- Animals: bovine, goats, poultry, sheep, swine
- Animal Production: animal protection and health, feed/forage, grazing management, manure management
- Education and Training: workshop
This project is designed to increase the engagement and thereby, knowledge and skills of agricultural service providers who assist livestock producers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. A comprehensive needs assessment found that further educational programming was necessary in the area of animal nutrition as it relates to health and wellbeing, pasture management and nutrient management decisions. Curricula for this project will be guided by a project advisory group, comprised of representatives from agricultural universities, agencies, industry and Extension as well as interested farmers in each of the respective states.
Over the course of the three years, multiple delivery methods, including classroom and field training workshops in several learning environments, will allow 30 agricultural service provider participants to gain knowledge and skills.. Online access to presentations, frequent email communication and updates and an online platform allowing for discussion and conversation will also be available to those involved in the project.
Group discussion and collaboration will give the service provider participants the opportunity to develop action steps throughout this project that when combined, will create an action plan which can be employed when working with and advising livestock farmers. Follow-up questionnaires will be conducted throughout and after completion of the project’s education program to verify how well participants were able to implement their action plans. The service providers will also be encouraged to provide feedback which indicates farmer adoption of the suggested strategies.
Performance targets from proposal:
25 agricultural service providers who learn through this project will provide education and assistance (e.g. workshops, meetings, individual consultations, articles, fact sheets) about the recommended sustainable livestock production practices to 200 farmers in CT, MA and RI who manage 4,000 head of livestock (beef cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens).