Wisconsin State Plan of Work 2021-2022

Project Overview

WNC20-112
Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2022: $130,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2022
Grant Recipient: University of Wisconsin Madison
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
State Coordinator:
Diane Mayerfeld
University of Wisconsin Madison

Commodities

No commodities identified

Practices

No practices identified

Proposal abstract:

Wisconsin has identified four initiatives for the 2021-2022 Plan of Work:  

Initiative 1:  Resilient Cropping Systems

Initiative 2:  Beginning Farmer Programming  

Initiative 3:  Promoting Diversity in Sustainable Agriculture

Initiative 4:  Extending Sustainable Agriculture Knowledge and Practice

Project objectives from proposal:

Initiative 1:  Resilient Cropping Systems

Outcomes:  (Short term) Increased knowledge among agricultural educators about specifics of using integrated conservation cropping systems, including alternative crop rotations, grazing, agroforestry, perennial systems, cover crops, and reduced tillage, to promote soil health and farm production, environmental, and economic resiliency. 

(Intermediate) Continued and new programming by 15 or more educators on developing, implementing and/or evaluating conservation cropping systems on soil health and farm resiliency, with in-depth information on specific practices. 

(Long term) Increased adoption of resilient and diverse conservation cropping systems throughout the state. 

Activities:

  • Solicit mini-grants focused on innovative resilient conservation cropping system practices.
  • Follow up on past cover crop, soil health, and perennial crop mini-grants.
  • Work with colleagues to incorporate resilient agricultural information at Extension ‘management’ meetings
  • Provide technical support to the Alternative Crops, Climate Change, and Soil Health working groups in UW Extension.  
  • Deliver a workshop focused on resilient cropping systems for high school and/or technical college instructors at the WAAE conference, with activities that can be incorporated into existing classes.
  • Provide scholarships for agricultural educators to attend professional development on conservation cropping system practices, implementation and evaluation.
  • Produce short video of cover cropping in northern Wisconsin. 

Evaluation

  • The number of agriculture educators participating in resilient cropping professional development,  and responses to end-of-program evaluation
  • The number of educators programming in resilient cropping systems, and where available, the number of farmers reached through this programming
  • If the CTIC cover crop surveys continue, document the amount of cover crop use in Wisconsin over time

 

 

Initiative 2:  Beginning Farmer Programming  

Background:

In order to participate in the NCR-SARE regional initiative for 2021-22, one of our initiative focus areas will be on “beginning farmers and ranchers.” We will work with members of our state delegation who attended the regional training in Indianapolis in October 2019, as well as other  educators who focus on beginning farmer training and support, to develop resources and training to help educators support beginning farmers.    

Outcomes:  (Short term) Ten Wisconsin agricultural educators will increase their understanding of resources and strategies for supporting sustainability of beginning farmers, including issues around land access.  

(Intermediate) 5 educators will provide outreach to 40 beginning farmers and educators through workshops, technical assistance, publications, and other methods.     

Activities:

  • Assess beginning farmer support needs
  • Post articles and resources for beginning farmers on the Wisconsin Farm Management website
  • Develop and compile fact sheets, videos, and/or curriculum on basics of sustainable vegetable and livestock production  
  • Hold virtual in-service on working with beginning farmers (2 to 4 webinars.  Possible topics:  facilitating land access, common beginning farmer issues, helping beginning farmers plan, helping beginning farmers keep good records, resources for beginning farmers) 
  • Solicit a mini-grant supporting beginning farmer programming or professional development

Evaluation

  • The number of agriculture educators working on developing new beginning farmer resources and programming
  • The number of beginning farmers reached by educators directly and indirectly
  • The number of beginning or prospective farmers who decide not to continue farming

 

 

Initiative 3:  Promoting Diversity in Sustainable Agriculture

Background:  Although improving racial equity has been a goal for Extension and other organizations working on sustainable agriculture in Wisconsin for many years, attention to and concern about the history and continued presence of systemic racism in agriculture has increased markedly since the police killing of George Floyd.  However, awareness of continuing inequities is uneven, and the topic can be contentious.  In addition, working with new audiences requires new knowledge, skills, and approaches on the part of agricultural educators.   

Outcomes:  (Short term)  40 Wisconsin agriculture educators will increase their knowledge about systemic racism in agriculture, about agricultural practices of BIPOC farmers in Wisconsin, and/or about ways to talk about issues of equity. 

(Intermediate)  10 agriculture educators will expand their programming with underserved audiences and/or will educate students about issues around equity and food sovereignty.  Extension will take steps to improve the diversity of agricultural educators. 

(Long term)  Increase income of BIPOC farmers and food sovereignty of BIPOC communities in Wisconsin. 

Activities:

  • Provide professional development to 30 agriculture educators on issues of race in agriculture
  • Work with Extension and community partners to learn about HMoob farms, information needs, and opportunities for collaboration
  • Work with Extension and MANRRS to improve hiring and retention of more diverse staff

Evaluation

  • Number of agriculture educators participating in professional development on issues of race in agriculture
  • New or improved programming for diverse agricultural audiences or partnerships with organizations working with diverse farmers

 

 

Initiative 4:  Extending Sustainable Agriculture Knowledge and Practice

Background:  SARE needs to continue to support professional development and educator action for a wide range of sustainable agriculture practices and approaches that SARE helped initiate in Wisconsin, including organic agriculture, climate and energy, and local foods. In addition, the state SARE professional development program needs to be able to respond to emerging opportunities in sustainable agriculture.

Outcomes:  (Short-term)  30 educators will increase their knowledge of sustainable practices and approaches such as local food systems, organic agriculture, recycling, and responding to climate change.

(Intermediate)  10 educators will provide information and programming on organic agriculture, local food systems, and other sustainable agriculture topics to 100 farmers and others involved in agriculture.     

(Long-term)  More farmers will adopt sustainable practices from grazing to managing for diversity, and farmers will improve their management of sustainable approaches.

Activities:

  • Administer SARE mini-grant program.
  • Assist agricultural educators with organizing, providing, and funding professional development in sustainable agriculture. 
  • Offer SARE scholarships to conferences, workshops, and other professional development opportunities in sustainable agriculture (primarily in 2022).

Evaluation

  • Number of educators involved in mini-grants, and types of outreach resulting from mini-grants. Mini-grant recipients will submit reports on their projects.  
  • Number of agricultural educators participating in events co-sponsored by SARE. Evaluation of workshops will be developed in cooperation with planning partners and will include the number of people attending as well as how they intend to apply the information gained. 
  • Number of SARE scholarship recipients and types of outreach resulting from SARE scholarships. Scholarship recipients will be sent a questionnaire 6 to 12 months after the event asking them how the scholarship influenced their work. 

 

 

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.