South Carolina Farm and Forest Land Conservation Training
This project assembled a partner-based group of stakeholders to develop a series of train-the-trainer workshops across South Carolina to help natural resource educators, policy makers, agency representatives and other professionals discuss land use issues and effective conservation tools for farm and forest land owners. Workshop participants will receive information and resources to discuss the social and economic issues surrounding changes in land use, engage the public in community discussions on conservation, examine tools and practices available to promote conservation, learn of South Carolina experiences with conservation tools, and consider the next steps for individual landowners and state policies.
As a result of these training workshops, 50 of the 100 USDA field personnel, other agricultural educators, farm and forestry leaders and natural resource personnel that attend the workshops will utilize the workshop training within the first six months to provide agricultural land conservation technical/educational assistance to their constituents. Technical/educational assistance is defined as any of the following: providing information through newsletters, bulletins, fact sheets and other materials; providing information through telephone and e-mail requests; and/or providing information directly through workshops, conferences, meetings, training and on-site visits.
As a result of these training workshops, 25 of the 50 USDA field personnel, other agricultural educators, farm and forestry leaders and natural resource personnel that utilize the workshop training within the first six months to provide agricultural land conservation technical assistance to their constituents will report increased communication in the following topic areas: land use and farm and forest land conservation options; and social/cultural implications of land use and farm and forest land conservation.
The partner-based planning committee for the SC Farm and Forest Land Conservation Training Workshops has held meetings and made arrangements to conduct a series of four one-day train-the-trainer workshops across South Carolina. These workshops will be held on the following dates at the following locations: January 15, 2002 in Greenwood, SC; January 16, 2002 in Florence, SC; January 17, 2002 in John’s Island, SC; and February 19, 2002 in Elloree, SC.
The planning committee has:
Brought together diverse stakeholders to assist in all phases of the planning process;
Arranged the facilities and logistics for the workshops to accommodate statewide audiences;
Prepared the agenda and scheduled speakers for each of the four sessions;
Worked with American Farmland Trust to create a comprehensive resource notebook, which includes easily reproducible fact sheets;
Developed interactive exercises to discuss building trust with diverse audiences;
Marketed workshops by mail, mass media, e-mail and a web-site link;
Prepared CDs with presentations and graphics that participants may use to disseminate information to farm and forest landowners; and
Will be using evaluation instruments on site at the workshops and as a six-month follow-up with attendees to survey usefulness and applications of the information provided.
Remaining work includes conducting the workshops during the week of January 14, 2002, and on February 19, 2002; disseminating and compiling evaluations from the workshops; conducting six month follow-up evaluations on the usefulness of workshop tools and resources; and publicizing the accomplishments of the workshops.
A no-cost extension has been requested to extend this project through October 31, 2002, allowing time for the conducting and compilation of the six-month follow-up evaluations.
*Members of the partner-based planning team included representatives from the following organizations: 1890 Cooperative Extension, South Carolina State University; Agri-business Management Associations; American Farmland Trust; Beaver Creek Band of Pee Dee Indians; Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development; Clemson University; Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service; Clemson University, Strom Thurmond Institute; Richland County Conservation District; Richland County Planning and Development Services; South Carolina Department of Agriculture; South Carolina Department of Natural Resources; South Carolina Farm Bureau; South Carolina Forestry Association; South Carolina Forestry Commission; South Carolina Soil and Water Conservation Society; and USDA, Natural Resource Conservation Service, South Carolina.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Agriculture has historically defined the character of South Carolina, serving as the backbone of rural culture, a significant part of the landscape, and an importance to the economy. Yet, as population grows in South Carolina and urban areas expand, farmland conversion is occurring at rapid rate.
These workshops are designed to provide an educational base and framework to professionals who work with farm and forest landowners. The goal is for these professionals to share information on land use and land conservation tools, practices and options with landowners and help those owners who chose to remain in farming and forestry to better understand the available options that may help them.
To accomplish this goal the workshops provide participants with a resource list, easily reproducible fact sheets, tools for building trust with diverse audiences, and a highly adaptable computer presentation that may be shared with clientele. Additionally, each one-day program features a team of presenters to bring a variety of views and experiences on farm and forest land conservation.
Because farm and forest land conservation is a largely local issue, each workshop discusses options from a local perspective and context.
The full impact of these trainings will be measured in the evaluation instruments, from workshop participant feedback and from the use of materials by workshop participants engaging with farm and forest landowner clientele.
SC State Univ. 1890 Extension
PO Box 200
Elloree, SC 29047
Office Phone: 8007371890