The U.S. Virgin Islands SARE Advisory Council proposed three priority areas of needed training in order to advance agricultural sustainability in the territory. The planned activities for the 2021 – 2022 implementation period are designed to meet the needs of our stakeholders while building upon previous accomplishments. The specific areas of need include training on Certified Naturally Grown; Farm Safety; and the Health and Wellness of Farm Families.
During the 2019 – 2020 period one of the training objectives focused on the principles of organic farming. However, due to limited resources, farmers have not invested in the cost of becoming Certified Organic producers. As an alternative, the proposed training on Certified Naturally Grown for the up-coming 2021 – 2022 cycle will build upon previous educational efforts to utilize the principles of organic farming to advance sustainable agriculture in the US Virgin Islands.
The previous year’s training events on farm safety established a solid foundation for continued training that will reinforce lessons learned and increase knowledge about farm safety issues. Finally, the suggested training on the health and wellness of farm families is designed to increase further awareness of strategies and measures to safeguard and improve the general health of family members. In addition, the health and wellness training will focus on identifying, understanding, and responding to mental health disorders. The target audience for the training events will be the outreach staff from all pertinent state and federal agencies as well as mentor farmers.
Project objectives from proposal:
The target audience for the USVI Professional Development Program for the 2021 – 2022 implementation period will be mentor farmers and outreach agricultural staff from state and federal agencies.
Objective 1. To increase knowledge and awareness regarding the Certified Naturally Grown Program
Objective 2. To increase knowledge and awareness regarding measures to safeguard and enhance the health and wellness of farm families
Objective 3. To increase knowledge and awareness regarding measures to implement and improve farm safety practices