Ohio PDP initiatives for 2021 - 2022 include:
-Minority Farmers Engaging in SARE and Sustainable Agriculture Initiatives
-Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
-Soil Health & Quality
-Sustainable Agriculture Travel Scholarships
-New Extension Professionals Training
-Face of SARE promotional activities
Project objectives from proposal:
Continuing Initiatives – State-Specific
C1 – New Extension Professionals Training
Outcome: Newly hired Extension Educators, Specialists, and Program Assistants will become knowledgeable about sustainable agriculture and SARE programs and resources.
Activity: 1. Sustainable agriculture training will be incorporated into new-employee training conducted by OSU and CSU Extension, and one-on-one follow-up support sessions will be conducted for new hires. Each new hire will receive a Sustainable Agriculture Teaching/Learning Kit.
2. A half-day workshop on SARE and agricultural sustainability will be conducted for the first co-hort of ANR educators hired by CSU (seven educators).
Evaluation: Pre and post tests will be conducted to measure knowledge gained.
Timeline: 1. On-going in 2021 and 2022 as new faculty and staff are hired.
2. Workshop for new CSU ANR educator co-hort group will be held in early winter 2021.
C2 – Sustainable Agriculture Travel Scholarships
Outcome: A minimum of twenty-five Extension Educators, Specialists, Program Assistants will increase their knowledge about various sustainable agriculture concepts and applications and develop new local programs on various sustainable agriculture topics, by participating in various conferences, training program, and other professional development activities.
Activity: Matching scholarships will be provided.
Evaluation: The number of local programs developed/taught for clientele as a result of participation in the travel scholarship program will be measured; the number of travel scholarships will be tracked.
Timeline: On-going in 2021 and 2022 (as Covid constraints permit)
C3 – Ohio Soil Health and Quality Training
Outcome: Twenty agricultural professionals (Extension educators, NRCS professionals, and non-profit leaders) will increase their knowledge and skills related to evaluating various soil health and quality parameters, and crop production practices such as cover crops and not-till production which will positively impact soil health and quality.
Activity: 1. A day-long workshop and follow-up tour will be conducted to help agricultural professionals develop the skills and knowledge to evaluate soil health and quality, as well as crop production practices which will positively impact soil health and quality, including cover crops, no-till crop production, etc.).
2. Cover Crop Root Viewing Stations (3) will be developed for Extension Educators to use to demonstrate the benefits of incorporating cover crops into cropping systems.
Evaluation: Pre and post tests will be administered to workshop participants; the number of agricultural professionals assisting crop producers with soil health and quality will be tracked; the number of new Extension programs offered on soil health and quality topics will be tracked; the number of cover crop root stations built and incorporated into educational programming will be tracked.
Timeline: Winter, 2021 & 2022
New Initiative – State Specific
N1 – Minority Farmers Engaging in Sustainable Agricultural Initiatives
Outcome: An increased number of minority farmers will become involved with SARE programs and other sustainable agriculture initiatives; state coordinators will develop new SARE programming and adjust existing SARE programs to attract more minority farmers.
Activity: Listening sessions and surveys will be conducted with minority farmers to identify barriers which prevent minority farmers from participating in SARE programs and other sustainable agriculture initiatives. Based on results of the listening sessions, state coordinators will develop new SARE programming and adjust existing SARE programs to attract more minority farmers.
Evaluation: Feedback from the listening sessions will be summarized and evaluated; a survey instrument will be developed and administered to minority farmers in order to identify barriers which prevent minority farmers from participating in SARE programs and other sustainable agricultural initiatives.
New Regional Initiative
R1 – Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
Outcome: Seven to ten Extension Educators and other agricultural professionals will increase their knowledge and skills related to issues around beginning farmers and ranchers and subsequently provide educational programming to other educators and beginning farmers and ranchers.
Activity: Ohio participated in the NCR SARE regional initiative on beginning farmers and ranchers by supporting the participation of 11 Extension educators and other agricultural professionals in a regional professional development event organized by NCR SARE on beginning farmers and ranchers held in Indianapolis in October, 2019. This group along with additional stakeholders will implement a Ohio Beginning Farmer Training Program in 2021 and 2022. This initiative will likely include more than one specific training program for Beginning Farmers in Ohio. Additional support as needed will also be provided to Extension Educators on the topic of beginning farmers and ranchers (i.e., travel scholarships).
Evaluation: The number of clients assisted with beginning farmer and rancher related issues will be tracked; the number of new Extension programs on beginning farmers topics will be tracked; the number of beginning farmers who begin farming will be tracked.
It should be noted that planning for this initiative began in 2019 with implementation planned for 2020, but Covid constraints prevented final planning and implementation.