Arkansas’s 2018-2019 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 Arkansas farmers. Proposed activities include two workshops for CES agents
and NRCS field staff – one on Managing Soil Health and Fertility and the other Managing Grazing
Systems. Travel scholarships will be provided to agriculture professionals to offset costs to
attend sustainable agriculture training events in and out of state. The 2018-2019 plan was
based on input from the Advisory Committee, 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 Arkansas farmers and agriculture professionals will continue to expand in Arkansas.
Project objectives from proposal:
The 2018-2019 objectives of the Arkansas SARE PDP program are:
1) To expand the understanding and application of sustainable agriculture concepts by
agriculture professionals including Extension agents and specialists, farmers market
managers, farmer leaders and others and to increase their confidence to implement and
share sustainable agriculture information.
2) To increase the awareness of the SARE program among agriculture leaders in Arkansas,
the resources it provides and increase awareness of training opportunities and
scholarships for Arkansas agriculture leaders interested in sustainable agriculture.
3) To continue to employ the advisory board to provide input to the AR SARE PDP program,
and share information about the AR SARE program through their professional circles.
These objectives are programmatic objectives and thus have not changed since last year. As a
result of the AR-SARE activities, SARE and SARE resources are becoming more recognizable in
Arkansas, sustainable agriculture concepts are better understood and the application of
sustainable agriculture practices are increasing. In the 2018-2019 program, we expect that as a result of the soil health and fertility in-service training, Extension agents and NRCS field staff
will be better able to assist farmers in making decisions on using cover crops in their farming
operations. They will also be able to better understand soil test results and provide information
to farmers on resources offered by NRCS and CES. As a result of the in-service grazing
workshop, CES agents will be more informed on sustainable grazing practices and will better
equipped to provide assistance to farmers. As a result of travel scholarships, farmers,
researchers and educators not only gain knowledge of specific practices but also increase their
motivation and their vision for how they can apply sustainable ideas and practices within their
directives. Agriculture professionals that receive these scholarships are required to share
information they gained with others. As a result of AR-SARE outreach and communication
efforts, recognition of the national, regional and Arkansas SARE programs and resources will
increase. Agriculture professionals will recognize the national, regional and state SARE program as a reputable source of science based information on sustainable agriculture. By meeting with the AR SARE advisory board at least once per year, ideas can be shared and a representative proposal can be developed for the upcoming year.