STX17-001 Model State Program

Project Overview

STX17-001
Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $55,555.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2020
Grant Recipient: Texas A&M University
Region: Southern
State: Texas
State Coordinators:
Dr. Diane Boellstorff
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Co-Coordinators:
Nelson Daniels
Prairie View A&M University

Commodities

  • Agronomic: annual ryegrass, clovers, corn, cotton, grass (misc. annual), grass (misc. perennial), grass (turfgrass, sod), hay, millet, peas (field, cowpeas), peanuts, potatoes, radish (oilseed, daikon, forage), rapeseed, rice, sorghum (milo), sorghum sudangrass, soybeans, sugarbeets, wheat, Cotton
  • Fruits: apples, apricots, avocados, berries (other), berries (strawberries), melons, olives, peaches, pears
  • Nuts: pecans, walnuts
  • Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), greens (lettuces), okra, onions, peas (culinary), peppers, radishes (culinary), sweet corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips
  • Animals: bees, bovine, equine, fish, goats, poultry, sheep, swine
  • Animal Products: dairy, eggs, fiber, fur, leather, honey, meat

Practices

  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, aquaculture, feed/forage, feed formulation, feed management, feed rations, free-range, genetics, grazing management, grazing - continuous, grazing - multispecies, grazing - rotational, heritage breeds, housing, implants, inoculants, livestock breeding, manure management, meat processing, meat processing facilities, meat product quality/safety, mineral supplements, parasite control, pasture renovation, pasture fertility, preventive practices, range improvement, rangeland/pasture management, stocking rate, stockpiled forages, therapeutics, vaccines, watering systems, winter forage
  • Crop Production: application rate management, beekeeping, biological inoculants, conservation tillage, continuous cropping, cover crops, crop improvement and selection, cropping systems, crop rotation, double cropping, drainage systems, drought tolerance, fallow, fertilizers, foliar feeding, food processing, food processing facilities/community kitchens, food product quality/safety, grafting, greenhouses, high tunnels or hoop houses, irrigation, multiple cropping, municipal wastes, no-till, nurseries, nutrient cycling, nutrient management, organic fertilizers, plant breeding and genetics, pollination, pollinator habitat, pollinator health, postharvest treatment, row covers (for season extension), season extension types and construction, seed saving, shade cloth, strip tillage, stubble mulching, tissue analysis, varieties and cultivars, water management, water storage
  • Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, mentoring, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, study circle, technical assistance, workshop, youth education
  • Energy: anaerobic digestion, biodiesel, bioenergy and biofuels, biofuel feedstocks, byproduct utilization, energy conservation/efficiency, energy use, renewable energy, solar energy, wind power
  • Farm Business Management: agricultural finance, agritourism, apprentice/intern training, budgets/cost and returns, business planning, community-supported agriculture, cooperatives, e-commerce, farm-to-institution, farm-to-restaurant, farmers' markets/farm stands, farm succession, feasibility study, financial management, grant making, labor/employment, land access, marketing management, risk management, value added, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: carbon sequestration, grass waterways, habitat enhancement, hedges - grass, riparian buffers, riverbank protection, soil stabilization, wetlands, wildlife
  • Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, competition, cultivation, cultural control, disease vectors, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, genetic resistance, integrated pest management, mating disruption, mulches - general, mulches - living, mulching - vegetative, mulching - plastic, physical control, precision herbicide use, prevention, row covers (for pests), sanitation, weather monitoring, weed ecology
  • Production Systems: aquaponics, dryland farming, holistic management, hydroponics, integrated crop and livestock systems, organic agriculture, organic certification, permaculture, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: composting, earthworms, green manures, nutrient mineralization, organic matter, soil analysis, soil chemistry, soil microbiology, soil physics, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life, community development, community planning, community services, employment opportunities, ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, food hubs, infrastructure analysis, leadership development, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, quality of life, social capital, social networks, sustainability measures, urban agriculture, urban/rural integration, values-based supply chains

    Abstract:

    The Texas Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Committee meets annually to oversee the state program for training agricultural professionals in concepts of sustainable agriculture. For the reporting period, the program involved a multifaceted effort that provided opportunities to be trained or to participate in delivering training for mentor producers, county Extension agents, various groundwater district personnel, NRCS personnel, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality personnel, Texas Alliance of Groundwater District personnel, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation personnel, Soil and Water Conservation District personnel, NGOs (including World Hunger Relief and the Heart of Texas Urban Gardening Coalition) and other agricultural professionals (including the Producers Resources and Sustainability consulting company) and also incorporates concepts of sustainable agriculture in existing, statewide training efforts. These training opportunities include conferences, field meetings and workshops held at various locations in Texas.

    Another approach of the Texas Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Committee is to support travel of selected professionals to regional and national conferences on sustainable agriculture, with the intent of participants gaining knowledge and skills that they will share with other agricultural professionals in Texas.

    Program evaluation was accomplished with pre- and post-tests designed to measure knowledge gained by participating in educational programs. A subset of attendees are e-mailed an additional survey instrument four to eight months after the training to determine if participants have adopted any of the sustainable concepts presented. The aim of the evaluation is assess knowledge gained and to determine whether the new knowledge is being applied in new or ongoing programs for their clientele.

    Project objectives:

    1) Annually conduct training for new employees of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension (AgriLife) and the Cooperative Extension Program (CEP) at Prairie View A&M University regarding sustainable agricultural practices and Southern Region SARE programs. Goal of training 20 new employees.

    2) Annually include USDA -Farm Service Agency (FSA), USDA- Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Credit System personnel in seminars and trainings regarding sustainable agriculture practices and Southern Region SARE programs held locally or on a state-wide basis. Goal of training 20 USDA and Farm Credit personnel.

    3) Annually participate in three outreach efforts, such as field days and industry conferences, to inform producers and agricultural professionals regarding the SARE program. Goal of reaching 500 agricultural professionals.

    4) Maintain a website to provide timely and updated information related to SARE and the SARE grant program to Texas clientele. Goal of 500 “hits” on updated website.

    5) Annually conduct training for Extension agents and agency staffs to learn to instruct socially disadvantaged
    farmers, landowners and community leaders, including African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, women and persons who have limited resources of land, labor and capital regarding sustainable agriculture practices and Southern Region SARE programs. Goal of training 20 Extension agents and/or agency personnel.

    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.