Modernizing Our Roots: Sustainable range and pasture result demonstrations to encourage local education and adoption

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2023: $78,924.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2025
Grant Recipients: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Department of Rangeland, Wildlife, and Fisheries Management; Prairie View A&M University
Region: Southern
State: Texas
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Megan Clayton
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Department of Rangeland, Wildlife, and Fisheries Management
Dr. Jason Cleere
Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Servi
Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Dr. Jacob Dykes
Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management, Texa
J. Boone Holladay
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension - Fort Bend County
Truman Lamb
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Anderson County
Dr. M. Shane McLellan
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, McLennan County
Rogelio Mercado
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Jim Wells County
Ashley Pellerin
Prairie View A&M University
Larry Pierce, Jr.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Robert Pritz
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Dr. Jeff Ripley
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Roy Walston
Walston Ranch, Mill Creek Beef
Sam Womble
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Bexar County


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: demonstration, mentoring
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    This project trains multi-agency County Resource Professionals (CRPs) in every district of Texas on the development and application of modern, sustainable range and pasture result demonstrations for increased effective clientele education and practice adoption of sustainable agriculture. These CRPs, our train-the-trainer audience, include Texas A&M AgriLife Extension County Agents (1862 land grant), Prairie View A&M Agents (1890 land grant), and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) County personnel. Key project partners (18) include A) four diverse, successful Mentor Farmers, B) Texas A&M AgriLife Extension (specialists, county agents, regional program leaders), C) Prairie View A&M (specialist, county agents), and D) USDA – NRCS (state resource conservationist, county personnel).

    Throughout Year 1, Key Project Partners will work together to establish, film, and evaluate 20 pre-training result demonstration sites throughout the state. Some demonstration locations will serve as sites for a two-day, in-person training in Year 2 where CRPs (32) will learn from mentor farmers who have successfully conducted these practices. Modern videos will be developed from all pre-training result demonstrations for use during the in-person training, as well as a virtual training open to all multi-agency CRPs across the state to be conducted in Year 2, after mentor farmers evaluate the videos. Post-retrospective evaluations of the in-person and virtual trainings anticipate an increase in CRPs’ knowledge and confidence in creating, implementing, evaluating, and interpreting demonstration sites. Videos will be available on agency websites and a publication on Best Practices for Sustainable Result Demonstrations will be developed and published by all key project partners.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    This project will train multi-agency County Resource Professionals (CRPs; County Extension Agents from 1862 and 1890 land grant universities and NRCS county personnel) on completing local, sustainable result demonstrations. Result demonstrations have a long history of showing practices locally for increased adoption by other farmers/ranchers. A new influx of CRPs in the workforce, combined with a decreasing percentage of county agents using result demonstrations are incentives for these objectives.


    Goal 1: To demonstrate best practices on planning, establishing, evaluating, and interpreting modern, sustainable demonstration sites, 20 pre-training, sustainable result demonstrations will be conducted by Key Project Partners.

    Objective A: Establish a variety of pre-training, sustainable result demonstrations (examples in Section 5. Approaches and Methods) that can be completed in approximately 1 year to be relatable to diverse operations and farmer/rancher interests. We intend to cover at least 15 different practices.

    Objective B: Create videos (20) outlining each pre-training result demonstration from start to finish for increased visibility and adoption. These videos will be used during the in-person and virtual trainings (Goal 2) to provide modern translation examples and assist CRPs with ideas for their projects. We anticipate at least 300 views per video (6,000 total views) by the end of the project.


    Goal 2: Train multi-agency CRPs from every district of Texas on the use and application of modern, sustainable range and pasture result demonstrations for increased knowledge and adoption by farmers/ranchers of sustainable agriculture practices. This will be accomplished through an in-person (32 CRPs) and virtual (unlimited CRPs) training event.  

                Objective A: Increase the social, economic, and environmental knowledge of CRPs about sustainable agriculture practices. Mentor Farmers will be critical to achieve this objective. We anticipate an average increase in knowledge of 35%.

                Objective B: Promote opportunities to work across agencies, using result demonstrations to highlight potential cost assistance programs through federal and state programs and those for limited-resource farmers and ranchers. We anticipate a 50% increase in CRPs’ intention to partner with other agencies on result demonstrations.

                Objective C: Prepare CRPs to confidently plan, implement, evaluate, and translate sustainable result demonstrations for increased farmer/rancher adoption, with an understanding of how demonstrations fit into agency missions. We anticipate a 30% increase in confidence, 25% increase in intended implementation, and a 30% increase in ability to translate the results to farmers/ranchers.

                Objective D: Improve CRPs’ attitudes about the importance of emphasizing sustainability in result demonstrations by providing information on sustainability practices and defining terminology. We anticipate CRPs’ level of sustainability importance for their projects to increase by 2 points (on a 1-10 scale).


    Goal 3: To create long-lived products to better train CRPs on the process of sustainable result demonstrations and modern translation. In addition to the 20 videos created in Goal 1-B, products produced during this project will ensure every new CRP in the future can receive detailed information on creating sustainable result demonstrations.

    Objective A: Create a comprehensive Sustainable Result Demonstrations training video for new CRPs to include recordings from both the in-person and virtual trainings. Adoption of this training video by agency administration will be our goal.

    Objective B: Create a Best Practices for Result Demonstration publication. This publication is a companion document with the training video to educate CRPs on the process of planning, establishing, evaluating, and translating a sustainable result demonstration. Distribution to agency employees and posting on agency websites for reference will be our goal.


    Goal 4: Encourage trainees’ application of new information by providing New Result Demonstration Funds ($300) to county agent CRPs (20) who attend the in-person training to start a sustainable result demonstration project. These CRPs will serve as examples within their Districts. USDA-NRCS personnel (12) are not required to do result demonstrations but are encouraged to partner with an agent.

    Objective A: CRPs accepting funds will be asked to develop a post-training result demonstration video chronicling their county project. We anticipate having at least 10 additional post-training result demonstration videos from county agents by the end of this project.

    Objective B: CRPs accepting funds will be asked to hold a local field day to showcase their post-training result demonstration project. We anticipate 10 field days being held by the end of this project.

    Objective C: CRPs accepting funds will be asked to evaluate clientele (farmers/ranchers) who attend their field day or view their post-training result demonstration video to determine the increase in knowledge and intent to adopt the practice. We anticipate a 40% increase in knowledge and a 30% intention to adopt the demonstrated practice by these farmers/ranchers.

    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.