The overall objective of the 2017-2018 Program is to continue the existing strategic planning process for statewide sustainable agriculture development; and to provide professional development opportunities for County Extension Agents and other agriculture professionals (i.e. farmers train-the-trainer, USDA employees). Objectives of the updated SARE Logic Model are organic food production, conservation tillage systems, grazing-based animal production
systems, composting direct marketing and local food systems. Support for the objectives include support for Fort Valley State University (FVSU) direct marketing and business plan development workshop for county extension agents and small farmers, the establishment of a cover crop demonstration on FVSU Research and Extension Demonstration Farm during Spring/Summer 2017, Georgia Agriscience and Outdoor Recreation Expo, FVSU September 14, 2017 Field-Day, Extension Agents/Small Farmers Train-the-Trainer & Outreach Innovation Workshop in November, 2017, and FVSU county agents participation in UGA Northeast Georgia Cover Crop Workshop, Spring 2018. Travel scholarships will be used to support county agents travel to the Georgia Agriscience & Outdoor Recreation Expo sponsored by the Upper Ocmulgee River Resources Conservation and Development Council, Inc., and the Northeast Georgia Cover Crop Workshop and Field Day. The proposed trainings workshops and experiences are designed to expose county agents and farmer trainers to activities that would enhance their knowledge and secure strong subject matter reference bases.
Project objectives from proposal:
Through the objectives in the updated SARE Logic Model which include: conservation tillage systems, organic food production, grazing-based animal production systems, composting, direct marketing, and local food systems, FVSU will:
• Continue the existing strategic planning process for statewide sustainable agriculture development. ‘Build on new and existing collaborations with stakeholder groups. The state co-coordinators will work with the SARE Program Assistant and with the SARE Advisory Committee to broaden the pool of stakeholders who contribute to the planning process and the development of educational programs.
• Increase the use of sustainable agriculture practices by producers through a network of trained agricultural professionals. The outcome of this objective is the enhancement of knowledge and competency in sustainable agriculture, increase contact with the sustainable agriculture community, and become recognized as the “go to reference” in sustainable agriculture methods within their service area.
Of the six (6) areas identified for training workshops: conservation tillage systems, organic food production, grazing-based animal production systems, composting, direct marketing and local food systems. The extension agents, NRCS, FSA, NGOs, and other outreach professionals will be exposed to training opportunities in these areas.
The MSP Program Assistant, in consultation with the co-coordinators will aid in workshop organization, publicity, and evaluation.