Development of Sustainability Checksheet, Manual and Workshops to Train Educators Planning Beef Programs

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 1997: $69,936.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1999
Matching Federal Funds: $26,500.00
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
Principal Investigator:
Ron Morrow

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Additional Plants: native plants
  • Animals: bovine, goats, sheep
  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, parasite control, feed rations, herbal medicines, homeopathy, manure management, mineral supplements, grazing - multispecies, pasture fertility, pasture renovation, preventive practices, grazing - rotational, housing, stockpiled forages, vaccines, watering systems, winter forage
  • Crop Production: nutrient cycling
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, grass waterways, habitat enhancement, indicators, riverbank protection, soil stabilization
  • Pest Management: traps
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life, social networks, sustainability measures


    A group of individuals (producers, NRCS personnel, county extension agents, and NCAT/ATTRA technical specialists) developed a beef farm sustainability check sheet. The check sheet is designed to stimulate critical thinking of producers and educators in establishing priorities to attain profitability, ensure environmental integrity farms and maintain quality of life for farm families. The check sheet contains over 200 questions to assess a farm with primary emphasis on cow-calf production on pasture programs. Workshops were taught in collaboration with the University of Tennessee Highland Rim Experiment Station and the Middle Tennessee Experiment Station. Training sessions were held for NRCS personnel in Northwest Arkansas.

    Project objectives:

    1. Through the design, evaluation, and subsequent us of a sustainability check sheet, educators and producers will learn what to consider in assessing a beef cattle farm.

    2. Through the use of a manual on sustainable beef cattle management, educators and producers will learn the complex (biological, financial and social) interrelationships that must be considered when planning and improving beef cattle enterprises in a whole-farm context.

    3. Potentially 180 educators and producers will be trained, through two sustainable beef management workshops, to recognize and assess these interrelationships.

    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.