SARE Professional Development Program Annual Report for Guam
January 1 to December 31, 2011
Summary of 2011 PDP Activities and Results
In 2011, the Guam Western SARE PDP’s three key focus areas were:
1. Organic Crop Inspector training for Agricultural Professionals. With the key assumption: “Best way to master something is to teach it,” the advisory group met in February 2010 and agreed to collaborate on a series of four public workshops on key organic concepts based on ATTRA materials. Through a USDA Organic Conference grant, two one-week trainings were conducted by Florida Organic Growers and International Organic Inspectors Association.
2. Agricultural professionals from UOG CES, NRCS, FSA, DoAG, agricultural consultants, SWDCs, Co-Op, Guam EPA, Guam Public Health and faculty from SBDC cooperated in the development of New Farmer curriculum for public workshops targeted to the needs of the non-compliant Chamorro Land Trust Commission Agriculture Lease holders. These included Realistic Farm Planning (10 hours), Fruit Trees as Windbreaks (5 hours), Livestock Waste Management and Permits (4 hours) and above mentioned 4 organic workshops (each 3-4 hours).
3. Presentations on Western SARE grants.
Context and Overview
The Guam Sustainable Agriculture Professional Development Program (PDP) is a part of the Global Food Security New Farmer Plan of Work for USDA NIFA reporting. This plan of work is driven by needs assessments of local and regional farmers and agricultural professionals. The core issues were identified in the 2007 Western SARE subregional conference and further refined by annual needs assessments though advisory meetings and focus groups. In 2011 focus areas identified by Guam ag professional advisory groups include: support of local agricultural professionals in delivery of organic ag trainings; promotion of buy local, buy fresh through supporting the multi-partner farmer chef effort; and initiate the adaptation of New Farmer curriculum for targeting community and backyard gardens in our tropical context.
The Western SARE and locally-funded PDP component of the New Farmer Plan develops curriculum and educational materials; conducts workshops and capacity building meetings; and facilitates multi-agency project planning and grant writing to support agricultural professionals in addressing the identified local and regional needs. Guam PDP focuses on leveraging these professionals’ outreach activities through collaborations. The agricultural professionals supported include: University of Guam and other regional land grants (CES & AES), CLTC, Guam DoAG, FSA, NRCS, SWDCs and local agricultural consultants. The program maintains a website.
Activities and Methods
A. Advisory group met in February 2011 and agreed to collaborate on two series of workshops and curriculum. First a series of five public workshops on key organic concepts based on ATTRA, IOIA and Certified Naturally Grown materials during the Summer and Fall of 2011. It was agreed to pilot offering these workshops during the afternoons instead of evenings, in response to evaluation comments from previous workshops. Unfortunately we found that attendance significantly dropped during this time period. Evenings and weekends appear to be best for our clients.
The Organic Workshops included:
* Introduction to Organic Agriculture & the role of inspection
* Soil Fertility Management in Organic Agriculture
* Organic Materials and Practices for Soil Fertility
* Organic Pest Control
* Alternatives to the National Organic Program (Certified Naturally Grown)
The second was a workshop series for New Farmers utilizing the curriculum developed in the previous year but with island agricultural professionals beyond the extension faculty delivering a large amount of the curriculum with Extension support.
The Western SARE Guam PDP program assisted a team of UOG CES, NRCS and local agriculture consultants in piloting a New Farmer Training program targeted to the Chamorro Land Trust Commissions Agriculture Lease holders. Materials and speakers from several agencies and local consultants were utilized. This effort was leveraged with funds from the Chamorro Land Trust Commission. The workshop topics included:
* Realistic Farm Planning (4 nights 3 hours each night)
* Livestock Waste Management and Guam Permits (2 nights at UOG, 3 hours and one Sat. Morning at Demo Farm 4 hours)
* Two of the above organic workshops were used for these clients also (Intro and Soil Fertility management 3 hours each)
* Fruit Trees as Windbreaks and Nitrogen Fixing Hedgerows (3 nights 2.5 hours each night UOG)
* Sheet mulching and Soil and Water Conservation practices (2 nights, 3 hours each)
* Farming with rain based systems and water catchments (3 hours)
* Backyard nursery management (3 hours)
Workshop participants came from the following agencies:
* University of Guam Extension -- 4& UOG Ag Experiment Station –2
* Natural Resources Conservation Service – 3
* Farm Service Agency – 3
* Department of Agriculture – 3
* Agricultural consultants – 3
* Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Producer Co-Op (overlapping members) – 5
* Chamorro Land Trust – 2
* Guam EPA -- 1
* Guam Public Health -- 2
* Faculty from Small Business Development Center – 3
PDP-funded Publications/Educational Materials and Products
Extension Publications & Curriculum (partial Western SARE funding) powerpoints and Extension publications: Fruit Trees as Windbreaks (updated publication and powerpoint), Portable Dry Litter Waste Management Systems (updated publication and powerpoint), Sheet Mulching (new draft pub and power point), Backyard Nursery Management powerpoint, Farm Planning and Organic Agriculture series powerpoints.
Changes in Ag Professionals’ Knowledge, Skills and Action
1) Change in Knowledge of Agriculture Professionals
The Guam Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Development Staff (DoAg ADS), who have been running a demonstration transition to Organic Agriculture farm for many years, learned of the critical role records and an organic system plan play in their plan to have the farm certified organic.
2) Change in Behavior and Action
The DoAg ADS staff is using the curriculum materials on intro to organics and soil and water conservation in their education programs with public schools.
3) Unintended Outcomes
From the Organic Trainings, several local clients have expressed a desire to form an organization to assist DoAG’s demonstration farm in its efforts to become certified and discussed the possibility of forming a local Organic Agriculture interest group. This group participated in the delivery of the organic agriculture workshop series and is investigating the potential of bringing the Certified Naturally Grown program to Guam.
From the New Farmer Trainings several members of the team want to develop a standard curriculum that can be utilized by many agencies. This group is applying for grants to support and leverage this effort. It has been proposed that these materials be adapted for use in community gardening efforts.
In terms of past projects, the 2007 Pacific Islands Sub-regional Conference continues to generate spinoff impact. On Guam collaborations, projects and grants continue to be developed to address and further explore the issues identified in the 2007 subregional conference.
Involvement of others in state PDP planning and implementation
Guam PDP program advisory committee met in February 2011 and focused on activities that would utilize and support the previous year’s trained agricultural professionals in conducting workshops on organic crop production. The committee included representatives from UOG CES & AES, NRCS, Guam DoAG, Farmers Cooperative Association of Guam (Co-Op), Soil and Water Conservation Districts, local Ag Consultants and the RC&D. The group also agreed to continue to develop the new Farmer Curriculum and deliver and intensive series of workshops during May and June 2011. Each member committed to participate in developing curriculum or demonstration sites for public workshops and to participate in the trainings for the general public.
Additionally the members all serve together on many boards and projects and met in various combinations (Soil and Water Conservation District meetings, CLTC working group meetings, Guam Farmers Cooperative Association meetings, and New Farmer program development meetings and others) during the year and discussed Western SARE and other joint projects and efforts. These meetings provided guidance to the Western SARE PDP program, as they involve ag professionals, farmers and other program clients. A formal meeting of the Guam SARE advisory committee is planned for April 2012 to review 2011 efforts and plan 2012’s efforts.