- Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, technical assistance, workshop
Kentucky’s Model State Program is focusing on needs identified from our state SARE advisory council.
Recent investments in agent training have focused on sustainable communities, food processing, family finances and organic production. Kentucky State University continues to make the Third Thursday Program the focus of its SARE MSP funding.
This year KSU will be hosting the Third Thursday Thing’s 20th Anniversary Celebration which will provide ample demonstrations and lectures on a variety of sustainable agriculture topics.
Third Thursdays have become an institution in Kentucky professional development educational programming. The broad range of topics (listed in a later section) ensure that agricultural professionals and producer leaders have training in the skills necessary on a diversified small farm. TTT also serves as a space for synergies in small farm education. Many conferences and educational meetings are planned around “Third Thursdays” including:
o the Annual Small, Limited-Resource/Minority Farmers Conference,
o the SRRMEC Regional Training on risk management, farm economics, livestock farm management, and crop and
vegetable farm management (multiple programs).
o The OAK-Organic Association of Kentucky- Updates
2017 Objectives & Outcomes:
– Build a broad base of interest and skills in agricultural sustainability among extension agents and other
professionals in the state
– Equip them with the needed skills & resources to assist farmers, marketers, and community leaders, and to
facilitate a diverse range of collaborative projects.
– Build effective partnerships with NRCS, FSA, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture
– Evaluate and revise our broad strategic plan, and to develop KYSARE LOGIC Model for the program as a whole.
We have delivered on these goals through several projects including: Third Thursday Things’ wide variety of
topics, the Annual Minority and Limited Resources Farmer Conference, GAP Third Party Audit training for extension agents, small-scale fruit and vegetable disease identification and integrated management agent trainings, producer leaders, and NRCS personnel. We supported the 2017 Kentucky Grazing Conference, including printing publications on Pasture-finishing beef to be distributed to agents, as well as the producers they serve. Our directors and program assistant have put an emphasis on networking and promoting the program to agencies across the state.
Additional goals for 2017 include:
– Increasing support of professional development for NGO service providers.
– Further development of relationships with those delivering livestock and grain programming.
– Sustained education in Genetic Engineering and its pros and cons for sustainability.