Living on the Land Curriculum Expansion and Instructor Trainings

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2006: $93,365.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Western
State: Nevada
Principal Investigator:
Susan Donaldson
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

Annual Reports


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


  • Animal Production: manure management, pasture fertility, grazing - rotational, housing, watering systems, winter forage, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: windbreaks
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, community-supported agriculture, budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, agricultural finance
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement, riparian buffers, soil stabilization, wetlands, wildlife
  • Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, cultural control, eradication, integrated pest management, physical control, prevention, sanitation, weed ecology
  • Production Systems: holistic management
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil analysis, composting, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: urban/rural integration, analysis of personal/family life, sustainability measures


    Expansion and publication of the Living on the Land: Stewardship for Small Acreages was completed in 2008. The curriculum consists of 23 lessons arranged in eight modules plus an instructor's guide. Training was provided for 100 participants at three different training sessions. As of December 31, 2009, 874 copies of the revised and updated curriculum had been distributed to 37 states, two U.S. territories and two foreign countries. An educator's Web site ( and listserv were also created. Final evaluation of the curriculum revealed that the curriculum had helped 52.5 percent of respondents start a small-acreage program.

    Project objectives:

    Objective 1: Update and Expand the Curriculum
    The initial proposal was to update or expand several lessons in the existing curriculum, including adding a lesson on ponds.

    Additionally, we proposed to add three modules to the existing curriculum:
    •Living with Wildfire,
    •Marketing and Economics of Small-acreage Properties, and
    •Tying it Together: the Whole Farms Approach

    Performance measure: Curriculum is successfully updated, expanded, reviewed and published.

    Objective 2: Western States Trainings
    We proposed to offer two, 2-day trainings, in two different locations in the Western United States. Fifty participants from the target audience were to be invited to each training and financial support offered to defray travel expenses.

    Performance measures: Up to 100 educators receive training in the use of the curriculum; educators evaluate the curriculum; educators use all or part of the curriculum in training small-acreage owners; educators share the materials with others.

    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.