes, rapeseed, rye, safflower, soybeans, spelt, sugarbeets, sunflower, wheat, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: apples, apricots, berries (other), grapes, melons, plums, berries (strawberries)
  • Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, garlic, lentils, onions, parsnips, peas (culinary), peppers, rutabagas, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips, brussel sprouts
  • Additional Plants: herbs, native plants, ornamentals
  • Animals: bovine, goats, sheep
  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Animal Production: grazing - continuous, range improvement, grazing - rotational, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: nutrient cycling
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, cooperatives, community-supported agriculture, marketing management
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
  • Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life


    Three training sessions have been completed including Holistic Resource Management, Alternative Marketing Methods, and Intensive Grazing Management. These sessions have utilized the two-way video systems in both Dakotas and have thus enabled use of an out-of-state instructor and producers who could conveniently drive to a nearby site, not requiring a long commute to participate. Agents and others taking the training are appreciative of the reduced travel distances with this system. Evaluations of the completed sessions have indicated a high degree of satisfaction with the material presented and the delivery system. College seniors have also participated with reports on special projects which they have been working on. Significant hand-out materials have been handed out at the individual sites during the training.

    Project objectives:

    1. To expand Extension agents’ and federal and state agencies’ field staff understanding of critical sustainable agriculture biological topics.

    2. To offer high quality interactive instruction in an effective manner convenient for instructors and students.

    3. To expand the utilization of sustainable agriculture concepts in the programming carried out by agriculture and students.

    4. To increase interaction between NRCS, Extension, and producers that practice sustainable agriculture concepts.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.