Methods, Collaboration and Communication in On-Farm Research and Demonstrations

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2023: $165,902.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2026
Grant Recipient: Pennsylvania State University
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
State Coordinator:
Nicole Santangelo Thompson
Pennsylvania State University


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research

    Proposal abstract:

    An opportunity exists to conduct on-farm research and
    demonstration with a primary goal of serving the farm community
    over advancing agricultural technologies. Recognizing that today,
    farmers have equal part in learning together with the university
    and other non-profit agricultural research institutions including
    but not limited to creating their own research project,
    conducting data collection, assisting in the data analysis and
    determining the goals of the on-farm research projects.

    There is a need for researchers to create space for farmers to
    learn alongside trained researchers to help remove "black box"
    systems. By democratizing science, we can reduce language and
    social barriers when farmers participate in research. Working
    together could provide more valuable services to farm communities
    and result in better science communication skills for

    The educational approach will be a train-the-trainer where 40
    agriculture service providers (ASPs) explore new ways
    institutions and non-profits are conducting on-farm research and
    demonstrations with and for farmers. 30 participating ASPs will
    work together to practice a new on-farm research strategy with
    local farmers. Farmers will indicate a higher desire to change
    practices as a result of the new participatory methods. Farmers
    will indicate they better understand research methods and feel
    more comfortable conducting their own research. ASPs will be more
    confident that farmers will accept the research findings.

    Performance targets from proposal:

    30 Agriculture Service Providers will work together to implement
    new on-farm research and demonstration strategies on 15 farms
    that result in 50 new farmer-to-farmer interaction.

    2 Key Individuals and ASPs will discover and implement
    participatory learning techniques in programs offered in Spanish
    for 40 farmers. 20 will pass an exam and obtain professional

    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.