Regionally Based Professional Development Program for Grazing Systems Management

1996 Annual Report for ENE96-021

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 1996: $92,149.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1998
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $12,576.00
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:
Lawrence Muller
Dept. of Dairy & Animal Science, Pennsylvania State University

Regionally Based Professional Development Program for Grazing Systems Management


This project combined the efforts of 15 research scientists, extension workers and NRCS personnel in Pennsylvania and Maryland to develop an educational curriculum in management-intensive grazing. Four different educational curriculum notebooks were developed; four train-the-trainer workshops were conducted for 75 extension educators and conservation specialists in four different locations. These workshops included hands-on evaluations and the use of case studies.

To develop a comprehensive curriculum and train extension educators, conservation specialists and related agribusiness personnel through regional workshops to transfer information about economically sound and environmentally sensitive integrated grazing systems.

Personnel from two universities—Penn State and University of Maryland—and personnel from NRCS in Pennsylvania and Maryland contributed to the development of this educational curriculum in management-intensive grazing. Four different units were developed: Pasture Management, Plant/Animal Interface, Grazing Management, and Economics and Environment. Each unit contains about 200 pages divided into 10 chapters including technical information, teaching notes and copies of additional resource material. The goal was to develop a curriculum and format that is usable by educators in a train-the-trainer approach.

The initial draft of the curriculum was completed, evaluated by 10 evaluators, and revised in late 1997. Four different two-day educational workshops were conducted in Danville, Pennslyvania, Port Deposit, Maryland, Clarion, Pennsylvania, and Somerset, Pennsylvania. These programs were attended by 75 extension educators, NRCS personnel, and conservation specialists from six states. These workshops involved hands-on evaluations and the use of case studies to enhance learning. All workshops were evaluated and the results of the evaluations were used to improve the four different curriculum notebooks with the goal of having a professional development program that can be used to educate producers and agricultural professionals. These four units were revised and made available at cost to educators and agriculture professionals. We are aware of several educators who used portions of these curriculum in educational programs for producers during 1998 and 1999.

In addition to the major objectives of this program, these educational curriculums were modified and adapted for use in two NRCS training workshops held in State College, Pennsylvania during 1997 and 1998. These workshops were four days long and were attended by 60 NRCS personnel from fourteen different states.

This team project was successful in developing a comprehensive educational curriculum on management intensive grazing. This curriculum is divided into four units and includes technical information and teaching notes that can be used by educators. Four different workshops were attended by 75 extension educators and conservation specialists. The exact use of the curriculum is difficult to quantify, but several educators have used portions of the material in educational programs.

Reported December 2000


Lawrence Muller

Penn State Univ.
PA 16802