Sustainable Year-Round Forage Production and Grazing/Browsing Management Education Program

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Exhibit Hall AB (Kansas City Convention Center)
Uma Karki , Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL
Lila B Karki , PadmaDal Memorial Foundation, Auburn, AL
Nar K. Gurung , Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL

Sustainable Year-Round Forage Production and Grazing/Browsing Management Education Program

Uma Karki, Lila Karki, Nar Gurung, Rocky Lemus3, Steve Hart4, Kenneth Cearley5, Stephen Enloe6, Eddie Jolley7, and Misty Edmonson6

1Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL; 2PadmaDal Memorial Foundation, Auburn, AL; 3Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS; 4 Langston University, Langston, OK; 5Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Amarillo, TX; 6Auburn University, Auburn, AL; 7Natural Resources Conservation Service, Auburn, AL

Abstract Text:

Pasture-based goat production is becoming popular among the small-scale livestock farmers in the Southern Region. However, most farmers have not adopted sustainable forage programs. As a result, they depend on hay and supplementary feedstuff to sustain their herd during times of reduced forage availability. Moreover, there is not much information available on pasture development/improvement and sustainable grazing/browsing management for goats. The goal of this project was to develop a comprehensive education program to increase the productivity, quality, and production duration of pastures as well as to improve the management of existing pastures for sustainable goat production. Project objectives were: 1) to develop training curricula and 2) to train field-level extension and technical assistance personnel and goat farmers on sustainable year-round forage production and grazing/browsing management. Tuskegee University and PadmaDal Memorial Foundation were collaborating in this project. Other key partners in the project were Alabama Natural Resources Conservation Service, Auburn University, Mississippi State University, Langston University, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The project outputs were 1) ready- to-use training curricula in the form of a handbook - sustainable year-round forage production and grazing/browsing management for goats in the Southern Region, which is now freely available to the public at Tuskegee University website: http://www.tuskegee.edu/sites/www/Uploads/files/About%20US/TUCEP/Livestock%20Program/Year- RoundPasture_Handbook.pdf , 2) an educational video to complement the handbook (under review), and 3) trained field-level extension and technical-assistance personnel and extension specialists (22) serving the goat producers in different Southern States and lead goat farmers (4). Short-term impact results showed 29 percent increase in the knowledge of trainees. The medium-term impact results revealed that majority of the trainees applied the learned skills and knowledge either to educate their clientele more effectively (professionals) or improve their farm operation (farmers).

Keywords: Curricula, Goats, Training