Development of Technical Training and Support for Agricultural Service Providers & Farmers in Certified Organic Dairy Production Systems through eOrganic USDA OREI eXtension Project Type $759,516 10/01/2010 – 09/30/2014
Background Over past 10 years, dairy fastest growing segment of organic industry. Research-based info is lagging. Currently little/no support for many organic dairy farmers from service providers around the U.S. Pressing needs for technical assistance among organic dairy producers, especially new farmers.
Long-Term Goal Build a network of agricultural service providers knowledgeable and confident about organic dairy production systems who are better able to provide direct assistance to current and/or aspiring organic dairy farmers. Develop Train-the-Trainer Certificate Program.
Project Team PI: Heather Darby, University of Vermont Co-PI: Cindy Daley, California State University, Chico Key Personnel, University of Vermont: Project Coordinator: Debra Heleba Videographer: Amanda Gervais Budget Manager: Kerry Whalen Contractors/Consultants: Harriet Behar, MOSES Marti Day, NC State Extension Sarah Flack, SF Consulting Ed Maltby, NODPA Lisa McCrory, Earthwise Farm and Forest Jim Riddle, University of MN eOrganic Dairy Team Members / Other SMEs
Objective 1: Develop training materials. Ask an Expert Managed by NODPA 20 FAQs 24 Articles and Bulletins Videos 10 instructional video clips on equipment use and production methods 6 whole farm case study videos 20 Narrated PowerPoint Presentations 30 Webinars Introductory series: Critical issues for organic dairy farmers Advanced series: Herd health and nutrition 2 Online, Asynchronous Moodle Courses An Introduction to Organic Dairy Production Systems Advanced Organic Dairy Production
24 New Articles/Bulletins (with existing articles) 30 archived webinars 10 instructional video clips on equipment use/production methods 6 whole farm case study videos 20 Narrated PowerPoint Presentations 2 2 Online, Asynchronous Moodle Courses
Intro: Critical Issues for Organic Dairy Farmers Advanced: Herd Health and Nutrition Maximizing home-grown feeds. A look at the economics. It all starts with soils. Intensifying for Management-Intensive Grazing. Managing herd health in tight economic times. Organic dairy profitability. A look at mastitis. Keys to quality organic forages. A view from the farm. Advanced Grazing Management. Dairy Nutrition on a high forage diet (101). Locomotion and body condition scoring. Animal Welfare. Organic Fly Control. Organic Dairy Certification Review and Updates. Raising calves organically. Holistic Management From the Soil Up. Organic Treatments for the Organic Dairy. Herd Health: Case Studies and Treatments. Nutrition on a High Forage Diet (201). External and Internal Parasite Management Strategies. Grazing Management: Nutrition and Behavior on Pasture. Healthy Feeds Make Healthy Livestock. Organic Dairy Certification Review and Updates. Animal Welfare: Housing and husbandry. Breeding the organic herd. Troubleshooting calf care. Homeopathy for the organic herd. Impact of grass-based organic production on antioxidant content of milk. How low can you go with grain supplementation under intensive grazing management. Webinar Topics
Course 1: Intro to Organic Dairy Production Systems Course 2: Advanced Organic Dairy Production Module 1: Fundamentals of a sustainable program. Module 2: Soil biology. Module 3: Growing organic forages. Module 4: Pasture management . Module 5: Integrated Pest Management. Module 6: Principles of managing calves. Module 7: Holistic Herd Health. Module 8: Effective business planning. Module 9: Direct marketing case studies. Module 10: Certification & inspection. Module 11: Course eval. and discussion. Module 1: Systems in review. Module 2: Evaluating your soil analysis. Module 3: Matching forages to your resource base. Module 4: Managed Intensive Grazing (MIG). Module 5: Herd Health Programming. Module 6: Mineral nutrition. Module 7: Managing your herd data. Module 8: Financial planning. Module 9: Transitioning farms. Module 10: Course eval. and discussion. Moodle Courses
Target 500 ag service providers and farmers. Cooperative Extension USDA: NRCS, TSPs, ARS, etc. Non-profit personnel Veterinarians, Crop consultants, Nutritionists New/transitioning farmers (Undergraduate students) Use eOrganic.info (fed to eXtension.org), YouTube, GoToMeetings, Moodle, etc. Objective 2: Deliver training materials.
Objective 3: Facilitate service provider-farmer networks. 4 regional learning hubs: Gathering place for farmers and service providers to view webinars as co-learners. Provide info access for farmers who do not have high-speed Internet. Focus groups to receive feedback on webinars. Act as local support groups. Where “Internet life” and “real life” intersect. Develop / adapt info to region.
Additional OREI Collaborations Integrated Project Improved Organic Milk Production through the Use of the Condensed Tannin-Containing Forage Legume BirdsfootTrefoil; Jennifer MacAdam, Utah State University R&E Planning Project Research and Extension Needs Assessment of the Organic Dairy Industry in the Northeast; Andre Brito, University of New Hampshire