The UAPB 2019-2020 SARE PDP Model State Program will focus on developing skills and advancing knowledge of cover crop applications in a variety of production systems, sweet potato production and sustainable agriculture production systems. The opportunities and events will be available to Extension associates and program aides, USDA staff, farmers’ market managers, other agriculture professionals and farmer leaders. Proposed activities include travel scholarships to the Cover Crop Conference in Alabama, the SSAWG annual conference, and the LSU Sweet Potato field day. Additional activities include an annual board meeting and promoting SARE through a variety of outlets, networks and events. Our plan builds on previous SARE PDP MSP plans and considers input and evaluations from past travel scholarship recipients and workshop participants. 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:
A. Agriculture professionals (CES agents and specialists, NRCS staff, farmers’ market managers, farmer leaders) will increase their understanding of cover crop management and the scientific evidence of the impacts on soil health and fertility. They will be better able to provide assistance to farmers and/or integrate cover crops into their research
B. Agriculture professionals will increase their knowledge of recent sweet potato research, advanced practices and emerging issues and will be better equipped to assist farmers in implementing these practices.
C. Agriculture professionals will increase their awareness and knowledge of a variety of sustainable agriculture concepts, and will be better equipped to provide farmers with guidance on implementing new practices on their farm.
D. Agriculture professionals will increase their recognition of the SARE program through promotion of SARE and SSARE resources, AR-SARE PDP activities on listservs (Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability, and AR-SSAWG), a Facebook and blog to increase visibility at events around the state.