Education to extension agents, veterinarians, and other professionals in complementary treatments and preventive management for organic livestock farms

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2006: $116,962.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:
Lisa McCrory
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont

Annual Reports


  • Animals: bovine, poultry, goats, swine, sheep
  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, housing, parasite control, animal protection and health, feed additives, feed formulation, feed rations, herbal medicines, homeopathy, manure management, mineral supplements, grazing - multispecies, pasture fertility, preventive practices, probiotics, grazing - rotational, vaccines
  • Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, display, extension, focus group, mentoring, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, study circle, workshop, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
  • Soil Management: nutrient mineralization, organic matter
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships, community services, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    The goal of this grant is to broaden the knowledge and understanding of holistic approaches to animal health specific to the needs and requirements of organic livestock producers. The target audience will be extension agents, veterinarians, college students studying veterinary medicine and animal sciences and other resource professionals working in the field assisting organic and transitioning livestock producers. We will organize a workshop and offer it in two locations within the Northeast. The workshops will be formatted in a way to provide classroom style learning, round table discussions, reading materials, interactive problem solving exercises, and hands-on learning. General practices and concepts will include: an overview of the National Organic Program, preventive management for optimum livestock health, complementary therapies approved for use on organic farms, continued learning resources and animal welfare. These workshops will qualify for continued education credit for veterinary professionals and extension agents. Participants will be encouraged to initiate additional research with their farmers. Information on funding resources and training in the proper conduct and analysis of ‘on-farm clinical trials’ for the evaluation of management strategies and complementary therapies will be provided. Continued learning will be facilitated through an on-line discussion group and opportunities will be made for participants to spend a day with a practicing veterinarian knowledgeable of the National Organic Standards and willing to provide first hand experience in approved complementary therapies. Attendees will reconvene one year later to build on their knowledge base and share experiences.

    Performance targets from proposal:

    1. Of the 80 veterinarians, extension specialists, vet students and other professionals attending one of the two regional organic livestock health workshops, 60 will become more knowledgeable of organic farming methods and proven therapies and treatments, 25 will reconvene in a year to discuss case studies, on farm trials and build on the new resources and information that was learned at the organic livestock health workshop, and 20 will actively engage in using at least 2 new management practices or complementary treatments with their clients.

    2. Of the 80 veterinarians, extension specialists, vet students and other professionals that attend one of the two organic livestock health workshops, 25 participants will reconvene in a year to discuss case studies, on-farm trials and research priorities. Of those, 8 will develop research proposals and 2 will receive funding.

    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.