Sustainable and profitable control of invasive species by browsing goats on small farms
The first year of the planning grant was used to determine whether a full research and education effort focusing on intensive, short duration goat/sheep browsing (ISDGB) was needed and feasible from a farmer perspective. This was accomplished (see previous yearly report). The second year was used to work out the details of such an effort, put together a full southern SARE grant pre-proposal and, subsequently, a full grant proposal.
1. Design on-farm experiments to test ISDGB: this has been accomplished, and the teams (goat-owners, landowners, researchers) are in place to look at greater detail at five states/territories in the southern SARE region.
2. Increase awareness of ISDGB: this was accomplished through farmer/SARE team interaction. However, the proposed web sites (one for each location) and extension fact sheets were not completed prior to receiving full grant funding for fear of raising farmer expectations without the financial means to accomplish the research and education.
3. Develop a full research proposal on ISDGB: this was accomplished as both a pre-proposal and a full proposal to southern SARE. Funding has been granted to continue the task at all five locations (Texas, Georgia, Florida, St. Croix, and Puerto Rico).
Additional interaction with farmers took place at all locations during the grant proposal preparation. Small ruminant owners and landowners with weed-invaded land agreed to participate in future efforts if funding became available.
Fort Valley, GA: Jones, Ussery, Owens, McCorvey & Taylor
St. Croix, USVI: Schuster, Doward, Hamilton, Scribner, Jones
Mayaguez, PR: Rodriguez & Ramirez
Stephenville, TX: Seale, Turner, Weiss and Priddy
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
The most important outcome this past year was a successful funding proposal. This will allow further work, including a website with pages for each individual location involved in the project.
Fort Valley State University
University of Puerto Rico
University of the Virgin Islands