- Animal Production: animal protection and health, feed/forage, grazing management, grazing - continuous, grazing - rotational, meat processing, pasture fertility, rangeland/pasture management
- Crop Production: conservation tillage, cover crops, crop rotation, food product quality/safety, high tunnels or hoop houses, irrigation, no-till, nutrient cycling, nutrient management, postharvest treatment, season extension types and construction, strip tillage, varieties and cultivars, water management
- Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, display, extension, focus group, networking, on-farm/ranch research, technical assistance, workshop
- Energy: energy conservation/efficiency, renewable energy
- Farm Business Management: agricultural finance, farm-to-institution, financial management, marketing management, new enterprise development, value added
- Natural Resources/Environment: grass waterways, habitat enhancement, soil stabilization, strip cropping, wildlife
- Pest Management: precision herbicide use, weed ecology
- Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems, organic agriculture
- Soil Management: nutrient mineralization, organic matter, soil analysis, soil chemistry, soil microbiology, soil physics
- Sustainable Communities: community development, food hubs, local and regional food systems, partnerships, quality of life, urban agriculture, values-based supply chains
Iowa’s state Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) Professional Development Program (PDP) is supported by Extension and research administration at Iowa State University (ISU). The Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program has a history of strong professional development support in organic and traditional agriculture, agriculture educator capacity-building, and local food systems. The program, coordinated by Extension Program Specialist and State Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator, Linda Naeve, works closely and cooperatively with other university entities and related centers, including the Extension Small Farm Sustainability program, Extension Value Added Agriculture Program, Extension Beginning Farmer Center, Extension Women in Agriculture Program, Extension Organic Program, ISU Veterans in Agriculture Program, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Regional Food Systems Working Group (RFSGW), Iowa Water Center and the Iowa Learning Farm. The state program has a long-standing partnership with Practical Farmers of Iowa and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) (e.g. Women, Food & Agriculture Network and Iowa Farmers’ Union), as well as state agencies, including Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS).
The Iowa PDP target audience, the primary stakeholders, include a variety of sustainable agriculture outreach educators: ISU Extension specialists and field staff, NRCS, FSA, IDALS, other agency personnel, community college faculty, vocational agriculture instructors, state natural resource educators, and leaders/educators in Iowa’s RFSWGs, non-profits and community-based organizations. This target audience in Iowa is loosely approximated to contain upwards of 600 individuals, of which up to 10% are likely newly employed at any given time. The Iowa program provides both initial sustainable agriculture educational opportunities for new educators and updated and continuing educational opportunities for current employees as mandated in federal legislation.
The State Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator provides and supports professional development training and shares SARE resources and information at local, state, regional and national conferences, workshops, and field days.
Project objectives from proposal:
Iowa Initiative 1: Addressing Issues in Soil Health, Water Quality, Energy and Climate
Iowa Initiative 2: Building Leadership, Communication, and Capacity in Sustainable Agriculture
Iowa Initiative 3: Implementing Diversified Production and Marketing Systems
Iowa Initiative 4: Scaling Up and Strengthening Local Food Systems