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Opportunities for Sustainable Agriculture Awareness, Education, and Implementation in Idaho and Washington. Developed by Ariel Agenbroad. Today’s Topics. Present principles of Sustainable Agriculture appropriate for Small Farms Introduce an overview of Cultivating Success Background Goals

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Opportunitiesfor Sustainable AgricultureAwareness, Education,and Implementationin Idaho and Washington

Developed by Ariel Agenbroad


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Today’s Topics

  • Present principles of Sustainable Agriculture appropriate for Small Farms

  • Introduce an overview of Cultivating Success

    • Background

    • Goals

    • Methods

    • Results

    • Future

  • Invite questions and comments


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Sustainable Small Farms are…

  • Environmentally sound

    • Promoting biodiversity

    • Preserving habitat

    • Conserving natural resources

    • Reducing dependence on fuel & chemical inputs

  • Economically viable

    • Providing a living wage for farmers and farm workers

    • Direct marketing, cooperatives, alternative crops…buy local!

  • Socially responsible

    • Contributing to community food security and positive quality of life


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What is Cultivating Success?

A collaborative educational programfor Idaho and Washington State

Started in 2000

And funded throughgenerous grants from:

USDA Risk Management Agency, USDA SARE, USDA Higher Education Challenge Grants,and USDA CSREES Western Center for Risk Management Education


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Goal of Cultivating Success

Create and implement educational programs to increase the number and foster the success of sustainable small acreage farmers and ranchers in Idaho and Washington.


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Achieving the Goals of CS…

  • Offer a series of courses that provide beginning and existing farmers with

    • planning and decision-making tools

    • production skills

    • support necessary to develop sustainable small acreage farms

  • Connect students with farmers and exposes them to real world situations

  • Use a community-based, experiential approach

  • Courses may be taken alone or in a series for a Cultivating Success Certificate


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Target Audience

  • Audiences

    • Academic students

    • New and experienced farmers

    • Latino & Hmong farmers

    • Agricultural professionals


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Locations

  • Courses are offered through

    • University of Idaho & Washington State University

      • On Campus

      • Compressed Video

      • Online Hybrid

    • ID and WA Cooperative Extension

      • 25+ locations

    • On farm

      • Short courses

      • Apprenticeships

      • University Farms


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Course Modules

  • Overview of Sustainable Small FarmsSUSTAINABLE SMALL ACREAGE FARMING & RANCHING

  • Experiential Learning ON FARM APPRENTICESHIP

  • Business ModuleAGRICULTURAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

  • Sustainable Production ModuleORGANIC GARDENING AND FARMINGORGANIC FARMING PRACTICUMECOLOGICAL SOILS MANAGEMENTSUSTAINABLE SMALL ACREAGE LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION

  • Sustainable Food Systems ModuleSCIENCE, SOCIETY AND SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMSFIELD ANALYSIS OF SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMSWORLD AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS


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Sustainable Small AcreageFarming & Ranching Overview

  • Course details

    • Students take a realistic look at their goals and resources, evaluate what type of small acreage enterprise is right for them, and complete a whole farm plan for the future.

    • Course consists of classroom lecture, guests speakers and farm tours

    • Students have volunteered on a campus farm in exchange for credit


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Sustainable Small AcreageFarming & Ranching Overview

  • Environmental focus:

  • Crop rotations

  • Cover cropping

  • Integrated pest and weed management

  • Grazing and pasture management

  • Waste management plans

  • Smart water use

  • Soil building and conservation


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Agricultural Entrepreneurship: Buildinga Sustainable Small Farm Business

  • Course details:

    • The “Next Step”

    • Hands-on, Ag focused business planning and market development

    • Guest speakers are experienced practitioners from the community & region

      • Students create a working business plan for their small farm enterprise


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On Farm Apprenticeship

  • Students work one-on-one with a farmer-mentor

  • Hands-on experience in all aspects of production and marketing over a farming season

  • Apprenticeship farms are certified instructional farms (12 trained, 7 sites certified including UI & WSU organic farms)

  • Site-specific curriculum associated with the operation

  • Farmer Mentors receive on-going assistance


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Program Results

  • Over 25 locations at county Extension offices and college campuses in WA and ID have offered or are currently offering Cultivating Success courses

  • 913 students have attended at least one Cultivating Success course (2005 numbers!)

  • 81% of participants arefarmers, ranchers,or agriculturalprofessionals


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Students surveys reveal…

  • 100% increased their understanding of sustainable agriculture after completing Sustainable Small Acreage Farming and Ranching Overview

  • 100% of these students are likely to use what they learned on their farms or in their work

  • 98% rated the program as effective in potentially increasing the number and success of small farms in ID and WA


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What are students saying?

“Good development of the concept of sustainability and how it can be applied (and is being applied) to small farming and ranching.”


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The most important things you learned?

  • “Importance of diversity.”

  • “Economic value of sustainability.”

  • “Importance of knowing about compost and soil testing.”

  • “How to plan and evaluate a sustainable operation.”

  • “Small farmers around the globe share many of the same challenges.”


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The most important things you learned?

“Importance of small farms to the community and of the community to small farms – They must be interconnected to succeed and be sustainable over time.”

“How interconnected the environment on the land is…such as looking at insects in the area, soil quality, water etc. before choosing the farm site.”

“Farming is about relationships: farm to earth, bugs to soil, farmers to customers, farmer to farmer.”


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Future of Cultivating Success

  • What is the future of small farms?

  • Continually survey students, farmers, ag professionals

  • Results consistently identify barriers to achieving success:

    • Prohibitive land and capital costs

    • Many consumers are not educated

    • Limited access to markets and processing options for many


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Room to grow…

  • But many exciting ideas hold promise:

  • Community Supported Agriculture

  • Naturally raised meat and dairy

  • Agritourism

  • Farmers Markets

  • Niche Markets

  • Organics


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Looking Back…

  • Opportunities for sustainable agriculture awareness, education and implementation on Idaho’s Small Farms and Universities through

    • A series of courses designed for (and with) beginning and experienced farmers, students and agricultural professionals

    • Connecting students with farmers andreal world situations

    • Using a community-based, audience driven, experiential approach


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To Find Out More…

www.cultivatingsuccess.org