2019 Model State Program- Florida A&M University

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2019: $11,106.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2022
Grant Recipient: Florida A&M University
Region: Southern
State: Florida
State Coordinators:
Dr. Cassel Gardner
Florida A&M University
Dr. Marilyn Swisher
University of Florida


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: cover crops, cropping systems, crop rotation, high tunnels or hoop houses, intercropping, low tunnels, multiple cropping, nutrient management, organic fertilizers, row covers (for season extension), water management
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: agritourism, community-supported agriculture, farmers' markets/farm stands, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: carbon sequestration, soil stabilization
  • Pest Management: cultural control, prevention
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems
  • Soil Management: composting, organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: food hubs, local and regional food systems, quality of life, urban agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    Florida activities for 2019-2020 will build upon the basic framework for the model state program. Planned activities include integrating results of SARE funded research and Extension activities, and other relevant research, and using this information as resources for educational programs. We also plan to continue to strengthen our focus on targeted training for state and county Extension faculty, representatives of non-profit organizations, representatives of state and federal government agencies, and farmer representatives. To fulfill the priorities and objectives of our program, training funds will be used to address programs in three subject matter areas:
    (1) New and emerging solutions for Florida agricultural production,
    (2) Advancing Extension capacity in sustainable agriculture, and;
    (3) Entrepreneurial innovation in sustainable agriculture.

    Our expected outcomes are:
    (1) Extension faculty will participate in SARE in-service training programs and use this information in their own programming,
    (2) Extension faculty will participate in regional and national training programs in sustainable agriculture and apply the lessons learned in their own programming,
    (3) At least two of the statewide Extension priority teams will include information and resources about sustainable agriculture and SARE in their professional development training programs and Extension programming,
    (4) Through SARE, Extension agents and farmers will identify opportunities for the development, outreach and research of alternative crops and enterprises,
    (5) Regional and local county agents will develop new collaborations with organizations, agencies, and groups working in sustainable agriculture, and;
    (6) Extension faculty and agents will make increased use of resources to support programming in sustainable agriculture.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Florida SARE Outreach Objectives:
    a. Maintain existing and establish new collaborative Extension trainings and programs with faculty members and county   agents at University of Florida and Florida A&M University whose work addresses sustainability in production agriculture.
      i. Achieved: We conducted a series of related trainings in Grant Writing for Extension Programming, securing IRB                approval for Extension programming, and using a theory of change to improve Extension outcomes. We initiated              collaboration with FAMU, UF and USDA research scientists to create a Future of Sustainable Agriculture in Florida             webinar series and other public and private sector food systems experts to create a webinar addressing how to                  leverage resources to create food system networks in Florida.
    b. Extend collaboration with organizations that are active in the post-production components of food systems, particularly non-profit, state, and governmental organizations whose work fosters development of food and agriculture businesses.
       i. Achieved: We developed a collaborative effort with specialists in youth development and non-profit management to         assist non-profit umbrella organization Working Food. These efforts include an assessment of Working Food's school         garden program and development of a grant proposal for a joint program between UF/IFAS and Working Food for             heirloom seed preservation.
    c. Support the development of Extension programs in food systems, including Regional Specialized Agents whose work includes both on-farm production and post-farm gate aspects of food system development.
       i. Achieved: UF/IF AS developed a new Community Food Systems tenure-track faculty position to be located at the Mid-      Florida Research & Education Center and housed in Family, Youth & Community Sciences to further develop and build      the work reported in 2018 with Regional Specialist Liz Felter. Dr. Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar, an assistant professor and state      Extension specialist, has collaborated on several grant proposals over the past six months. We continue to offer grant        proposal mentorship by reviewing grant proposals and assisting with research and Extension needs assessments in          order to develop projects that are responsive to farmer-identified needs and barriers.
    d. Expand participation of minority, women, and limited resource farmers and professionals in SARE activities and programs, ensuring that these groups are well represented in the full range of SARE-funded professional development opportunities.
        i. Achieved: We have developed an on-going collaborative relationship with Dr. Jenny Jones, an assistant professor at           UF whose areas of focus in Extension are non-profit management and diversity. She worked with us to submit two           grant proposals in 2018 that address diversity in Florida agriculture. Neither was funded, but both received                      positive reviews. We will resubmit in 2019. One focuses on increasing enrollment in agricultural graduate degrees             among rural, limited resource communities and one focuses on developing a mentoring program to foster increased        enrollment by students who complete undergraduate degrees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the
           College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at UF or at Florida A&M University College of Agriculture and Food Sciences.         This work focuses on building on-going collaboration with student and faculty members at non-land-grant HBCUs             and Hispanic Serving universities in the state. Dr. Swisher continued her mentorship of new faculty members with a         focus on diversity.

    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.