|Donoghue, Ann - Annie|
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2010
Publication Date: 1/11/2011
Citation: Reyes-Herrera, I., Donoghue, A.M., Goodwin, H.L., Fanatico, A.C., Gekara, O., Donoghue, A.M., Burke, J.M., Burner, D.M., Raper, R.L., Kuepper, G., Wells, A., Hale, M. 2011. An educational program for training beginning farmers in sustainable poultry, livestock and agroforestry production [abstract]. Southern Sustainable Agriculture Workshop Group Meeting, Jan 19-20, 2011, Chatanooga, TN. Available: http://notswag.squarespace.com/storage/poster-abstracts-2011-conference/EducationalPgmTrainingBeginningFarmers-Herrera-UNIV%20ARK.pdf. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: There is a pressing need to rejuvenate rural populations in this country with new and innovative ventures. Investing resources in beginning farmers is one way to make rural populations more vibrant. However, beginning farmers lack adequate farm skills and background to initiate and maintain viable agricultural ventures. We are creating a unique learning and production program that uses elements and strategies that are easy and inexpensive to implement and manage while providing quick returns, multiple marketing opportunities (poultry, small ruminants and agroforestry) using ecologically and financially sustainable strategies. This project targets minority farmers (women, African American and Latino farmers) and military veterans. Our specific goals are to: 1) develop a comprehensive modular outreach/training program that provides beginning farmers with relevant knowledge and tools to operate efficient and sustainable farms, focused primarily on integrated poultry, livestock and agroforestry systems; including specialized materials for the Spanish speaking community and returning veterans; 2) implement various delivery strategies for our program including an eLearning system and factsheets; 3) offer unique experiential learning opportunities (such as workshops and internships) for beginning farmers at demonstration and production farms; and 4) create and offer custom mentoring strategies to provide an effective support system for farmers. Residents of the South have traditionally comprised a disproportionate share of military veterans and many of them come from agricultural backgrounds and would return to their agricultural roots if given the opportunity. These distinct population groups require training opportunities that are specifically created to overcome cultural, language and physical hurdles. This dynamic program creates specific training opportunities and networking systems for these and other populations of beginning farmers. Funded by the USDA-NIFA-BFRDP 2010-03143.