2016-2017 Model State Program University of Arkansas

Project Overview

SAR16-001
Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2016: $11,111.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2016
Grant Recipient: University of Arkansas
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
State Coordinator:
Dr. M. Elena Garcia
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

Commodities

  • Nuts: pecans
  • Animals: bovine
  • Animal Products: meat

Practices

  • Animal Production: grazing management, grazing - rotational
  • Crop Production: cover crops, crop rotation, food product quality/safety, high tunnels or hoop houses, multiple cropping, pollination, pollinator habitat, pollinator health, season extension types and construction
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, networking, workshop
  • Soil Management: soil physics
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems

    Abstract:

    Arkansas’s 2016-2017 Model State Program will focus on opportunities and trainings for Extension agents, associates and program aides, USDA staff, farmers’ market managers, other agriculture professionals and farmer leaders on issues important to increasing the sustainability of small and large scale producers in Arkansas. Proposed activities include two cover crop workshops for small acreage farmers and row crop farmers, a rotational grazing workshop, a pastured poultry workshop, a food safety workshop and travel to professional development conferences/workshops including SSAWG, the AR-OK Hort Industry Show, the food safety and grazing meetings in this plan, the Small Farmers and Ranchers Conference, a sweet potato workshop in Louisiana and the SARE cover crops conference in North Carolina. Program activities were determined based on input from the Advisory Committee, faculty members in the Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability, participants from previous workshops and the availability of professional development opportunities offered by outside organizations. As a result of these opportunities the knowledge, interest and application of sustainable practices for small through large scale producers and agriculture professionals will continue to expand in Arkansas.

    Project objectives:

    As a result of workshop and educational activities, participants will exhibit the following behavioral changes:

    1. Extension personnel, NRCS officers, and small through large-scale farmer leaders will increase their knowledge and confidence with integrating cover crops into their production system be it small to mid size vegetable production or large scale grain production. They will have a better understanding of cover crop types and management, uses of different cover crops for different purposes such as building soil health, weed control, erosion, etc, methods of termination, and seed sources. (UA and UAPB)

    2. Extension personnel and grower leaders will have increased knowledge and confidence with sustainable rotational grazing practices including forage production and electric fencing. (UA)

    3. Extension personnel and grower leaders will have increased knowledge and confidence with pastured poultry production and economics. (UAPB)

    4. Gain knowledge and confidence with sweet potato production practices and share information with sweet potato producers. (UAPB)

    5. Travel support to the AR-OK Horticulture Industry Show and SSAWG conferences will improve agents attendance at these events and increase knowledge of horticulture and sustainable agriculture production and resources. (UA and UAPB)

    6. Travel support to the food safety workshop and rotational grazing workshop will improve agents’ attendance at these events and increase knowledge and awareness of food safety on the farm information and resources. (UA)

    7. Regular Advisory board meetings will allow board members to contribute to SARE PDP planning and workshops. (UA and UAPB)

    8. Blog readers including agents, market managers and other agriculture professionals will be informed of state and national sustainable agriculture opportunities such as SARE grants, webinars, the SSAWG conference, the Horticulture Industry Show, USDA program news, and other timely and relevant topics. (UA and UAPB)
    UAPB staff will specifically target small and SDP in Eastern and Southwest Arkansas.

    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.