Southern Region Educator Trainings in Eight Farming Systems using unique tools and approaches

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2006: $121,968.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:
Karen Adler
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group

Annual Reports


  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Education and Training: general education and training


    Two educational videos, Artisan Cheese Production and Marketing, and Pasture-Based Dairy Farming, were produced and have been used in trainings in a number of Southern states. Each twenty-minute video takes the viewer on a virtual farm/enterprise tour focusing on successful producers who show and discuss the key components of their operations in detail.
    Materials and resources, including an enterprise manual, video teaching guide, and in-depth farm profile for each of these topics have been developed to accompany the video.

    Eight in-person trainings for agricultural professionals including Extension and NRCS personnel, have taken place in the targeted states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. The in-person trainings covered Organic Production and Marketing, in South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana; Management Intensive Grazing, in Georgia (2 times), and Louisiana; Pastured Poultry, in Oklahoma; and Dairy Goat Fundamentals and Opportunities (including the Art of Fromagerie and Marketing Goat Cheese), in Alabama.

    Two interactive web cast trainings for agriculture professionals have taken place on the topics of Management Intensive Grazing of Beef Cattle, and Organic Vegetable Production and Marketing, which incorporated the SARE-funded interactive web-based training modules in IPM for Organic Crops, released through Mississippi State University.

    In addition to the activities funded by SARE, training events based on the new dairy-based training systems developed through this SARE PDP project have taken place throughout the Southeast under the auspices of Dr. Steve Washburn, who served as project consultant for the Pasture-Based Dairy Farming Video and supplemental educational materials.

    Project objectives:

    • Expand the knowledge of at least 300 agricultural educators in one or more of eight different high-value, alternative farm enterprises, so that they can see the actual value of these enterprises for family farmers. Achieved
    • Effectively train at least 300 agricultural educators in concepts, strategies, and applications of whole systems sustainable farming systems, focusing on one or more of eight different farm enterprises of prime interest to Southern producers. Achieved
    • Equip at least 300 agricultural educators during the project period to effectively utilize farmer-centered, whole systems curricula, containing unique audiovisual tools in one or more of eight sustainable farm enterprises, in educating their clientele. Achieved
    • Create two new multi-media curricula for sustainable dairy farming enterprises. Achieved
    • Motivate at least 300 agriculture educators to provide the farmers they serve, and their colleagues who also serve producers, with cutting-edge educational information in one or more of eight sustainable farming systems for the South. Achieved
    • Expand the knowledge and skills of at least 80 agricultural educators in the use of internet-based web casts for effective distance education. Achieved
    • Provide agricultural professionals with a greater knowledge of available resources than that to which they have been exposed, yet which are available to agricultural professionals, regarding sustainable production and marketing in one or more of eight farming systems. Achieved
    • Demonstrate the effectiveness of utilizing farmer trainers in educating agricultural professionals. Achieved
    • Demonstrate the effectiveness of high-quality virtual farm tours in educating professionals. Achieved
    • Demonstrate the effectiveness of utilizing a diverse Project Team to create effective training materials and trainings for educating agricultural professionals. Achieved
    • Disseminate to all interested southern agricultural educators the availability of the curricula on the eight farm enterprise systems through appropriate electronic venues. Achieved

    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.