Improving Pasture Management for Sustainable Livestock Production

Project Overview

SNE20-001-CT
Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2020: $225,330.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2023
Grant Recipient: University of Connecticut
Region: Northeast
State: Connecticut
State Coordinators:
Joseph Bonelli
University of Connecticut
Co-Coordinators:
Rachel Bespuda
University of Connecticut
Jean King
University of Connecticut

Commodities

  • Animals: bovine, goats, poultry, sheep, swine

Practices

  • Animal Production: feed/forage, manure management, rangeland/pasture management
  • Soil Management: soil quality/health

    Proposal abstract:

    The Tri-State project is designed to increase the knowledge and skills of agricultural service providers who assist livestock producers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island and their engagement with producers on these issues.
    Problem and Justification: Our comprehensive needs assessment sent to the 450 service providers and farmers on the project’s listserv, feedback from the project advisory group and direct contact with many agricultural agencies/interest groups throughout the region shows that further education is desired and necessary in the areas of pasture management, soil health and manure management.
    Solution and Approach: Over the course of the three-year project, multiple delivery methods will be used to help participants gain knowledge and skills through several learning environments. These will include: classroom and field training workshops, frequent on-line correspondence, online access to all presentations, short videos, group discussions and collaboration at all workshops. Content and curricula for this project will be finalized in collaboration with the project advisory group which includes agricultural service providers, representatives from the agricultural industry and interested farmers in each of the respective states. The project will also offer a certificate program for those who are interested in participating. Electronic pre and post evaluation questions will help the project director understand the knowledge level of the participants both before and after each workshop. Follow-up questionnaires administered via a Qualtrics online survey will be conducted throughout the duration and after the completion of the project to quantify the number of participants who were able to utilize the knowledge and skills learned and apply it to their daily work with farmers.

    Performance targets from proposal:

    35 agricultural service providers who learn through the project will provide education and assistance (i.e. workshops, one-on-one consultations, articles, videos, websites, fact sheets, and project materials) regarding the recommended sustainable livestock production practices learned to 230 farmers in CT, MA and RI who manage livestock (bovine, goats, poultry, sheep, swine).

    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.