The Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus (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 2019 – 2020 include: practical farm certifications, sustainable farm tour, beneficial insects, honey and value-added products, hoop house production, insect control research, climate challenges, the Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) annual meeting, and the Louisiana SAWG annual meeting, as well as regional sustainable agriculture related conferences and workshops. LSUAC and SUAREC extension personnel will be strongly encouraged to attend the training sessions. Information delivery systems to be utilized include trainings, workshops, conferences, networking sessions, farm tours, field days, hands-on demonstrations, handouts, 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 (https://www.facebook.com/LouisianaSARE/). The other duties for this position include coordination of state workshops and field days, SSAWG travel awards and arrangements, sustainable agriculture materials generated by the project, promotion of SARE resources and grant opportunities, promotion of related sustainable agriculture resources, events, and opportunities across the state, and development of on-line and hard copy sustainable agriculture resources.
Project objectives from proposal:
The overall objectives of the Louisiana Model State Plan (MSP) are:
• Conduct workshops on sustainable agriculture for extension and agriculture professionals.
• Maintain the state SARE website with sustainable agriculture materials and resources, and links to related state organizations.
• 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 (SUAREC, LSUAC). The MSP has allowed for the increased number of training sessions per year. The MSP has allowed the Louisiana SARE PDP 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.