2020 Model State Program- Mississippi State University

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2020: $11,111.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2022
Grant Recipient: Mississippi State University
Region: Southern
State: Mississippi
State Coordinator:
Dr. Leyla Rios
Department of Animal & Dairy Sciences at Mississippi State University


  • Agronomic: clovers, grass (misc. annual), grass (misc. perennial)
  • Animals: goats, rabbits, sheep
  • Animal Products: meat


  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, grazing management, grazing - continuous, grazing - multispecies, grazing - rotational, herbal medicines, parasite control
  • Crop Production: forest farming, silvopasture
  • Education and Training: decision support system, extension, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development
  • Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Model Plan of Work is a culmination of the involvement of the State Sustainable Agriculture Committee. This committee is composed of representatives from both 1862 & 1890 Extension Organizations, Federal and State Government Agencies, NGOs, and farmers. A program assistant has been employed to assist the state coordinators and the members of this committee in carrying out the training objectives set forth in this model plan. The main objective of this plan is to include as series of SARE programs focusing on small ruminants, forage management and organic beef cattle programing. This plan includes more public awareness of SARE through either individual contacts made during regional/district/county workshops or a state wide Sustainable Agriculture conference. Training goals will be reached by means of in- service education, conferences, workshops, demonstrations, field days, tours, and publications. The different media sources of the stakeholders will also be used to help reach the different focal groups set forth in this plan. Training materials developed by SARE will be incorporated into the training for extension staff. Attendance at National/Regional Conferences will be encouraged as a means of further professional development in sustainable Agriculture. Some training may be conducted jointly between both land grant universities in the state. Evaluation will be done using the logic model by the evaluation team. All institutions and agencies involved are committed to this plan and have committed resources of time, money, and personnel to carry it out.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Sustainable Agriculture has long been associated with either environmental, organic production, or only limited resource farming practices. While sustainable agriculture encompasses these issues it involves much more. Traditional agriculture producers benefit and utilize sustainable agriculture practices that prove more economical and/or improves the quality of life and the community in which they live. A primary training objective is to assist all agriculture producers with a better understanding of sustainable agriculture and fulfill the mission of the S-SARE program: “to expand knowledge and adoption of sustainable agriculture practices that are economically viable, environmentally sound and good for all members of the community.”

    We plan to meet this objective through conducting a demonstration of economically viable and environmental sound practices that work is the best method to increase the adoption of those practices by farmers. In general, Farmers tend to accept information more readily from other farmers through field days, farm tours or individual discussions. Other target audiences for this training objective include educators, researchers, commodity organizations, agri-business leaders, community leaders and the general public with program delivery through workshops, seminars, conferences, in-service training, and mass media. Each committee member has the expertise to share with people they interact with and through participation in group gatherings.

    For 2020/2021 we will focus on knowledge transferred through the development of individual relationships.

    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.