- Education and Training: demonstration, extension
- Sustainable Communities: urban agriculture
The Southern University Research and Extension Center (SUAREC) in collaboration with The Louisiana State University AgCenter (LSUAC) will implement programs that enhance the capabilities of Louisiana’s agricultural professionals in the area of sustainable agriculture. Themes for 2018 – 2019 include: Urban Farming and non-traditional growing methods in Southwest Louisiana; Farm tour with emphasis in Small Farmers growing agronomic crops, in North Louisiana; Field day in St. Helena Parish targeting small vegetable farmers; a fall garden workshop in Baton Rouge and the Louisiana Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (LA SAWG) annual meeting, as well as regional sustainable agriculture related conferences and workshops. Louisiana State University AgCenter and Southern University Agricultural Center extension personnel will be strongly encouraged to attend the training sessions. Information delivery systems to be utilized include workshops and long-distance education training sessions, field trips, resource manuals and informational bulletins. The Louisiana Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Board will meet twice annually for programmatic planning and evaluation. The Program Assistant (half-time), funded by this project, will be responsible for maintaining the state SARE website (http://www.southernsare.org/SARE-in-Your-State/Louisiana) and Facebook page. The other duties for this position include assisting in coordination of the state workshops and field days, the SSAWG scholarships and arrangements, the sustainable agriculture materials generated by the project, promotion of SARE resources and grant opportunities, and development of on-line and hard copy sustainable agriculture resources.
The overall objectives of the Louisiana Model State Plan (MSP) are:
- Maintain the state SARE website with sustainable agriculture materials and resources, and links to related state organizations.
- Conduct workshops on sustainable agriculture for extension and agriculture professionals.
- Conduct bi-annual state advisory board meetings with the purpose of revising and modifying the strategic plan.
- Identify annual training objectives with the input from the Louisiana Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Board.
- Encourage extension and agricultural professionals to continue to attend sustainable agriculture meetings such as the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group annual meeting.
- Continue participation in workshops, meetings, and field days that highlight sustainable agriculture practices.
- Promote the SARE program results, resources, and grant opportunities in Louisiana.
The MSP for Louisiana will allow for enhanced programming effort beyond the state plans of work for the separate institutions (Southern University Agricultural Research and Education Center, LSU AgCenter). The MSP has allowed for the increased number of training sessions per year. The MSP has allowed the Louisiana SARE PDP program to have greater resources available for training activities, using the Southern SARE Louisiana webpage for sustainable agriculture resources, as well as increased coordination and networking. The hiring of a program assistant through the SARE PDP allowed for a unified sustainable agriculture programming effort for the state.