The OSU Sustainable Agriculture Team provides comprehensive leadership for all NCR SARE programs in Ohio, with primary emphasis on professional development programs (PDP) for Extension professionals (educators, specialists, program assistants), NRCS staff, and other agricultural professionals. This is accomplished through a variety of methods, including workshops, field days, tours, providing resource materials, individual consultation, travel scholarships, experiential learning, and other methods. Please note that while the Sustainable Agriculture Team and the SARE State Coordinators conduct additional sustainable agriculture educational programs, only NCR SARE funded programs are included in this plan.
In 2016, Congress retroactively granted Central State University in Wilberforce Ohio (a HCBU), Land Grant University status. Central State University (CSU) has hired Extension Educators and has begun to offer Extension programming, primarily in urban areas in Ohio.
Beginning in 2019, the OSU Sustainable Agriculture Team will incorporate CSU faculty and staff into the Ohio SARE PDP program, and will offer SARE professional development programs to both OSU and CSU Extension faculty and staff. The longer term goal for the 2021 & 2022 statewide SARE PDP plan of work is to identify a CSU faculty or staff member to serve as SARE state co-coordinator for CSU. The two state SARE Co-Coordinators from both OSU and CSU would then work collaboratively to plan, conduct, and evaluate the statewide SARE PDP program in Ohio.
This 2019 and 2020 plan of work will serve as a bridge period to familiarize CSU faculty and staff with SARE PDP programs and products and to develop a collaborative statewide team for SARE PDP programs. All of the initiatives outlined in this plan of work will include Extension faculty and staff from both OSU and CSU.
Project objectives from proposal:
SARE Professional Development Initiatives
In 2019 and 2020, the following SARE professional development initiatives will be implemented by the Sustainable Agriculture Team:
Continuing Initiatives – State-Specific
C1 – New Extension Professionals Training
Outcome: Newly hired Extension Educators, Specialists, and Program Assistants will become knowledgeable about sustainable agriculture and SARE programs and resources.
Activity: Sustainable agriculture training will be incorporated into new-employee training conducted by OSU and CSU Extension, and one-on-one follow-up support sessions will be conducted for new hires. Each new hire will receive a Sustainable Agriculture Teaching/Learning Kit.
Evaluation: Pre and post tests will be conducted to measure knowledge gained.
Timeline: On-going in 2019 and 2020
C2 – Sustainable Agriculture Travel Scholarships
Outcome: A minimum of twenty-five Extension Educators, Specialists, Program Assistants will increase their knowledge about various sustainable agriculture concepts and applications and develop new local programs on various sustainable agriculture topics.
Activity: Matching scholarships will be provided.
Evaluation: The number of local programs developed/taught for clientele as a result of participation in the travel scholarship program will be measured.
Timeline: On-going in 2019 and 2020
C3 – Ohio Soil Health and Quality Training
Outcome: Twenty agricultural professionals (Extension educators, NRCS professionals, and non-profit leaders) will increase their knowledge and skills related to evaluating various soil health and quality parameters, and crop production practices such as cover crops and not-till production which will positively impact soil health and quality.
Activity: A day-long workshop and follow-up tour will be conducted to help agricultural professionals develop the skills and knowledge to evaluate soil health and quality, as well as crop production practices which will positively impact soil health and quality, including cover crops, no-till crop production, etc.).
Evaluation: Pre and post tests will be administered to workshop participants; the number of agricultural professionals assisting crop producers with soil health and quality will be tracked; the number of new Extension programs offered on soil health and quality topics will be tracked.
Timeline: Winter, 2019 & 2020
New Initiatives – State Specific
N1 – FSMA Compliance On-Farm Training
Outcome: Twenty Extension Educators will increase their knowledge about what fruit and vegetable growers can expect during a FSMA compliance audit by participating in a day-long on-farm FSMA Compliance Clinic.
Activity: A day-long on-farm clinic will be conducted in partnership with the Ohio Department of Agriculture
Evaluation: Pre and post tests will be conducted to measure knowledge gained. The number of new local programs developed will be tracked, along with farm family participation levels in these new programs.
Timeline: Winter, 2019
New Regional Initiative
R1 – Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
Outcome: Five to seven Extension Educators will increase their knowledge and skills related to issues around beginning farmers and ranchers and subsequently provide educational programming to other educators and beginning farmers and ranchers.
Activity: Ohio will participate in the NCR SARE 2019-20 regional initiative on beginning farmers and ranchers by supporting the participation of Extension educators in a regional professional development event organized by NCR SARE on beginning farmers and ranchers to be offered in 2019. Additional support as needed will also be provided to Extension Educators on the topic of beginning farmers and ranchers (i.e., travel scholarships).
Evaluation: The number of clients assisted with beginning farmer and rancher related issues will be tracked; the number of new Extension programs on beginning farmers and ranchers will be tracked; the number of beginning farmers and ranchers will be tracked.