Increasing soil health and climate resilience education for pasture-based livestock farmers

Project Overview

ONE17-303
Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2017: $14,967.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2019
Grant Recipient: Glynwood Center, Inc.
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
David Llewellyn
Glynwood Center, Inc.

Information Products

Commodities

  • Agronomic: grass (misc. annual), grass (misc. perennial)

Practices

  • Animal Production: feed/forage, pasture renovation, pasture fertility, rangeland/pasture management
  • Education and Training: demonstration
  • Soil Management: soil quality/health

    Proposal abstract:

    The critical importance of soil health to mitigate climate-vulnerabilities in pasture-based livestock systems has
    become more widely understood and accepted in recent years. Unfortunately, livestock farmers in NY’s Hudson
    Valley lack sufficient opportunities to learn about practices and methods that increase resilience to climate-related
    stressors. The goal of this project is to increase the rate of adoption of underutilized, but beneficial, practices
    among regional livestock farmers by providing practical and tangible opportunities for them to learn about these
    practices. Project lead, Glynwood, will partner with livestock farmers, specialists at Cornell Cooperative
    Extension, NRCS and researchers at UMass Amherst to conduct two on-site demonstrations and a Soil Health
    Field Day. Instruction and results will be shared through presentations at regional conferences, with additional
    outreach via online methods (blog posts, external articles and a video). These activities represent a meaningful
    increase in the number of available opportunities for regional farmers to improve their soil health and adaptive
    management knowledge and skills.

    Through the activities described in this proposal, at least 100 regional farmers will be taught how to cost effectively
    monitor soil health and mitigate soil health constraints in their pastures, and to adapt their management
    strategies for improved soil health and climate resilience. We expect that 85% of farmers reached through this
    project will either increase their knowledge of soil health’s role in promoting resilience in pasture-based systems,
    and/or adopt at least one beneficial practice demonstrated through our project, thereby increasing the
    sustainability of their farms in a changing climate.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Based on these needs and opportunities, our overarching goal is to increase the rate of adoption of underutilized
    soil health measures and adaptive grazing practices among regional livestock farmers. To accomplish this goal,
    we will use the land we manage at HVFBI as a demonstration of pasture improvement methods in partnership
    with commercial livestock farmers Back Paddock and Grass + Grit Farm.
    We will offer educational opportunities to regional livestock farmers, including: a Soil Health Field Day;
    presentations at regional conferences; and online dissemination of our findings via video, blogs and articles.
    These educational opportunities will focus on easily implementable and cost-effective ways that livestock farmers
    can replicate the benefits of our demonstration on their farms.

    Expected outputs include:

    –Two demonstrations of pasture improvement and warm season annual forage, including recommendations for
    how farmers can cost-effectively apply findings
    –30 regional farmers educated about soil health principles at Soil Health Field Day
    –75 farmers educated about implementing soil health principles through conference presentations
    –85% of farmers we reach, and who have management authority of their farms will implement at least one
    principle they learned from our project, as measured through six-month follow-up surveys.

    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.