Sustaining Agriculture through Community Partnerships
“Sustaining Agriculture through Community Partnerships” will provide resources and training in sustainable production methods to agricultural and extension educators and service providers. Project participants will use these resources and training to conduct sustainable agriculture programs in their own communities. The goal is to increase awareness among growers, educators and other agriculture professionals of the opportunities in sustainable agriculture and to provide ample access to information and resources. Training will take place in October 2002 at a two-day workshop at the Sustainable Farming Program, Central Carolina Community College.
Twenty eight (seven teams of four) 1862 and 1890 land-grant university extension professionals, Natural Resource Conservation Service conservationists, farmer educators, and vocational agriculture educators from community college and high school programs will be trained to conduct workshops in sustainable agriculture. Using tested methods of experiential learning in sustainable agriculture, participants will learn how to demonstrate the hands-on approach and combine it with lecture and field trips to effectively deliver the desired results and the skill and knowledge to use it.
Seven interdisciplinary teams from counties/regions expressing an interest in sustainable agriculture will participate in the training that will foster collaborative partnerships. Teams will continue to work together in their own communities to provide training in sustainable agriculture.
The multidisciplinary teams will be provided resources for sustainable agriculture professional development programs. A resource notebook will be developed for use in sustainable agriculture workshops. This notebook will contain lesson plans outlines, recommended resource lists and suggestions for utilizing local resources. Participants will be encouraged to use these notebooks as a resource when conducting local training programs.
Agriculture professionals will be able to further multiply their learning in sustainable agriculture and conduct training programs using resources form CFSA sponsored workshops. This project will strengthen support for existing professional development programs in sustainable agriculture by providing tuition assistance to attend Sustainable Farming Program workshops, regional organic production schools and other appropriate conferences and workshops.
1.Work on “Sustaining Agriculture through Community Partnerships” began July 2001.
2.A collaborator meeting was held August 2001, at which details of the project were discussed. Project collaborators shared contact information for recruiting project participants.
3.Project evaluator (John Sabella, NCSU) and curriculum consultant (Debbie Roos, CCCES) were hired.
4.Project web site development begun www.centralcarolina.org/instructors/SACP/ index.html
5.Plan of work developed for principle investigator.
6.Recruitment efforts begun. Methods of recruiting include: publishing a “Call for Participants” that has been distributed by e-mail to all NC Cooperative Extension Service County Directors, and at the CFSA Sustainable Agriculture Conference. State coordinator for SARE in SC was consulted for prospective team leaders. Follow-up on contact information from project collaborators by telephone and e-mail. Project investigator met with the NC state agriculture education coordinator.
7.Two teams have been identified in NC, one in the New River watershed region and one in Stokes County. One team from the Richlands region of South Carolina has been identified.
8.Farmer participant Rob Danford attended CFSA Sustainable Agriculture Conference using a scholarship from “Sustaining Agriculture through Community Partnerships” grant funds.
Review of current curriculum for sustainable agriculture initiated.
9.List of possible topics for module development created and will be circulated to teams and prospective participants for input on information priorities.
Work left to do:
1. Continue recruiting process
2. Perform needs assessment to help direct final curriculum development and conference planning
3. Select and develop six training modules for workshop
4. Planning for October 2002 workshop
5. Meet with each team before October 2002
6. Continue web site development
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Expected outcomes of this project: training for agricultural professionals who work with farmers seeking to make their enterprise more sustainable: the adoption of sustainable methods of production by farmer educators who will share their success with other farmers through field days and workshops; the incorporation of sustainable agriculture programs in community colleges and or high school curriculums where local support for such a program is evident.
Upon completion of this training participants will be able to evaluate local needs for the development of a sustainable agriculture program in their community. Participants will have the tools necessary to plan, design and implement a sustainable agriculture curriculum based on the model provided, adjusted to be locally relevant. Participants will also have the resources necessary to present workshops to farmers and other interested in sustainable agriculture methods. Participants will be able to train other agriculture educators and farmers to provide practical knowledge necessary for starting a small farm or converting a conventional operation to sustainable methods. The trainers will be able to stress the importance of practical skills in addition to this knowledge. Participating teams will be able to establish multi-institutional partnerships for the purpose of providing sustainable agriculture training to the local community.
4405 Bland Road
Raleigh, NC 27609
Office Phone: 9198732121
Chatham County Cooperative Extension Service
PO Box 279
Pittsboro, NC 27312
Office Phone: 9195428244
Director, Center For Environmental Farming Systems
North Carolina State University
Campus Box 7609
Raleigh, NC 27695–760
Office Phone: 9195153131
Adj. Ast. Professor
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical Universi
101 Webb Hall
Greensboro, NC 27411
Office Phone: 3363347536