“The Third Tuesday-Thursday Thing”: Building on Kentucky’s Experiences and Expanding the Sustainable Agriculture Educational Model into Tennessee
The “Third Tuesday-Thursday Thing” has made a tremendous contribution to the sustainable agriculture research and extension efforts of Kentucky State University and Tennessee State University. These last three months have shown growth of the program and new interest from participants who have just learned of the program. This initiative is now considered a regular program within the Extension programs of both institutions.
1. To educate 1862 and 1890 research and Extension professionals and paraprofessionals about sustainable agriculture with a particular emphasis on small farms. Behavior change: An increased awareness and acceptance of the practicality of sustainable agriculture which is reflected through their recommendations.
2. To educate 1862 and 1890 research and Extension professionals and paraprofessionals about practical uses of organic agriculture with a particular emphasis on small farms. Behavior change: An increased awareness of the practicality of organic agriculture for selected enterprises. An acceptance of organic and alternative production techniques and a willingness to make recommendations to producers.
3. To educate 1862 and 1890 research and Extension professionals and paraprofessionals about alternative marketing systems and new farm enterprises with a particular emphasis on small farms. Behavior change: An increased acceptance of alternatives to tobacco and alternative marketing systems within the land grand field staff. Recommendations to farmers reflect these changes.
4. To educate farmer leaders, USDA, and agricultural professionals including state government departments about sustainable agriculture and organic agriculture with a particular emphasis on small farms. Behavior change: An increased awareness and acceptance of the practicality of sustainable agriculture and organic agriculture which is reflected in their recommendations and activities. An increased emphasis on programs that targetsmall farms and diverse farmer clientele.
5. To foster shared learning experiences between agricultural professionals and farmers. Behavior changes: Researchers, Extension staff, and agricultural professionals strengthen their farmer support base. Researchers develop a direct link to the farming community for developing problem-solving, applied research projects to meet the needs identified by the farmers. A strengthened inter-agency, interdisciplinary, inter-organization support base which can be drawn upon by agricultural professionals and paraprofessionals, particularly field staff. Strengthened professional interactions and ties between Kentucky and Tennessee which includes the fostering of joint activities.
The January, February and March Kentucky state University “Third Thursdays” had 252 particants. Of these, 61 were agricultural professionals and paraprofessionals. Tennessee State University had 50 participants with over 25 being professionals.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Seven farmers and five professionals who regularly attend the KSU “Third Thursdays” received “train-the-trainer” education through another SARE-PDP Project that targets “train-the-trainer” education in organic agriculture at the University of Florida. Two of these presented information at the february “Third Thursday” training on Organic Agrculture Standards.
Kentucky State University took 62 farmers and professionals to the 2004 Southern S.A.W.G. Annual Meetings to study alternative farm enterprises and sustainable agriculture.