Evaluating Alternative Low-Water-Use Crops for the Great Basin is a ‘train the trainer’ program funded by a Western SARE grant and is multi-state Basin-wide. Water is an increasingly scarce commodity in the west. By planting alternative crops, producers may reduce the amount of irrigation water they consume, allowing them to remain solvent in regions where they are under social pressure to reduce use. By educating those individuals involved with relaying pertinent information to agricultural producers, not only can resource utilization be improved but agricultural communities in the Great Basin can sustain their economic viability. Five all-day workshops were conducted in Nevada (2), Utah (2) and Idaho (1). Eighty-three agricultural professionals from USDA agencies including NRCS and FSA, Cooperative Extension and producers were trained in methods for helping producers to reduce water use, determine economic feasibility, marketing, and locating resources for additional assistance. Pre & post tests were conducted at all workshops. Six-month follow-up evaluations were sent to Nevada and Utah participants.
Of those responding to the six month follow-up survey (n=20)
•45% have introduced workshop curriculum and other SARE resources into producer programming
•35% have worked one-on-one with producers to evaluate the economic feasibility of alternative low-water-use crops
•30% assisted agricultural producers in implementing low-water-use crops
•30% assisted producers with the measurement of changes in water use and resulting environmental improvements such as water and soil quality
•35% assisted producers with the measurement of changes in profitability and economic sustainability of alternative crop use
|Conference||2012 Women in Agriculture Educators National Conference|