SARE Professional Development Program Annual Report for Guam
January 1 to December 31, 2013
Summary of 2013 state/protectorate PDP Activities and Results
Guam’s sustainable agriculture PDP advisory committee met once in 2013. Three working group meetings were held: two for the value-added/master food preserver curriculum development group and one for the gardening curriculum development group. From the gardening working group meeting, in partnership with the Children’s Healthy Living Program, a “Basics of Starting Your Own Garden” curriculum was developed.
The two value-added/master food preserver meetings resulted in Western SARE PDP coordinating 12 agriculture, food and culinary professionals from University of Guam, Guam Community College, Micronesian Chefs Association and the local community, who were assigned to working groups to develop the first 30-40 hours of curriculum for a value-added/master food preserver program for Guam based on USDA materials. The first eight hours were piloted in October and November of 2013. The remaining will be piloted in 2014. Workshops were held on the writing Western SARE grants and on the gardening curriculum.
Context and Overview
The Guam Sustainable Agriculture Professional Development Program (PDP) is part of the Global Food Security New Farmer Plan of Work for NIFA reporting. This plan of work is driven by needs assessments of local and regional farmers and agricultural professionals. Core issues were identified at the 2007 Western SARE subregional conference and further refined by annual needs assessments though advisory meetings and focus groups.
The Western SARE and locally funded PDP component develops curriculum, educational materials, conducts workshops, capacity building meetings and facilitates multi-agency needs assessments, project planning and grant writing to support outreach professionals in addressing 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), Guam Community College (GCC) culinary program, SBDC, CLTC, Guam DoAG, FSA, NRCS, SWDCs and local agricultural consultants.
In 2013 a new focus audience was the growing number of education and outreach professionals not trained in agriculture who are promoting gardening and other agricultural activities. Professionals included Extension field staff in Consumer and Family Sciences and 4-H, plus a large number of teachers from public and private schools. The PDP worked with partners to adapt key components of the New Farmer curriculum for community and backyard gardens in our tropical context and coordinated curriculum development in support of food preservation and processing trainings.
Activities and Methods
In collaborating with the Children’s Healthy Living (CHL) program field agents to develop a 16 hour “Basics of Starting Your Own Garden” curriculum, UOG PDP partners conducted 4 four-hour workshops covering the eight topics. Seven CHL Extension Associates observed and then worked with the PDP coordinator to enhance existing materials for a standard curriculum to use in training outreach workers and teachers on how to garden. The Associates then used this knowledge and materials to deliver their own workshops and demonstrations, initially under the PDP coordinator’s supervision. They also trained 4-H and EFNEP staff in use of these materials in October, and they continue to conduct community and teacher-focused workshops. Additionally, the 4-H staff have set up on campus garden demonstrations based on this curriculum.
Guam PDP program assumes that one of the best ways to develop agricultural, food, and culinary professionals’ capacity is to engage them in curriculum development and then pilot trainings. One of the areas where farmers and community members identified that trainings are needed is in value-added processing and food preservation. The Guam PDP effort is coordinating a multi-agency/partner working group that is developing the curriculum series for a Guam Food Preserver/ Value-added Processer program. This is being accomplished in a manner similar to how the “New Farmer” curriculum materials were developed in past years. Twelve agriculture, food and culinary professionals from University of Guam, Guam Community College, Micronesian Chefs Association and the local community are participating in this effort. Workshop materials were completed and piloted this year for workshops “Making Jams and Jellies” and “Making Quick Pickles.” Significant progress has been made on other topics in this series.
In June 2013, a “Farmer/Chef Farm Grill Night” was co-sponsored with Micronesian Chefs Association and held at Hamamoto’s Tropical Fruit World.
The Guam PDP coordinator also worked with the College of Micronesia PDP program and the U.S. Embassy in Pohnpei to conduct a rapid assessment of agriculture production and markets for each of the four states of FSM. This was to help in planning for a Western SARE grant in the next year that focuses on agricultural professional training to develop capacity to conduct trainings that will help subsistence agro-forest farmers in their efforts to transition to subsistence with cash crop/commercial production.
The Guam PDP Coordinator attended the PDP Coordinators national meeting in Davis, California. He brought back pictures and operational materials from several community gardens for use in Guam’s New Farmer Program. The Guam PDP effort also participated in many phone planning conferences for the Western Pacific Agricultural Infrastructure Conference.
PDP-funded Publications/Educational Materials and Products
In partnership with the UOG CES Children’s Healthy Living program, a 16 hour Basics of Starting Your Own Garden curriculum was developed for use with outreach and education professionals that do not have agriculture training. This effort repackaged and enhanced materials from the PDP developed New Farmer Curriculum on eight topics: soil management, container gardening, propagation by cuttings and seeds, mulching, sheet mulching, raised beds, composting, and water in the garden. It consists of resource publications from Guam and other states, PowerPoint slide lectures based on these publications and a sheet of recommended hands-on activities.
Guam PDP assumes that one of the best ways to develop agricultural, food, and culinary professionals’ capacity is to engage them in curriculum development and then pilot trainings. The PDP effort made progress on four of eight modules that will comprise 30-40 hours of training. Two were completed and piloted during this period; “Making Jams and Jellies” and “Making Quick Pickles.” Both included lectures on food safety and utilizing boiling water bath canning procedures and hands on practice utilizing local fruits and vegetables. The curriculum includes publications from USDA and other states’ Extension Services, PowerPoint lectures, recipes, and hands-on activities. Progress has also been made on developing curriculum for: pressure canning fruits and vegetables, drying fruits and vegetables, lactic acid fermentation (making sauerkraut), freezing fruits and vegetables, food safety, and marketing your value added products. These topics will be piloted in the 2014 period.
Any of these materials are available on request from the PDP coordinator by email.
Impacts and Contributions
The Western SARE R & E Farmer Chef grant’s sponsored conferences identified the Western Pacific’s need for professionals to be trained in value-added processing and food preservation. In the previous reporting period, Guam Western SARE PDP -- in collaboration with other local funders -- sponsored a two week and culinary training to address this need. This workshop trained:
*two extension faculty (Food Technologist, Agriculture Economist),
*six Extension Associates/Field Agents,
*two Guam Community College culinary instructors,
*one Small Business Development Center advisor,
*one Palau agriculture consultant,
*one Guam agriculture consultant, and
During this reporting period the PDP program coordinated these professionals in developing curriculum for a workshop series and piloting two workshops.
The PDP coordinator serves as an advisor to the Guam Farmers’ Cooperative Association (Co-Op) and continues to help them coordinate efforts and events with the Micronesian Chefs’ Association.
Changes in Ag Professionals’ Knowledge, Skills and Action
In post-training evaluation for the food preservation/value-added processing trainings, trainees indicated both acquisition of new knowledge and skills and attitudinal change (in the area of food preservations and development of local value-added products). The same was true from the evaluations from the Grant Writing Workshop for Western SARE Grants. In each of these workshops participants indicated they would like to attend more of these types of workshops
Evaluations from the Farmer/Chef Farm Grill Night indicate that chefs find the introduction to local produce items used in the event interesting and are increasing their desire to use local produce in both their menus and in competitions.
From the PDP programs supporting the curriculum needs of the Children’s Healthy Living project and 4-H, we have identified professionals in education and public health who have a need for curriculum in gardening and food processing. One umbrella coalition is the Guam Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Consortium, whose engagement has increased interest in home and community gardening. The NCD group is hosted by Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) and includes subcommittee on Nutrition (gardening is being a key focus). PDP’s attendance at the NCD Consortium’s monthly meetings has facilitated the forming of relationships with atypical Extension clients. For example, UOG Extension has already received requests from at least ten different nongovernmental community – based groups to conduct gardening workshops. It was in response to this need that CHL field staff worked with the PDP program to adapt the New Farmer Curriculum for use with nonagricultural professionals. An unintended impact of this is that public health and community development field workers from several groups and organizations are receiving training on and utilizing this adapted New Farmer gardening curriculum.
Involvement of Others in State PDP Planning and Implementation
Working groups of the Guam PDP advisory committee met on value-added processing/food preservation curriculum development in February and September and on developing gardening curriculum in March. The full Guam PDP program advisory committee met in September 2013. The committee includes representatives from UOG CES & AES, NRCS, Guam DoAG, Farmers Cooperative Association of Guam (Co-Op), Guam Community College Culinary Program, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and local agricultural consultants. Most members are actively participating in at least one of the working groups that develop curriculum or demonstration sites for public workshops and participate in the trainings for the general public.
The members all serve together on many boards and projects and met in various combinations (Soil and Water Conservation District meetings, Guam Farmers Cooperative Association meetings, and others) during the year and discussed 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 2014 to review 2013 efforts and plan 2014’s efforts and discuss the Western Pacific Agricultural Infrastructure Conference.