A Statewide Journey of Sustainable Success: Hands-On Training

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2002: $48,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $10,000.00
Region: Southern
State: Tennessee
Principal Investigator:
Rob Holland
Center for Profitable Agriculture

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: corn, soybeans, wheat
  • Fruits: grapes
  • Animals: poultry


  • Animal Production: free-range
  • Crop Production: cover crops, double cropping, organic fertilizers, application rate management
  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, feasibility study, agricultural finance, market study, value added
  • Production Systems: holistic management
  • Soil Management: soil analysis, composting
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, employment opportunities


    The “Statewide Journey” project provided a great launching pad for needed and useful training in value-added and sustainable agriculture for Extension agents, agriculture leaders and communities across Tennessee. The training project combined the documented success stories from actual enterprises with on-site tours, seminar-style sessions, web-based resources and mass media. Seventeen authors contributed to 16 articles in the training manual and 21 other publications were featured. Twenty-six presenters and farm hosts provided training through on-site visits, tours and presentations. Twelve hosts provided specific orientation and local media coverage at 9 locations. Fifty-seven tour delegates and 18 guests received various levels of training through individual, one-session and one-day participation. Specific evaluation tools were used to identify the most preferred and effective teaching tools and a trainee “plan of work” was completed by each participant.

    Project objectives:

    The following seven objectives were outlined in the project proposal:

    Improve general understanding of sustainable agriculture in Tennessee

    Increase the resource base of sustainable agriculture contacts

    Broaden agricultural leaders' sustainable agriculture comfort zone by showing successes of economic, environmental and social impacts that have resulted from sustainable, value-added and niche-marketing agriculture

    Enhance the retention and likelihood of implementation by participants by providing real examples, stories and testimonies of sustainable, value-added and niche-marketing agriculture

    Increase the awareness in local communities of sustainable, value-added and niche-marketing agriculture

    Create a state-wide awareness of sustainable, value-added and niche-marketing agriculture

    Develop brief, effective and implementable plan of work to involve sustainable agriculture in existing program areas

    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.