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Center for Innovative and Sustainable Small Farms, Ranches and Landowners

Host Team Members

The CISFRL is based at Tuskegee University.

1890 LGU
Tuskegee University

Conrad Bonsi
Tasha Hargrove

Walter Hill
Raymond Shange

Conrad Bonsi

Overall Goal

CISFRL was initiated in June 2020 to equip the 1890 Land Grant University’s (LGUs) with best practices, innovations and technologies to better address the profitability and sustainability goals and challenges of SFRLs over the short and long term. The best management plan uses an integrative research-education-Extension approach to benefit and strengthen SFRLs and incorporates the collective learnings into the FANH sciences programs/curricula at the 1890 LGUs.

Specific goals that address research, Extension, education and collaboration were established that apply to all five of the CISFRL Thrust Areas. The intent is to apply integrative approaches within and across each thrust area.

Goal 1. Adaptive research, technology assessment and development of new processes.

Develop a database of technologies, processes and best practices that have been developed and tested by the 1890 LGUs, focusing on those that are sustainable and profitable. Use smart-farming technologies (as applicable SFRLs) to increase data volume, velocity and veracity. Use integrative approaches to test commodities, processes and systems across the 1890 states for local viability (i.e., hemp/row crops, fruits/vegetables, cattle/goats, pines/hardwoods, value-added/post-harvest).

Goal 2. Enhance Cooperative Extension delivery and programming across the target areas for all participating 1890 LGUs.

Assess and develop education and Cooperative Extension materials to be designed for digital delivery and replication across the1890 region. Identify leading educators to perform train-the-trainer and virtual programming.

Goal 3. Increase educational opportunities for future SFRLs and agricultural specialists.

Augment FANH science curricula across the 1890 LGUs. Provide internships to prepare B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. students to work with rural and urban communities in developing sustainable food and natural resource systems in line with USDA’s Strategic Goals.

Goal 4. Each 1890 LGU will collaborate with USDA, the private sector and communities to identify market opportunities and capital and resources access.

Assist SFRLs in accessing capital and resources needed for production, packaging, value-addition and marketing and conservation.

Eighteen 1890 Universities competed for CISFRL Funding through the following five trust Areas:

The project was officially approved in July 1, 2020. Thus, information presented in this report in represents early results of the Center July – September 2020. Farmers from seventeen states are involved in CISFRL activities.

Farm Commodities, Processes and Systems

Ranch Commodities, Processes and Systems

Forest Commodities, Processes and Systems

Value Added Technology and Marketing

Integrated Environment, Economic and Social Impacts