Train the Trainer: a holistic approach to Integrated Resource Management and Grassland Revitalization

2006 Annual Report for ES04-073

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2004: $93,908.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Southern
State: Mississippi
Principal Investigator:
Charles Flowers
Mississippi State University Extension Service
Jane Parish
Mississippi State University Extension Service

Train the Trainer: a holistic approach to Integrated Resource Management and Grassland Revitalization


The trainer the trainer concept wrapped up by exceeded expectations in its final months of the Mississippi beef and forage focused project. Livestock/ forage specialists, area agents, and county directors from the Mississippi State University Extension Service, staff from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, veterinarians, and numerous other leaders and educators in the Mississippi beef and forage industries have gained valuable information via the train the trainer program on a large selection of topics. Program efforts included educational information via face-to-face training sessions, field days, short courses, Extension and popular press articles, PowerPoint presentations, interactive video-based distance education, radio, news releases, e-mail, and the Internet: Topics addressed included cattle reproduction, end product, marketing, nutrition, forage production and utilization, NRCS programs, herd health, and genetics. Multi-county local groups or sustainable beef teams continued to thrive throughout Mississippi as “Cattlemen’s Exchange groups”, which now appear to be sustainable as long-term producer education resources. These groups interactive locally and across groups on a regular (usually monthly) basis and share research and production information. Program awareness continues to expand in Mississippi and attract new participants. Program evaluations have been very positive and continue to provide good input for future program planning. Long-term beef and forage educational efforts have a solid foundation of educational materials, methods, and trainer resources that will sustain impacts well beyond the funded life of the project.

Objectives/Performance Targets

1) Continue active participation in sustainable beef teams.
2) Continue conducting seminars, workshops, and short courses on a variety of relevant beef cattle and forage production and marketing topics for sustainable beef teams.
3) Continue development of training materials specific to training program to enhance trainers’ and producers’ knowledge base.
4) Continue to support local training team efforts to educate local producers on beef cattle and forage topics.


Major educational events for state, area, and local trainers:

January – March, 2006 – Mississippi/Alabama Master Cattle Producer Training Program including eight three-hour sessions. Session topics were 1) Beef Quality Assurance/National Animal Identification System, 2) Reproduction, 3) End Product, 4) Marketing and Management, 5) Forages, 6) Herd Health/Handling/Facilities, 7) Nutrition, and 8) Genetics. Broadcast live over interactive video to 10 sites each in Mississippi and Alabama to over 400 participants

April 18-21, 2006 – Beef Improvement Federation 38th Annual Research Symposium and Annual meeting hosted by the MSU Extension Service broadcast over interactive video, Internet, and recorded on DVD. Live crowd of 465 participants heard presentations on cutting edge topics such as feed efficiency and genetic markers. 95 attended Mississippi beef industry tour.

May 2006 – Beef Cattle Source Verfication Short Course broadcast over interactive video to 52 sites across Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama.

Trainers produced detailed educational materials for each educational event as well as educational materials on additional topics for reference purposes.

Multi-county sustainable beef teams (Cattlemen’s Exchange groups) continued operation across the state. These groups attracted new interest and participation from local producers. They met regularly throughout the year (monthly to bi-monthly). One of the teams in Southwest Mississippi organized a producer tour in Wilkinson County. Alliance building for cattle marketing and group purchasing began coming to fruition through the efforts of the Cattlemen’s Exchange program.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Beef Cattle Improvement Association, and Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association continued to join together in supporting these educational efforts.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The educational progress of sustainable beef cattle and forage training efforts continues to be substantial throughout Mississippi and the Southeastern region. The cooperative educational efforts across state lines have developed new educational and industry partnerships each year. Participation in programs continues to attract new producers. Information transfer to beef cattle and forage producers as a result of training efforts is widespread. Focus on efficient mass communication tools to deliver educational information has been a key area identified that will contribute to the long-term sustainability of these efforts. Distance education videoconferencing and podcasting have emerged as effective communication tools for delivering these educational programs. Additional training needs continue to be identified based on trainee and producer evaluations and input. As a result, a variety of training programs are scheduled beyond the funded life of the project to continue to build upon the firm educational foundation established by recent training efforts.


Richard Watson
Assistant Extension/Research Professor
Mississippi State University Extension Service
Box 9555
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Office Phone: 6623255463
Blair McKinley
Extension Professor
Mississippi State University Extension Service
Box 9815
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Office Phone: 6623253691