STN17-001 Model State Program

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $55,555.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2020
Grant Recipient: University of Tennessee
Region: Southern
State: Tennessee
State Coordinator:
Rob Holland
UT Extension


  • Agronomic: corn, cotton, soybeans, wheat
  • Additional Plants: nursery
  • Animals: bovine, goats
  • Animal Products: dairy, meat


  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, feed/forage, parasite control, stocking rate, vaccines
  • Crop Production: greenhouses, water management
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, on-farm/ranch research, technical assistance, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: agricultural finance, budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study, financial management, marketing management, value added, whole farm planning
  • Pest Management: botanical pesticides
  • Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities

    Proposal abstract:

    The overall objective of the Tennessee Model State Program is to include all parts of SARE into a seamless program. Interactions and feedback will occur within all categories of SARE proposals and grants. One major difference in the previous work and the model program is the increased emphasis on communications and publicity.

    The University of Tennessee and Tennessee State University have made a strong commitment of resources to train agricultural professionals in the concepts of sustainable agriculture. The Program Assistant and SARE State Coordinators will keep the SARE website up to date. In 2017-2018, intensive training will be conducted in application of agriculture policy, risk management, local food systems, value added and alternative enterprises. The expected outcome is for the program in Tennessee to contribute to the overall mission of Southern SARE and meet the needs of Tennesseans.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Outreach objectives for Tennessee will address critical needs outlined in the current and revised plan and identified as priorities by the State Sustainable Agriculture Advisory committee. The overall objective of the Model Tennessee Program is to include all parts of SARE R&E, PDP, On-Farm Research, Sustainable Community, Producer and Graduate Student Grants into a seamless program.

    This plan will prepare Extension agents, Extension area specialists, NGO personnel, state and local government employees, and farmer trainers with necessary tools to assist new and existing producers who are interested in pursuing sustainable agricultural production. Educators will instruct producers on sustainable agricultural management, production, finance, and risk management matters that ensure environmental stewardship, economic viability and community development.

    Interactions and feedback will occur within proposals and grants related to research, producer grants, on-farm research grants, professional development training and graduate student awards. The expected outcome is for the program in Tennessee to contribute to the overall mission of Southern SARE and meet the needs of Tennesseans. The mission of SARE is "to expand knowledge and adoption of sustainable agriculture practices that are economically viable, environmentally sound and good for all members of the community."

    Accomplishing the above mission will involve all parts of the sustainable agriculture program coming together. The final outcome is to develop, test, demonstrate, and evaluate technology and systems that will be required to create and maintain sustainable (efficient, competitive, profitable, environmentally and socially acceptable) farming operations over the next several decades. The program will also focus on the quality of life in both the overall rural areas engaged in agriculture and at the farm-level where production occurs.

    In summary, the funds will be utilized effectively to improve communications, reach out to new audiences, enhance efforts with traditional audiences, and provide a consistent message about sustainable agriculture. Details related to how the money will be utilized effectively are contained in the sections of the proposal addressing responsibilities of the Program Assistant and delivery approaches.

    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.