- Animals: goats, sheep
- Animal Production: parasite control, animal protection and health, grazing management, grazing - rotational
- Education and Training: technical assistance, extension, networking, workshop
- Farm Business Management: agricultural finance, risk management, whole farm planning
- Pest Management: integrated pest management
- Production Systems: holistic management
- Sustainable Communities: partnerships, analysis of personal/family life
Sheep and goat enterprises offer diversification opportunities for small and limited-resource farmers in the South. Educators need materials to meet farmers’ increased interest in these enterprises. The proposed Toolbox for Small Ruminant Educators builds on the success of the previous SARE-funded project, “Enhancing Educator Knowledge of Sheep and Goat Production,” (ES02-060). In response to interest and demand created by that project we will: • Expand and update the training manual and resource list including new ready-to-use presentations • Organize training workshops in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky for CES agents, NRCS staff, Heifer International field staff, and Young Farmer advisors to provide guidelines and practice in using these resources: o Small Ruminant Sustainability Checksheet o Small Ruminant Resource Manual o PowerPoint tutorial library o Additional resources about sheep and goats These materials will be available through the ATTRA information service, publicized through the ATTRA website and newsletters and weekly updates. They will also be linked through the e-Extension site. Participants will be surveyed pre- and post-workshop to assess changes in knowledge and confidence levels in presenting the subjects. The project will equip agents for assisting sheep and goat producers by providing new tools to conduct workshops in their home states. Project Collaborators include: • National Center for Appropriate Technology (MT, AR) • Fort Valley State University (GA) • Langston University (OK) • Dianne Hellwig Consulting (KY) • Tennessee State University • University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service • Sheep and goat farmers from AR, OK, GA, KY, TN
Project objectives from proposal:
The overall purpose of this project is to increase the ability of educators to assist sheep and goat producers, thereby encouraging diversification of agricultural enterprises and increasing sustainability. This project will create new materials, improve on existing materials, and offer training workshops for educators. All activities will be done with input from sheep and goat producers. The products created during this project and used during the training workshops are described as “tools”, and the evaluation methods for each objective are listed below. The desired results of this project are that:
1. At least 100 educators (Extension agents, NRCS field staff, Young Farmer advisors, Heifer International field representatives) will be better equipped to serve the needs of sheep and goat producers, especially limited-resource producers. At least 40 will actually use the materials within six months of receiving the training.
• Tools: PowerPoint library, tutorial, manual, FAQ list, and checksheet
• Evaluation method: pre- and post-tests, questionnaire six months after training
2. At least 100 educators will know how to obtain further information about sheep and goat production and marketing.
• Tool: Small Ruminant Resource List, Small Ruminant Manual
• Evaluation method: post-test, questionnaire six months after training
3. At least 100 educators will gain knowledge of organic sheep and goat production and will have tools in their possession to help farmers interested in this option.
• Tools: Organic Sheep and Goat Resource List, organic chapter in manual
• Evaluation method: pre- and post test, questionnaire after training to determine use
4. Educators will understand the value of whole farm planning and will be equipped to present the Small Ruminant Sustainability Checksheet (a tool for whole farm planning created during the previous project, ES02-060) to sheep and goat farmers in their area. At least 40 will use the materials within six months of receiving training.
• Tools: Checksheet, workshops
• Evaluation method: questionnaire after six months; record number of educators trained and number of producers who use the checksheet with an educator, workshops hosted by educators to present the checksheet to producers
5. Educators will be prepared to plan and deliver workshops for sheep and goat producers and at least 15 will host a workshop in their region within six months of receiving training.
• Tools: PowerPoint library, workshops
• Evaluation method: post-test after training, questionnaire six months later; record number of educators trained and number of workshops hosted by trainees; collect feedback about usefulness of all materials (PowerPoint library, organic resource list, small ruminant resource list, small ruminant manual, checksheet, training workshops)
The project leader will be responsible for compiling the data and information from each state and incorporating the feedback to improve materials.