Transition to Sustainability in Small-Scale Vegetable Production: Hands-on training for agriculture professionals and educators

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $79,520.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2020
Grant Recipient: Alliance of Sustainable Farms
Region: Southern
State: Mississippi
Principal Investigator:
Keith Benson
Alliance of Sustainable Farms


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: demonstration, Field Days/Trainings

    Proposal abstract:

    The Alliance of Sustainable Farms and its partners will support the transition to sustainability in small-scale vegetable production by providing hands-on training for agricultural professionals, educators, providers, and farmer group leaders. Two half-day training sessions will be conducted on a quarterly basis at locations around the state. Project objectives include conducting field days/hands-on trainings and promoting the adoption of critical sustainable practices and appropriate technologies.

    The project draws upon the tremendous capacity and commitment of Mississippi's 1862 and 1890 land grant institutions -- Mississippi State University and Alcorn State University. Other partners include: National Center for Appropriate Technology, Mississippi Department of Education and Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network. These collaborators and farmer groups provide the states' extension and support services and are uniquely positioned to help ensure meaningful engagement of agricultural professionals, educators and farmers in project planning, implementation, and evaluation. Partners also provide access to ag education teachers and others committed to sustainable agriculture.

    Expected measurable outcomes include: improved participant understanding and appreciation of topics/issues and participant willingness to incorporate project information into products and educational tools they share with farmers and others. After being trained, participants will help conduct with Alliance's on-going field days/trainings for farmers, achieving the longer term outcomes of reaching farmers and gaining their commitment to adopt critical sustainable practices and appropriate technologies. Monitoring and evaluation will be an on-going process during the project; involving pre-and-post assessments completed by participants, trainers and farmers, as well as mid-project and final evaluations.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    • To conduct 14 field days/hand-on trainings for 490 agricultural professionals, educators, providers, and farmer group leaders on critical sustainable practices and appropriate technologies;
    • To demonstrate and promote the adoption of 7 critical sustainable practices and appropriate technologies.
    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.