- Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay
- Animals: bovine, poultry, goats, sheep, swine
- Animal Production: parasite control, grazing management, livestock breeding, grazing - multispecies, preventive practices, grazing - rotational, stocking rate, feed/forage
- Crop Production: food product quality/safety
- Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
- Production Systems: holistic management
- Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures
Livestock parasite control has focused primarily on sheep and goats, but all livestock have parasites and cattle and horses have increasing parasite dewormer resistance issues. Improper parasite control causes farmer production/profit losses and increases chemical dewormers released into our environment. Recent needs assessments and phone calls received indicate that livestock farmers throughout the South are interested in parasite control and that 70% of NC Cooperative Extension Animal Science agents were interested in training about integrated parasite management for livestock. The proposed project is designed to develop and evaluate Agricultural professional training sessions and tools in integrated parasite management (IPM) for pasture raised pigs and poultry, beef cattle, horses and small ruminants. Collaborators with experience in a variety of livestock species will assist with developing training materials, designing on-farm experiential training courses and providing expertise as speakers at training workshops. Existing training materials for small ruminants developed through previous SARE funded grants will be updated (if necessary) and used. To evaluate entire project impact, training participants will be surveyed to assess knowledge increase and subsequent use (for farmer workshops, newsletters, and the like). Trainers trained will be provided with farmer-level workshop materials and surveys to evaluate farmer knowledge increase as well as long-term impact. Workshops and interactive trainings will include grant writing, survey design and impact evaluation. Follow-up train-the-trainer workshops will be held to collate the train-the-trainer impact assessment information while also demonstrating to the agents and other agricultural professionals some methods used to assess and report impact.
Project objectives from proposal:
1) Focusing on a variety of livestock species, train agents in how to assess parasite management and control issues and provide them with tools to help the farmers with those issues, resulting in farmers understanding and controlling parasites in their animals with more efficient/less chemical dewormer use (to reduce chemicals in our environment and increase farmer profitability).
2) Teach agents about how to assess the impact of trainings they provide to farmers and give them the tools to begin the process, resulting in agents assisting with tracking the impact of the proposed project and participating in reporting of those impacts well into the future.
Ultimately, the goal is to help agents and other agricultural professionals to provide information to farmers with pasture raised pigs, poultry, cattle, horses, sheep and/or goats that will help them make more money and have greater lifestyle satisfaction while reducing chemicals released into the environment.