Southern Region SARE Professional Development Grant -- The Road to Soil Health

Project Overview

ES19-145
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2019: $59,442.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2022
Grant Recipient: Noble Research Institute
Region: Southern
State: Oklahoma
Principal Investigator:
Amy Hays
Noble Research Institute, LLC

Commodities

Not commodity specific

Practices

  • Education and Training: mentoring
  • Soil Management: soil quality/health

    Proposal abstract:

    This project focuses on helping professionals build their capacity to work with producers by following a "road to soil health" in which the training locations are a mix of both the science of soil health and the application on real farms and ranches in different production enterprises. Each stop on the road provides training on the science, economics, macro and micro environments, animal/plant interactions, and best management practices that can be incorporated into production systems in the Southern Great Plains.

    This proposal is designed to provide training to agriculture professionals, educators, and others who serve producers in the Southern Great Plains. Professional development through "intensives" will offer: 1. science-based management guidelines for improving soil health; 2. on-farm demonstration on how practices are implemented at scale; 3. creation of mentor-networking opportunities that encourage implementation of practices through peer support at the regional level. Outcomes are expected to be: a. increased ability to create and deploy local programming; b. producer-designed support that impacts more acres that are adopting beneficial soil-health practices; and c. assessment of Oklahoma soil health readiness in production agriculture enterprises. Mentor farmers known as "strategic producers" will plan a critical role advising and developing program protocols that are related to improving soil health through practical applied strategies implemented on successful farm and ranch systems. Target audiences include: the USDA/NRCS, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Oklahoma State Agencies, OSU Extension, private organizations, the Choctaw Nation, and the Chickasaw Nation.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Professional development through "intensives" will offer: 1. science-based management guidelines for improving soil health; 2. on-farm demonstration on how practices are implemented at scale; 3. creation of mentor-networking opportunities that encourage implementation of practices through peer support at the regional level.

    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.