SARE Professional Development Program Annual Report for Oregon
January 1-December 31, 2012
State SARE Co-Coordinators:
Summary of 2012 PDP Activities and Results
For 2012, the Oregon SARE PDP program had five primary areas of focus which included funding the 2012 Oregon Small Farms Conference; Measuring Impacts for Sustainable Agricultural Programs Workshop; North Willamette Horticulture Society Annual Meetings; Agriculture Composting Resources and Education Series Workshop; and Beef Cattle In-Service Training. These programs are part of the Oregon PDP focus of encouragoing long-term changes in the use of sustainable agricultural practices by providing yearly funding for a three-year period. This was the third and final year of a three-year project funding cycle.
Context and Overview
In 2010, the Oregon SARE PDP program began to focus more on longer-term and sustainable results. The Oregon SARE PDP program is now providing mini-grants on a three-year basis (contingent upon Western SARE funding) to encourage longer-term projects. In the fall of 2009, the Oregon SARE PDP program selected five projects for three-year funding. Projects which are noted above include training programs for agriculture professionals in the areas of agriculture composting, measuring sustainable agriculture impacts, direct marketing, livestock and horticulture. Again it is felt this is a more sustainable program for Oregon and will provide more effective use of SARE PDP funding. In the fall of 2012, we issued an RFP for the next round of three-year funded projects to start with the FY 2013 SARE funding cycle. We feel the use of three-year funding cycles is the best way to leverage limited SARE funding and provide educators with a long enough funding stream to achieve sustainable results.
Activities and Methods
1. 2012 Oregon Small Farms Program
Measuring Impacts for Sustainable Agricultural Programs: In 2012 we continued our work to enhance tools and protocols to measure impacts from sustainable agriculture programs and delivered two workshops for faculty. These workshops were held in May and in October of 2012 and included about 40 faculty in each session from all extension program areas. In response to the May 2012 faculty workshop, and because of faculty and area administrator demand, a website archive was created to include all of the resources and tools developed under the terms of this grant. As a result of the Measuring Impacts training, an OSU Extension educator now assists approximately 45 agriculture faculty per year in documenting impacts, and of those, fully 30 document some aspect of sustainability or environmental impact.
Partners and/or collaborators: OSU: Nick Andrews, Molly Engle, Bill Braunworth, Deborah Maddy; University of Maryland: John Lea-Cox; USDA-NIFA-SCRI: Tom Bewick.
Funding received from Oregon SARE PDP program and other contributions:The SARE PDP funds were leveraged with Agricultural Science and Natural Resource Program funds (principally in the form of salary), Oregon State University Extension Service.
Students rated their knowledge of different topics before and after the workshop on a scale of 1(low) to 7 (high) (table); on average they reported a large increase in knowledge of 2.7.
2. Agricultural Composting Resources and Education Series (ACRES)
2012 was the third year for the ACRES agricultural composting workshop. The workshop series is co-sponsored by OSU Extension, Western SARE and the Clackamas Soil & Water Conservation District. It is a two-day workshop with each workshop session held one week apart. Both workshops combine classroom learning and hands-on composting activities. OSU and WSU Extension agents teach the workshops with Department of Environmental Quality staff, Oregon Department of Agriculture staff, composting consultants and experienced agricultural composters. In 2012, 33 farmers (18) and agricultural professionals (15) took the class. Twenty-two participants completed evaluation forms.
|Skill/ability afterwards (1-7)||Change in skill/ability|
|Understanding of regulatory requirements for composting temperature and time||2.68||5.73||3.05|
Ability to design and manage compost sites to protect water quality or evaluate a compost sites ability to protect water quality
Understanding of the compost process
Ability to choose feedstocks and evaluate their characteristics (bulk density, moisture, free air space, c:n ratio)
Ability to build hot compost piles
Ability to choose windrow or aerated static pile composting systems
knowledge of where to access agricultural composting information
ability to evaluate compost quality and suitability for different end uses (ie. Potting substrate, field application, etc.)
Below are several representative comments from participants:
- “Helped me be more confident in assessing compost and using if for soil improvement and for fertilizing fields. Also learned lots about making compost”
- “Overall, the class was great. Loved the field time. John Eveland’s (farmer) presentation was most helpful. The high level science of composting was not as applicable for us.”
- “Great program. Could use more help constructing small scale composting sites.”
- “Thought it was a great combination of practical hands-on and technical teaching. Could use more small scale design ideas.”
- “Excellent course. Well designed, very good presenters, breadth of information was very pertinent for me and our farm.”
- “More medium and smaller facilities info. More facility design information.”
- “I am very glad a I got to attend ACRES this year. I would recommend this seminar to individuals with or without previous knowledge of composting. Excellent job. Thank you.”
- “Give more time for each section so topics can be gone into with more detail and allow for more feedback and Q&A.”
- “More definitions and slower explanations for equations.”
- “Designs to start from scratch. More time to talk with instructors. More individually to be able to get more direct info on specific needs.”
- “Great program!”
3. Measuring Impacts for Sustainable Agricultural Programs
In 2012 we continued our work to enhance tools and protocols to measure impacts from sustainable agriculture programs and delivered two workshops for faculty. These workshops were held in May and in October of 2012 and included about 40 faculty in each session from all extension program areas. In response to the May 2012 faculty workshop, and because of faculty and area administrator demand, a website archive was created to include all of the resources and tools developed under the terms of this grant. About 45 agriculture faculty per year are assisted in documenting impacts, and of those, fully 30 document some aspect of sustainability or environmental impact.
List partners and/or collaborators: OSU: Nick Andrews, Molly Engle, Bill Braunworth, Deborah Maddy; University of Maryland: John Lea-Cox; USDA-NIFA-SCRI: Tom Bewick.
Funding received from Oregon SARE PDP program and other contributions: The SARE PDP funds were leveraged with Agricultural Science and Natural Resource Program funds (principally in the form of salary), Oregon State University Extension Service.
4. North Willamette Horticultural Society Annual Meetings
The Western SARE PDP program continues to provide valuable support for the Sustainable Agriculture speaker at the Annual North Willamette Horticulture annual meetings. 2012 marked the 57th annual meeting of the Society. Western SARE sponsored speakers included:
|Using Composts in Berries: Influences on Soil Health||Tom Forge (Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Agassiz, BC)||Organic Crops Section|
|Reduced Tillage and Soil Health in Organic Vegetables||Doug Collins (Small Farms Educator and Soil Scientist, WSU Puyallup)||Organic Crops Section|
|Alternative Raspberry Field Renovation Practices and the Use of Organic Amendments: Implications for Root Diseases and Nitrate Leaching||Tom Forge||Berry Section|
In 2012 the 163 people attended the Organic Crops Section, 141 attended the Vegetable Section and 161 attended the berry section.
5. 2012 Beef Cattle In-Service Training
The 2012 Beef Cattle In-Service Training was offered in May 2012. This event was organized by Dr.Reinaldo Cooke, Assistant Professor and Beef Cattle Specialist with Oregon State University. An agenda for that event is available upon request.
A total of 12 OSU extension faculty members attended the event, in addition to five speakers (two from Oregon State University, one from University of California – Davis, one from USDA-ARS and one from Sublette County Conservation District).
Please rate the following using a 1= strongly disagree, 3=neutral, 5=strongly agree
The 2011 Beef Industry Tour evaluation survey contained the following questions:
A - The event was well prepared and organized
B - Topics discussed were timely and relevant to beef production..
C - Information provided will support your extension efforts
D - Presentations were appropriately geared to the audience
E - Information provided can be directly applied in the field
F - Presenters interacted effectively with the audience
G - Audience participation and questions were encouraged
H - Visual aids and other educational materials were effective
I - Overall, the program will benefit your extension program
Total of 13 forms returned
|Proportion of Participations||Overall Rate|
|Fair (2)||Good (3)||Very good (4)||Excellent (5)||(1 = lowest; 5 = highest)|
1) Excellent speakers, presentations and discussions. I learned new information as well as improved understanding of more familiar topics. This training is very important in keeping me informed on critical topics. Thank you.
2) I gave a 4 on line 3 because some of it, I am not involved with, but much appreciate hearing about other areas.
3) Good choices on speakers and topics. Excellent discussion and thought provoking conversation at times. Good Job.
4) All relevant useful presentations to my programs. Well organized
5) Good job! Learned a lot.
6) I’d really like to do a pasture management/grazing workshop for my local producers. I hope to access the presentations both from the Beef Cattle Day and today’s programs. Good topics and good diversity of topics.
PDP-funded Publications/Educational Materials and Products
All presentations provided during the 2012 Beef Cattle In-Service Training are available for download at the Beef Cattle Sciences website.
Small Farms materials can be found on the OSU Small Farms Website.
Involvement of Others in State PDP Planning and Implementation
We do have an Oregon SARE PDP Advisory which is made up of OSU Extension Faculty (Agents and Specialists and Program Leaders). We did meet formally in 2012 to select projects to be funded in the next three-year cycle. We do communicate with our Oregon SARE PDP Program Advisory Committee by email as needed.