Training in Size Appropriate Technology for Hill Farmers

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2000: $84,686.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Region: Southern
State: Kentucky
Principal Investigator:
Betty King
University of Kentucky

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: grapes, berries (strawberries), melons
  • Vegetables: beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, cucurbits, peas (culinary), peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes
  • Additional Plants: tobacco, herbs
  • Animals: bees, bovine, poultry, goats, sheep


  • Animal Production: grazing - multispecies, grazing - rotational, watering systems, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: agroforestry, cover crops, forestry, nutrient cycling
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, marketing management, whole farm planning
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, sustainability measures


    The Size Appropriate Technology Project determined that small scale farm equipment is a practical alternative to conventional equipment for farmers operating on small acreages and hill or other marginal land. The project revealed that farmers, extension agents, and small farm assistants were mostly either unaware of the existence or skeptical of the usefulness of equipment such as 2-wheel tractors and their attachments before seeing our demonstrations. Although there have been some reservations about "walking" equipment, most of the response has been very positive, and a significant number of farmers have purchased equipment similar to our demonstration units. Probably our most significant achievement is the propagation of the idea of appropriate technology, of fitting the equipment to the farm and/or the farmer.

    Project objectives:

    (1) Extension agents, small farm assistants, and farmers will experience hands-on training in assessing size-appropriate technology needs and utilization for a farm (analysis), identifying and utilizing equipment appropriate for a range of farm enterprises (problem-solving), and creating whole farm or integrated farming systems for hill farms (management and implementation).
    (2) Working teams (Extension agents, farmers, etc.) will develop a case study of hill farm enterprises for their geographic region utilizing and evaluating size appropriate technology to help farmers succeed with this approach.
    (3) Extension agents, small farm assistants and farmers will feel more comfortable working (in a hands-on setting) with size appropriate technology and farming systems using a low cost, limited resource approach.

    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.