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  • Soil Quality Network
    our soil by putting some diversity into the system Like Omeg other regional farmers understood the need to address soil quality improvements They as well as agricultural professionals in Oregon s Benton Soil and Water Conservation District had expressed interest in using soil quality assessments for enhanced management To assist farmers ag professionals stated a need for more education and understanding of assessment tools a need that could possibly be addressed in participating in a network The network could capture the abundance of soil management experience and research Ultimately resulting in a growth of soil quality activities by ag professionals and confidence in teaching soil quality concepts the Western SARE funded The Soil Quality Network EW11 021 project by Teresa Matteson of the Benton SWCD was designed to Increase availability of soil quality information globally Increase knowledge and confidence of agricultural professionals to help farmers and implement soil quality management practices Increase knowledge of soil quality assessment tools Increase knowledge on how to provide soil quality education and outreach to local farmers and agricultural professionals Improve knowledge of site specific soil quality constraints for agricultural professionals and farmers Analyze and report for future programmatic planning Searching for a Solution To support on the ground soil quality improvements Matteson and her team created plans for two workshops to train ag professionals a database for rating soil samples generating farmer reports and documenting activities and efforts and a website to serve as a central hub for communication and resource distribution The purpose of the website was to provide agricultural professionals and farmers access to soil quality resources including assessment tool information models for various aspects of program development soil quality related research and lessons learned from programs that promote soil quality What was Accomplished Based on the project s outcomes ag professionals and farmers gained access to a variety of soil quality resources One hundred and fifty two people participated in the two workshops Participants included agency personnel farmers students consultants faculty extension and more Information about the two workshops can be found at smallfarms oregonstate edu soil quality network sqn 2012 and smallfarms oregonstate edu soil quality network 2013 sqn and osss winter meeting Among the many topics addressed were nutrient tracking tools holistic potato management ecosystem markets and soil quality in intensive organic management systems The project team created a database that connected to an interactive Soil Quality Network map The map can be found at oregonstate qualtrics com SE SID SV 3ehnu5pL7947gYR Q JFE 0 The map s goals are to build a world wide network of soil quality enthusiasts provide brief descriptions of soil quality activities facilitate connections and stimulate collaboration Matteson writes that the map showcases global soil quality efforts including in field practices research assessment technical and financial assistance and more Lastly a website was created to serve as a central hub for communication and resource distribution The website can be found at smallfarms oregonstate edu soil quality network sqn 2012 as well as bentonswcd org

    Original URL path: http://www.westernsare.org/Learning-Center/From-the-Field/Soil-Quality-Network (2016-05-01)
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  • Stitching Together a Region's Prosperity, Nutrition and Sustainability
    a Region s Prosperity Nutrition and Sustainability Stitching Together a Region s Prosperity Nutrition and Sustainability Looking for something different Search the Learning Center Back to Search Results Stitching Together a Region s Prosperity Nutrition and Sustainability The San Joaquin Valley of California is one of the most productive and diverse agricultural areas in the country However Daniel O Connell of the Sequoia Riverlands Trust SRT along with local producers gathered data that identified challenges in building a healthier regional food system These challenges similar those many other regions face included lack of infrastructure to provide for adequate distribution channels minimal awareness by consumers about where and how to access product in the region land use decisions on the urban rural edge that impacted farmers with pressures that drove up land and production costs and the Valley s disconnect from broader statewide food systems thought policy changes and economic benefits from localized trends like value added processing The area experiences high rates of health problems and nutritional deficiencies and a primary concern of the group was how to promote the economic viability of small and medium scale farmers by connecting them with the substantial community of food insecure residents throughout the San Joaquin Valley SRT in the Western SARE funded project SW10 801 A San Joaquin Valley Quilt Stitching Together a Region s Prosperity Nutrition and Sustainability brought together approximately 50 farmers and food system advocates to participate in a series of producer meetings and to engage in the creation of a strategic plan and action steps through the use of a cadre of five regional producers as ambassadors in conjunction with expert consultants One objective was to develop a strategy to move forward addressing the issues that are constraining progress and providing a roadmap of actions that will create a more sustainable food system in the San Joaquin Valley The project led to a strategic implementation plan that would invigorate producer involvement in their foodshed and local food movements In addition action steps were developed from the project s data collection literature review and producer feedback which created a basis for continued engagement of participants expansion of the coalition and leveraging additional funds to realize identified priorities One of the action steps prioritized by the participants was creation of a community or regional food system assessment This assessment will be needed as the potential for developing an aggregation and distribution center comes under consideration The project team states that such an assessment often involves participatory action research that builds potential implementing coalitions while examining the economic feasibility and infrastructure that currently is available to address the systemic problems in the food system The specific actionable items that were recommended include Form a Food Policy Council Conduct a Regional Food Assessment Develop a Marketing and Strategic Plan Build an Aggregation and Distribution Center Articulate a Development Strategy A copy of the project sStrategic Implementation Plan andSummary of Proceedings Collected Data and Conclusionscan be downloaded from the final report entry in

    Original URL path: http://www.westernsare.org/Learning-Center/From-the-Field/Stitching-Together-a-Region-s-Prosperity-Nutrition-and-Sustainability (2016-05-01)
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  • Successful Launching of Wyoming Reservation Farmers Market
    In less than two years she and her partners accomplished so much more than increasing awareness The farmers market has been established and funds found to support it for the next five years Since the project Wind River Indian Reservation Farmers Market Preparations began in 2010 a Wind River Reservation Farmers Market was held weekly during the summers at three locations Each market day had an average of eight to ten vendors Wide varieties of products were sold including locally grown fruits and vegetables jams and jellies baked goods and Native American crafts In addition to vendor booths the Extension office also set up a table where free samples and recipes of snacks made from the market s produce were handed out to encourage community members to think of creative ways to use the products that they were buying such as making salsa coleslaw and grilled zucchini slices Community participation grew over time and both vendors and customers returned weekly The market increased awareness on the importance of eating local produce to promote a healthy lifestyle and more vibrant economy Farmers must travel long distances on the Reservation to distribute their goods impacting healthy lifestyles and the consumption of local foods The Reservation itself is around two million acres and most communities are at least a thirty to forty minute drive to larger urban centers and community farmers markets Russell supposed that a Reservation market could increase farmer profitability and therefore sustainability of farm operations on the Wind River Reservation by providing a nearby market source Her hope was that the presence of a local farmers market would provide an incentive for farmers to produce nutritious food to be sold in the market and for community members to purchase such food The objective of increasing farmer profitability has begun to be realized Three area farmers two craft vendors and two baked goods vendors have reported successfully supplementing their incomes with farmers market sales In an effort to increase awareness of the market and to encourage greater community participation two workshops related to gardening horticulture food preservation farmers market sales and healthy eating were offered to the public through the Extension office in collaboration with the University of Wyoming Cent ible Nutrition Program and the UW Nutrition Food Safety Initiative Team Both workshops reached a total of 27 people To ensure long term stability of the market a farmers market committee was formed from local Reservation communities at the beginning of the project Four out of the five committee members were able to participate in a farmers market manager training in March 2010 with Western SARE funds This training gave the advisory group and the Extension office crucial information on how to develop and support a successful market Four farmers market committee members became certified farmers market managers through the Wyoming Farmers Market Conference which has enabled them to better manage the farmers market and two farmers market managers were hired for the 2011 market season Russell leveraged the PDP funds

    Original URL path: http://www.westernsare.org/Learning-Center/From-the-Field/Successful-Launching-of-Wyoming-Reservation-Farmers-Market (2016-05-01)
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  • Teaching Cattle to Eat Sagebrush
    and encroachment of pinyon juniper Rejuvenating sagebrush steppe can benefit wildlife and livestock but most methods are expensive and require use of fossil fuels One possible method is grazing by livestock in the fall and winter when grasses and forbs are dormant a method researched by Peterson that has shown to have promise Sagebrush despite its terpene content is a good source of energy and protein especially in winter when terpenes are at their lowest levels From 2007 to 2009 research was conducted at Cottonwood Ranch by Peterson where 40 cows and calves per year learned that big sagebrush can be good food during late fall and winter The field day participants viewed a presentation by Peterson about his work and then toured the test plot The participants then visited the test plot of the current project to view the efforts of using a small number of animals to train a larger number of animals This current project is building on the new knowledge acquired during the past research study In this project cattle experienced with eating sagebrush and those without experience have been placed in 10 acre pastures enclosed with electric fence and fed native grass hay at half their daily requirement The project team monitors animal condition and weight before and after grazing diet selection by experienced and inexperienced cattle plant cover and costs The goal is to decrease sagebrush and increase grasses and forbs reduce winter feeding costs and improve wildlife habitat The long term objective is to improve ranch economics by increasing the number of cattle that can efficiently use sagebrush as winter forage and reducing costs Selecting cattle with the correct genetics and dietary preference will make this biological approach to improving sagebrush steppe resiliency and health a reality Challenges faced in training cattle to eat sagebrush include their aversion to sagebrush neophobia fear of trying new things the taste and coercion Smith says You need tenacity to convince the animals to eat the sagebrush but we have found success Burritt has found that cattle can learn to mix the best with the rest rather than eat the best and leave the rest The dietary preferences of young animals are flexible and early experiences can change the body The body or rumen microbes need time to adapt Grazing in fall and winter works as the terpene content is lower at this time of year Sagebrush provides protein that complements the dormant grasses and forbs The cattle are provided a feed supplementation that includes a cube of beet pulp ground corn soybean meal and alfalfa grass hay and salt The cattle are fed straight grain for three months prior to slaughter to rid their systems of terpene and ensure quality taste Smith claims the goal isn t to have sagebrush provide 100 of the cattle s diet but that it can provide 20 30 of it augmenting their protein needs with a readily available plant After starting the project Smith and his partners found that the

    Original URL path: http://www.westernsare.org/Learning-Center/From-the-Field/Teaching-Cattle-to-Eat-Sagebrush (2016-05-01)
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  • Training in Marine Ornamental Farming for Extension Professionals in Micronesia
    and promoted by conservation groups and local governments as a means of income generation and poverty alleviation for rural communities In addition marine ornamental farming is identified as a key economic development activity for the FSM and RMI Ellis designed his Western SARE Professional Development Program project Training in Marine Ornamental Farming for Extension Professionals in Micronesia project number EW11 001 with the assumption that the marine ornamental aquaculture industry in Micronesia could be improved by better skills knowledge and communication between practitioners Searching for a Solution This project s objectives were Improved communication and coordination between practitioners and extension professionals in the FSM and RMI Increased skill levels of extension professionals and practitioners in marine ornamental culture methods New and improved partnerships within and between existing producers and extension professionals Increased number of individuals entering into marine ornamental farming either at the community or commercial level The project aimed for 25 30 individuals with outreach responsibilities to receive training Land grant and faculty professionals who work in aquaculture education and outreach from the College of Micronesia FSM COM FSM and College of the Marshall Islands CMI were the primary audience In addition MERIP staff and private sector practitioners from Kosrae and Majuro were part of the learning group as well as members from the local fisheries management agencies in Pohnpei Kosrae and Majuro and key personnel from grass roots conservation groups that promote sustainable aquaculture in the region Outcomes In total 53 people involved in the marine ornamental industry received training or outreach from this project According to Ellis in 2012 three activities occurred A training workshop in Pohnpei A study tour of Majuro and Kosrae and A study tour to the Marine Aquarium Conference of North America annual meeting Project follow ups were conducted in 2013 and early 2015 and technical assistance was provided throughout the project period Key participants reported sustained increased productivity activity and coordination between producers and extension workers increased skill levels and new partnerships Results of an exit survey from the Pohnpei workshop indicate that all participants strongly felt they had a better understanding of the marine ornamental industry Further all felt the workshop would help them with their work and 86 said they would use methods used in their training in the next six months Ellis described the project as a massive success Testimonials include Micronesian Marketing and Management Enterprises MMME owner and manager Martin Selch in Kosrae reported greatly improved communication with Kosrae Fisheries staff following the workshops in 2012 Kosrae Fisheries staff member Bruno Ned who also attended the workshops in 2012 reported an increased appreciation of the needs of the private sector and a stronger partnership with MMME Provan Crump manager of the largest giant clam and marine ornamental farm in the RMI also felt that interactions and exchange of ideas were the most important aspect of the workshops and trainings He keeps in touch with the two other wholesalers in Palau and Kosrae on a regular basis He also

    Original URL path: http://www.westernsare.org/Learning-Center/From-the-Field/Training-in-Marine-Ornamental-Farming-for-Extension-Professionals-in-Micronesia (2016-05-01)
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  • Vegetables All Year in Northern New Mexico
    Crops and Soil Health Subregional Stakeholder Conferences Strengthening Agriculture s Infrastructure Conference Water Conference Western SARE Event Calendar News from the West Newsletters Join Our Mailing List For the Media Western SARE Logo About Us How We Work Administrative Council SARE Staff Western SARE Goals State Coordinators What is Sustainable Agriculture Historical Timeline Vision and Mission Home Learning Center From the Field Vegetables All Year in Northern New Mexico Vegetables All Year in Northern New Mexico Looking for something different Search the Learning Center Back to Search Results Vegetables All Year in Northern New Mexico Thanks to the effort of two New Mexico State University faculty members and a SARE grant the farmers of northern New Mexico are finding that vegetables can be successfully grown year round in high tunnel greenhouses Del Jiminez and Steve Guldan of the Alcalde Research Center received a SARE grant to construct different designs of high tunnels in several locations throughout northern New Mexico Their findings show that vegetables such a spinach and lettuce can be grown in an inexpensive manner on a year round basis Three types of high tunnel designs were tested in the study and the results were exactly what the researchers anticipated Some of the high tunnels had only a single layer covering or skin while others had two layers of covering with a constant flow of air between the layers for insulation Some of the high tunnels had two layers of covering as well as a row of water filled black barrels along the north side of the greenhouse Not surprisingly the double layered high tunnels stayed warmer and the residual heat provided by the solar powered barrels also helped keep nighttime temperatures warmer Another finding was that the barrels of water also moderated the daytime temperatures and kept growing conditions closer to ideal for growing the cool season vegetables As a result of the SARE funded project several more high tunnel greenhouses have been constructed in northern New Mexico The outcome has been fresh locally grown produce for farmers markets and family consumption Steve Guldan said the high tunnels have allowed area farmers to capitalize on the year round farmers market in Santa Fe where local produce commands a premium price during winter months Season extension for growing local produce is an important issue throughout the Rocky Mountain region and the northern states This Western SARE funded project has shown that proper design and a modest price can combine to allow even the smallest farmers to produce healthy local food during all twelve months of the year Want more information See the related SARE grant s SW09 041 Winter Production of Leafy Greens in the Southwestern USA using High Tunnels Product specs Format From the Field Profiles Year 2011 Author s Jim Freeburn Location New Mexico West How to order Only available online Tags Crop Production Greens Leafy Greens Lettuces High Tunnels or Hoop Houses Season Extension Vegetables Related Resources New Mexico Grower Saved by the Sun Sustainable Pest

    Original URL path: http://www.westernsare.org/Learning-Center/From-the-Field/Vegetables-All-Year-in-Northern-New-Mexico (2016-05-01)
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  • Water Management in Sonoma County Grape Production
    while at the same time minimizing impacts on stream flows critical to salmonid survival The use of water for frost protection and seasonal irrigation specifically in vineyards has come under scrutiny by California s State Water Resources Control Board and the National Marine Fisheries According to Karen Thomas of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission their regional wine grape growers needed information on alternatives to frost protection using overhead sprinklers on irrigation management strategies to reduce water use and on Best Management Practices for water conservation when frost protecting and irrigating grape vines In order to provide this information Thomas designed the Western SARE Professional Producer project Water Management in Sonoma County Grape Production Searching for a Solution To meet growers needs Thomas project included a spring frost workshop along with other outreach and aimed to give guidance for the best decision making for frost protection The team worked with producers to fine tune their irrigation scheduling and duration based on soil and plant water status data vine observations and overall strategies for wine grape production Soil and plant moisture status were measured at vineyard sites giving producers exposure to the technologies The demonstration plots were located on two sites with very different soils The team applied different irrigation regimes to different blocks and made commercial scale wines from each block to compare to one another in tastings The project team shared the demonstration results through workshops and field days newsletter articles and on the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission s website What was Learned According to Thomas the project demonstrated a water management technique for drip irrigation that relies on measurement both of soil moisture and plant moisture status The above and below ground measurements provide an excellent picture of the soil moisture dynamics of the vineyard This gives us the confidence to push our vines further into levels of controlled stress that have benefits well beyond that of water conservation It also allows us to produce riper fruit at lower brix while preventing excessive stress that could lead to reduced vineyard productivity and lower yields The irrigation management demonstrations produced dramatic results Plant and soil water status measurements resulted in delayed irrigation initiation compared to standard practices in both demonstration vineyards Then irrigation frequency and duration were optimized to minimize irrigation water movement beyond the active root zone The total irrigation water supplied in the two years was 8 to 32 of crop ET at the Red Fan vineyard and 11 to 24 of crop ET at the Landslide vineyard Those percentages are below typical deficit irrigation targets of 60 or more using crop ET models to manage irrigation Impacts Thomas maintains that Sonoma County growers have increased adoption of frost protection BMPs and use of weather station data to improve accurate decision making about frost protection Three frost drought workshops were held and one Water Conservation Field Day event These events were attended by 477 producers and partners A survey following the Water Field Day indicated a number of

    Original URL path: http://www.westernsare.org/Learning-Center/From-the-Field/Water-Management-in-Sonoma-County-Grape-Production (2016-05-01)
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  • Water Use of Wine Grapes in the Granitic Soils of the Fair Play Wine Region in the Sierra Foothills
    Regional Extension Survey Results Fellows Search for Excellence Programs Conferences Pacific Island Conference Ag Infrastructure National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health Subregional Stakeholder Conferences Strengthening Agriculture s Infrastructure Conference Water Conference Western SARE Event Calendar News from the West Newsletters Join Our Mailing List For the Media Western SARE Logo About Us How We Work Administrative Council SARE Staff Western SARE Goals State Coordinators What is Sustainable Agriculture Historical Timeline Vision and Mission Home Learning Center From the Field Water Use of Wine Grapes in the Granitic Soils of the Fair Play Wine Region Water Use of Wine Grapes in the Granitic Soils of the Fair Play Wine Region in the Sierra Foothills Looking for something different Search the Learning Center Back to Search Results Water Use of Wine Grapes in the Granitic Soils of the Fair Play Wine Region in the Sierra Foothills Producer Brian Fitzpatrick Phone 800 245 9166 Technical Advisor Jim Brockmeyer Phone 800 228 9896 Fair Play California is located in the Sierra Foothills at an elevation of 2 000 to 2 800 feet Although wine grape production has flourished in the region Fair Play has a limited water supply No irrigation district delivers water and no one is certain how much groundwater there actually is As a result the vineyard managers in Fair Play looked for a way to increase the efficiency of their water applications They gathered data on the following How where and when the grapevines extract water from the soil What the root distribution of the grapevines is Whether the use of water depends on the slope How much water cover crops use How effective drip irrigation is From what depths the grapevines extract water late in the season With the help of a Western SARE Farmer Rancher research grant these California vintners worked to answer these questions To begin the experiment they set up soil moisture probe sites A group of Fair Play vintners committed to using a soil moisture monitoring service which would measure soil moisture at each foot Using this service they collected data throughout the season and then applied this data to answer the questions listed above For part of the experiment they backhoed trenches along the grapevines and collected root distribution data The results of this experiment was shared with other vintners through winery and grape growers associations Through this experiment the vintners of Fair Play hope to conserve their limited water resources and make their vineyards more sustainable Want more information See the related SARE grant s FW00 021 Water Use of Wine Grapes in the Granitic Soils of the Fair Play Wine Region in the Sierra Foothills Product specs Format From the Field Profiles Year 2010 Location California West How to order Only available online Tags Cover Crops Crop Production Fruit Grapes Irrigation Water Management Related Resources Wiser Wine California Grape Growers Adopt Innovative System to Evaluate Sustainability On Farm Internship Training Binder Water Use Efficiency in Tomatoes Sustainable Livestock Grazing Management Publication

    Original URL path: http://www.westernsare.org/Learning-Center/From-the-Field/Water-Use-of-Wine-Grapes-in-the-Granitic-Soils-of-the-Fair-Play-Wine-Region-in-the-Sierra-Foothills (2016-05-01)
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