Training for sustainable year-round forage production and grazing/browsing management in the Southern Region

Project Overview

ES11-107
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2011: $69,843.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: Southern
State: Alabama
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Uma Karki
Tuskegee University

Annual Reports

Commodities

  • Animals: goats

Practices

  • Animal Production: grazing management, pasture fertility, pasture renovation, grazing - rotational, housing, stockpiled forages, stocking rate, watering systems, winter forage
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns

    Abstract:

    Pasture-based goat production is becoming one of the important enterprises for livestock farmers in Alabama and neighboring states. However, most livestock farmers have not adopted sustainable forage programs and depend on hay and supplementary feedstuff during times of reduced forage availability. The goal of this project was to develop a comprehensive training program to increase the productivity, quality, and production duration as well as to improve management of existing pastures for sustainable livestock production. Project objectives were: 1) to develop comprehensive training curricula for year-round forage production and grazing/browsing management for goats in the Southern Region; 2) to train field-level extension and technical-assistance personnel and lead farmers on year-round forage production and grazing/browsing management for goats in the Southern Region. Tuskegee University and PadmaDal Memorial Foundation collaborated in this project.  Other key partners in the project were Alabama Natural Resources Conservation Service, Auburn University, Mississippi State University, Langston University, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Training curricula in the form of a handbook – Sustainable Year-Round Forage Production and Grazing/Browsing Management for Goats in the Southern Region was developed, used for training sessions (2), and distributed to other institutions with goat Extension program. The handbook is available online for the public free of charge (http://www.tuskegee.edu/sites/www/Uploads/files/About%20US/TUCEP/Livestock%20Program/Year-RoundPasture_Handbook.pdf). A complementary educational video was developed and available online (http://youtu.be/wq9wTE7-HkA). Field-level extension and technical-assistance personnel and extension specialists serving the goat producers in different Southern States (36) and lead goat producers (16) were trained. Impact study of the project showed that it was very useful to improve the knowledge of the participants, improve the service of the professional trainees, and make the farm practices more sustainable for the producer participants.

    Keywords: Educational video, Field-level extension and technical-assistance personnel, Training, Training curricula (handbook), Southern State

    Project objectives:

    1. To develop comprehensive training curricula on year-round forage production and grazing/browsing management for goats in the Southern Region

    2. To train field-level extension and technical-assistance personnel and lead farmers on year-round forage production and grazing/browsing management for goats in the Southern Region

    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.