Sustaining Agriculture through Community Partnerships
Project objectives included recruiting 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.
Ten interdisciplinary teams from counties/regions expressing an interest in sustainable agriculture participated 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 plan 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 from 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.
Work on “Sustaining Agriculture through Community Partnerships” began July 2001.
Project team selects eight topics to be developed into modules for the training workbook.
A new evaluation team is hired, led by Sara A. Quandt, PhD, from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
Topic list is sent to prospective participants and ranked in order of preference.
Meetings with prospective participants are held in July and August, to elicit feedback on module development and plans for the training.
Eight modules are developed and reviewed for inclusion in the resources notebook. The topics: Soil Ecosystems, Soil Management, Weed Management, Insect and Disease Management, Marketing, Sustainable Livestock Management and Whole Farm Planning.
Instructors for the train-the-trainer workshop were chosen based on their expertise in a particular subject area and their familiarity with teaching methods at the Sustainable Farming Program.
The two-day training was held on October 15th and 16th at CCCC, Pittsboro. A steady downpour did not keep participants from enjoying field trips to the on-campus farm, Celebrity goat dairy and the local free-range turkey farm.
Seventeen participants, representing ten areas of NC and SC received a resource notebook that included the eight modules mentioned above, along with topic topic specific web resources, and contact information for additional training and networking in sustainable agriculture.
A synopsis of the training was held at the Carolina Farm Stewardship Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Boone, NC in November 2002. Approximately fourteen people attended this session.
Approximately twenty people attended a project overview workshop at the SSAWG Conference in Mobile, Alabama, January 2003.
Fifteen additional notebooks were produced for those attending the SSAWG workshop.
Three sustainable agriculture trainings have been held by participants of the original training. One at Clemson University in December 2002, one in Boone, NC in March and a third in SC in April.
Five participants of the original training received support for existing professional development programs in sustainable agriculture through tuition assistance to attend Sustainable Farming Program workshops, regional organic production schools and other appropriate conferences and workshops.
Work left to do:
Complete distribution of additional notebooks ordered at SSAWG workshop.
Encourage participants to utilize the available resources for additional professional development.
Evaluation of additional workshops/trainings held by original training participants.
Overall evaluation of project.
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 others 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