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“Living On The Land” A “Sustainable” Course For Small-Acreage Landowners !” Small Acreage Success Stories Living on the Land Workshop Bozeman, Montana.

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Presentation on theme: "“Living On The Land” A “Sustainable” Course For Small-Acreage Landowners !” Small Acreage Success Stories Living on the Land Workshop Bozeman, Montana."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Living On The Land” A “Sustainable” Course For Small-Acreage Landowners !” Small Acreage Success Stories Living on the Land Workshop Bozeman, Montana July 22 - 24, 2008 Dr. Kevin M. Laughlin, Boise, ID

2 What you’ll learn today Embrace a “Tool Box” as a visual representation of what participants can accomplish at LOL Workshop. Gain an understanding the “Success Story” of one LOL graduate…Mary Rohlfing & Morning Owl Farm (enterprises) in Boise, Idaho. Introduce and gain appreciation for “Systems Thinking” required for success in a small-acreage enterprise.

3 What you’ll learn today Relate to support systems, cultural practices (equipment, animal manures, composting, weeds and pest management, etc) community networks, and marketing efforts key to the “Success Story”. Gain awareness about “Other Successful Outcomes” (land stewardship, wildlife, real estate, market gardening, animal, value added, and pastures as enterprises) associated with the Idaho Living on the Land program 2002-2008.

4 What you’ll learn today Reference tools highlighted, success story web sites, and other selected info. Have fun in a community learning environment!

5 Treasure Valley Southwestern Idaho

6 Treasure Valley As Treasure Valley urbanizes, agricultural educators adapt 03:31 PM MDT on Monday, September 18, 2006 Associated Press NAMPA -- A generation ago, students in the fast-growing Boise metropolitan area learned how to build a barn, feed a cow and mend a fence. But nowadays, as the Treasure Valley grows, agriculture education is giving way to urban- oriented classes. Many schools, like Columbia High in Nampa, are teaching classes like golf course maintenance and floral design in the agriculture programs. Courses more suited for suburban sprawl than sprawling ranges. But some teachers say as they adapt they teach children about the social effects of disappearing farms. One teacher at Middleton High School says he tell children that it's a shame to "cover the land with cement parking lots." Subdivisions Sprawl Into Idaho Farmlands IdahoIdaho | Land UseLand Use 24 June 2005 - 8:00am How agriculture is changing in Idaho's Treasure Valley region where farms are giving way to new surburban development. "The valley's transformation is bittersweet for longtime residents who now enjoy the increased cultural, entertainment and shopping opportunities as well as more jobs and housing that come with a growing population and booming development. But many also mourn the loss of open space, empty roads and solitude unique to rural and agricultural areas. Farmers face similar contradictions. "

7 Treasure Valley The biggest group of newcomers to the Treasure Valley hails from... Idaho By: Kathleen Kreller and Cynthia Sewell Publication: Idaho Statesman (Boise, ID) Published: 02/18/2007 Coffee-shop talk, Internet bloggers and letters to the editors blame "McMansions," traffic snarls and urban sprawl on Californians moving to Idaho. But the "Californication" of the Treasure Valley, the region in southwestern Idaho which includes the five-county Boise Metropolitan Area, should more accurately be pinned on people from... Idaho. The region, which contains both urban and rural areas, is different things to different people. While many rural Idahoans move to the Treasure Valley for jobs and an urban lifestyle, many out-of-staters are escaping big-city headaches. The Land Trust of the Treasure Valley’s mission is to create opportunities for conserving the natural, scenic, recreational, historic and agricultural values of southwestern Idaho’s open spaces through collaborative efforts for current and future generations.

8 Emerging Issue: Growth

9 An 18 week program for people interested in becoming better stewards of the land! Living on the Land To enrich education through diversity the University of Idaho is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educational institution, University of Idaho, Oregon State University, Rutgers University, Western SARE, 50 + partners and U. S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating.

10 Living  n the Land* Stewardship for Small Acreages Authors: Susan Donaldson, UNCE; Holly George, UCCE; Bob Hamblen, CSUCE; Melody Hefner, UNCE; Susie Kocher, UCCE; David Martin, MT DNRC; Bruce Miller, USU; Rhonda Miller, USU; Hudson Minshew, OSUES; Douglas Stienbarger, WSUCE; Sherman Swanson, UNR; Cinda Williams, UICES; Wendy Williams, MT NRCS Funded by a grant from the Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program Copyright  2001, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension/WSARE To order Contact: Sue Donaldson, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, P.O. Box 11130, Reno, NV 89520 (775) 784-4848 (phone) (775) 784-4881 (fax)

11 LOTL Idaho Objectives Participants will: 1.Identify the role land-use has in shaping the physical and social interactions in their community. 2.Inventory own land resources and those land changes that occurred in their community the last 5 years. 3.Understand renewable and nonrenewable soil, water, plant, and animal resources. 4.Debate sustainability issues. 5.Explore how their choices have affected land use, lifestyle, and the environment.

12 LOTL Idaho Objectives Participants will: 6.Raise skill levels in five basic core competency areas. 7.Increase understanding and technical expertise related to managing their small acreage. 8.ID Best Management Practices, to implement on their acreages. 9.Complete LOTL stewardship activities (soil, water & forage tests) developed for the course. 10. Learn, plan, and act on stewardship knowledge in their community!

13 Applying a “systems” approach System: a group of interacting, interdependent elements that function together as a complex unified whole

14 4/25/201514 A “systems thinker”: Seeks to understand the "big picture”  Observes how elements within systems change over time, generating patterns and trends



17 SUCCESS WITH CSA, DUCKS & A FARM STAND Mary Rohlfing is the owner and farmer of a bustling 8-acre farm located at the base of the Boise Foothills. After four years, Rohlfing says she is not so much growing produce or raising critters, but creating soil.


19 Keys to Success: Support Networks Formal & Informal Support Networks Formal: Rural Roots (Board Member) 2004 – 2008; Idaho’s Bounty Joined 2008; Mary hosts Zamzow’s Radio Program 2 x per month; “They also give me an employee discount!” Farm Bureau provides my insurance; Grasmick Produce supplies Farm Stand; I use Craig’s List to buy straw and have sold ducks on it a couple of times.

20 Keys to Success: Support Networks Formal & Informal Support Networks In-formal: Boise Co-Op; Capital City Public Market; Democratic Party; 30 years of being a good neighbor; Healthwise a local non-profit; I speak at their wellness lunches annually and they have 213 people. This is a Thirty three year old organization…it is one of 15 top small workplaces in the country (Wall street journal) in 2008.

21 Keys to Success: Getting Started!

22 Keys to Success: Family & Friends!

23 Keys to Success: Use “GAP” Good Agricultural Practices

24 Keys to Success: Marketing

25 Keys to Success: Support Networks, APPRENTICES…SARE…LOL  9 Apprentices…  Western Farmer/Rancher SARE Grant 3 years – Ducks…$15,000.00.  Success related to Teaching Cultivating Success & Living on the Land in the Treasure Valley (2005-2008 LOL; Cultivating Success 2006, 2007& Fall 2008).

26 OBSERVATIONS Mary has been successful because she has been eclectic in designing and taking on various enterprises to make her farm successful. She has tried or considered 20 + enterprises to make work on her farm…she is not afraid to change and be responsive to individual, circumstances and the market.

27 Do Reflect Apply Experiential Learning Model 1 EXPERIENCE the activity; perform, do it 2 SHARE the results, reactions, and observations publicly 3 PROCESS by discussing, locking at the experience; analyze, reflect 4 GENERALIZE to connect the experience to real world examples 5 APPLY what was learned to a similar or different situation; practice

28 OBSERVATIONS Mary has multiple tools in her tool box that come from the traditional farming community (Farm Bureau, Grasmick Produce), emerging technologies (Craig’s list, the internet, a web site, e-mail) a community of lifelong learners, formal networks (Rural Roots, Idaho’s Bounty, Local Harvest, Idaho Preferred) and informal networks of friends she has made over 30 years in the valley.

29 OBSERVATIONS Mary is a Leader; she contributes to the board of Rural Roots, teaches Cultivating Success and LOL and volunteers within the community. She is Service Provider, serving lower and upper middle class clientele with disposable income. She shows genuine and Authentic interest in her customer’s, their lives…”so what will you do for the fourth” or “Come over here and get a hug!”

30 OBSERVATIONS Mary is Intentional about cultivating customers and asked all new customers for their e-mail address during the observation period. Mary is a Practical Steward of the land and uses the best practices to grow “SOIL”, product, nurture animals, and cultivate community.


32 Living On The Land: A “Sustainable” Course For Land Stewardship & Wildlife!

33 Living On The Land: A “Sustainable” Course For Real Estate Professionals!

34 A NETWORK For: Farm Stands & Beekeeping SpyGlass Gardens Local Produce Co-Op Sales Veggies Fruits Flowers Pumpkin Patch Classes

35 A Resource to Manage A Few Acres, Pasture for 2 horses, and a steer just for the family.

36 Developed By: Jonathan Demcak, Moriah Farms Ron Kelley, Kelley Orchards Toby Green, Nutra-Vet Nutritionals, Kevin Laughlin, U of I Extension Marketing Your Farm Produce Ways & Means to a Sustainable Enterprise!

37 A Network For: Organic Growers, CSAs & Farmers Market Members! 175 CSA Members Two Farms Interns Farmers Market Eggs, Chickens & Cherries

38 A Network With: Old Family Businesses Reborn 75 Year Old Greenhouse Two Sites Nursery Farmers Market on Tuesday w/ Entertainment Geothermal Heat

39 You need a tool box that fits your ideas & community. It will be different and unique…LOL can help you help others find success!

40 What LOL graduates say Sustainable Living …I just have a better handle on managing my place, we grow our own food, share time with my family. Now I know what I don’t know and where to find it… the resource set that LOL provides…even six years later.

41 Knowledge Change New local foods networks of people. New life and enterprise skills gained. Demonstrated and participated in exemplary land stewardship approaches.

42 Behavioral Change Improved fertilization, irrigation and weed management practices Increased well & septic system care Improved grazing management Systems thinking by LOL Alumni related to land management, family and communities.



45 Economic Change More precise use of resources for fertilization, chemical weed control and livestock feeding. Increased produce sales at Farmers Market, on-farm and value- added products (doggie cookies)

46 Environmental Change Improved water quality due to: Less fertilizer and chemical run off Improved erosion control Improved soil fertility practices Reduce spread of weeds (noxious & “obnoxious”)


48 Social, Civic Change Adoption of sustainable agricultural practices Increased production & consumption of local produce and products Neighborhood weed management approaches adopted around Alumni sites.

49 Don’t panic! It is not unusual to modify your goals and ideas of SUCCESS as this workshop proceeds… UNCE, Reno, NV

50 Summary… 1.There are successes in every community Have A Clear Purpose for your LOL program. 2.Use Available Resources (Western SARE, ATTRA, NRCS, CES, Environmental & Industry Developed Products). 3.Create a Community of Learners; Network 4.Gain appreciation for the “Systems Thinking” required for success in a small-acreage enterprise.

51 Summary… 5.Support Systems, Cultural practices community networks, and marketing efforts key to “Success Stories”. 6.LOTS of ways to Success (land stewardship, wildlife, real estate, market gardening, animal, value added, and pastures as enterprises) with Living on the Land program.


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