We expect mini-grant projects to enhance the knowledge and influence the behavior of 200-1000 farmers and other agricultural professionals each year. Participants learn new information on a variety of topics related to sustainable agriculture. They will strengthen their understanding of scientific principles fundamental to SA, and practices utilized by successful sustainable farms, ranches and food businesses. We anticipate that some participants will put this new information into action when interacting with farmers and students or managing their farm or food business. While we cannot list specific topics before reviewing applications, we are aware of interest in increasing knowledge on mechanical weed control, irrigated pasture management, beekeeping, pollinator health, parasite management in small ruminants, and sustainable hazelnut production. Extension education methods, farm systems management, animal health, pasture management and other topics.
Project objectives from proposal:
200-1000 farmers and other agricultural professionals will learn SA topics each year at events co-sponsored 1) 200-1000 farmers and other agricultural professionals will learn SA topics each year at events co-sponsored by SARE. An additional 60 farmers and ag professionals will participate in intensive workshops.
2) Better comprehension of pesticide labels regarding risks to pollinators and best management practices and motivation to adopt those practices from leading growers and public awareness of the role farmers play in pollinator protection.
3) 30-50 ag professionals and producers will participate in organic hazelnut production training. An estimated 75% of participants will complete evaluations in the organic production training. Evaluations will demonstrate that participants show an average 1.5 point increase in knowledge of organic production techniques.
4) Ag professionals will understand field preparation and planning that can ensure successful in-row mechanical cultivation techniques for weed management in organic vegetable production.
5) Between 80-100 Cooperative Extension agents and other agricultural professionals will understand the basic elements of the niche meat industry.
6)Commercial beekeepers will use scheduled project training events, tour and a new manual to increase efficiency, quality, and sustainability of their new or existing operation.