Annual Plan of Work and Report Summary
2012 Report Summary
Our outreach and promotional efforts included attending,and funding conferences; promotion of South Dakota travel scholarships and mini-grants; answering questions pertaining to state mini-grants, travel scholarships, and SARE funded grants; conducting teleconferences with Stakeholder Advisory Committee Members for direction and input; and teaching others how to access SARE informational materials (i.e. internet, books brochures, fact-sheets, personnel, etc).
We attended and funded conferences to act as the face of SARE through; promotion materials such as books, fact sheets, internet usage, grant informational handouts; and helping others become aware of the plethora of information SARE offers producers and researchers.
We provided funding through mini-grants to hold workshops and travel scholarships to provide travel for individuals interested in attending the events. We also made ourselves radially available via. e-mail, telephone and in person for any question relayed to us.
2013 Plan of Work Summary
Among the points raised in last year’s (2012) plan of work was an attempt to develop a beginner’s guide for small-scale aquaculture. However, at the March meeting of the advisory committee, the members of the committee indicated this was not a priority and showed very little interest in the topic. Therefore, this activity was de-emphasized in our program.
Based on stakeholder input, the following areas are proposed as areas to try and focus work on in 2013:
- Cover crops
- Intensive grazing management for beef and dairy production
- Implications of Increasing Variability in Climate
It is recognized that the beginning farmer program is an important one, but it is difficult to see where the expertise for that will come from within the SDSU system. The state coordinator does assist a local non-profit, Dakota Rural Action, with their “Farm Beginnings” program for new farmers. This will be continued, and we will work on helping Dr. Burrows with promotion of her publication on vegetable production as a way to help young farmers.
If the opportunity arises, we will support a workshop on food preservation for Native American communities, and will encourage SDSU extension personnel to pursue this.
The South Dakota SARE program is still very much in a state of development and is maturing over time. An extension assistant was hired, Mr. Jesse Hall, this past year to work half-time with SARE in South Dakota. Jesse farms nearby with his father in a no-till operation, and has a strong personal interest in sustainable crop production. He has been a real asset to the program and we expect his contribution to increase as he gains experience.
State Advisory Committee
To share the load of planning responsibility, state coordinators are expected to assemble and work with a state sustainable agriculture advisory committee to plan training activities in each state. Often included are members representing sustainable agriculture farmers, commercial farmers, agribusiness, NRCS, non-profits, lenders, and rural community leaders. Some committees include individuals from farmers markets, environmental groups and farm organizations.
The advisory committee will assist the SARE state coordinators in identifying training needs in the state and help design programs to meet their needs.