Develop a database of technologies, processes, and best management practices that have been developed and tested by the 1890 LGUs and other agencies/organizations/institutions that focus on sustainable and profitable SFRLs.
Step 1.1. To build a truly cohesive and collaborative team across the 1890 institutions – organize and arrange two multidisciplinary team meetings with members in 1890 institutions across five Thrusts to establish a common ground rule to design, develop, and communicate among all partners concerning information gathering and data collection. We will facilitate discussion to agree to what is available, what can be shared and collected, how to organize data and best practice information, and how to categorize levels of data and information for SFRLs to use and for what purposes.
Step 1.2. To work with Thrust 5 partners and collaborators engaging in shared responsibilities to conduct a metadata/information search to identify existing programs, curricula, database and best practices based on findings such as – farming practices by state/region, projects and programs that are successful and sustainable, climate variables (National and local weather monitoring stations), market risk assessment (USDA and regional prices, costs, financial indicators, inflation), community demographics/characteristics (Census population, businesses, employment, and investment), water and soil characteristics by watershed (NRCS reports and data), community vulnerability evaluation (GIS location, culture, religion, education, labor), community and family health profile (CDC indicators), food desert characteristics (USDA AMS and ERS), and other social-economic-environmental parameters that relate to agricultural and food systems.
Leadership Team Members
Team Leader: Kathleen Lian, North Carolina State University
South Carolina State University
North Carolina A&T University
Southern University A&M College
Virginia State University
M. Ray McKinnie
Activities and Results
North Carolina A&T – Six Professional Presentations, 24 to 101 participants at AAE conference, extension Webinar, NAREA Panel & NCA & T /Bioenergy Center and the Piedmont Triad Food Policy Council. Completed four Extension Training Workshops on ethnic markets and record keeping (Liang, C.)
Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network
Alcorn State University – Collaborated with the University of Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Clemson, and Florida on the Southern Region Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. The Small Farm Assistance and Outreach Program kicks off its Fall 2020 Leafy Green Project which provides training activities in soil fertility and nutrient requirements, improved sustainable production, pest management practices, risk management education and post-harvest handling. All participants are required to grow collards (top bunch), cabbage (Bravo), and Broccoli using sustainable practices. A total of 38,000 transplants were distributed throughout three 1890 Research and Extension regions (Low Country, Midland and Pee Dee regions) in Mississippi.
The Southern University Ag Center provided virtual training to Louisiana small farmers in
1) Small Business Development and Training for Farmers – 75 farmers participated;
2) Food and Farm Safety Training – 25 farmers participated; Sustainable Urban Agriculture Training – 150 farmers participated.
Classes were advertised using the following social media platforms: @suagcertify (FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram). In addition, emails were sent out to all of the farmers in our database. Six to 10 training sessions were held for each topic.
Virtual Small Farm Center
Virginia State University used our virtual Small Farm Center as a platform for data collection and dissemination of information to all stakeholders Published and disseminated a Quarterly Newsletter to keep small farmers informed and conducted one-on-one home /farm visits, on a limited basis, with all precautionary measures observed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reached over 3,500 producers from July 1 to September 30, 2020. Trained Ag Agents and Technicians on the operation mechanisms of VSU’s High-tech fully automated high tunnel unit.