Understanding Production Under Native American Cropping Systems
Langston University and a co-hort of Native American-serving institutions are studying the “sisters” model of crop production to educate and enhance the capacity of tribal and other socially disadvantaged farmers to produce culturally relevant crops within a systems approach.
Through a $300,000 Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) grant, the three-year project is testing and validating soil moisture, and weed and pest management within the three and four sisters Native American production system. The “sisters” system includes planting a perimeter trap crop, along with corn, a legume (generally beans), and a cucurbit (generally squash).
The objectives of this project are to assess production characteristics, nutritional profile, and marketability of traditional Native American crops. The results of this work will provide a clearer understanding of the potential crops that have usefulness in traditional polycultures.
SARE State Coordinators are vital for expanding sustainable agriculture training for Extension, NRCS, and other agricultural professionals, who will then help producers transition to a more sustainable agriculture.
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SARE IN OKLAHOMA
The Oklahoma Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) is a professional development program sponsored by the Southern Region SARE and co-coordinated by Oklahoma State and Langston universities. We are committed to the sustainability of agriculture through economic viability, sound environmental and natural resource management, and awareness and recognition of social acceptability.
The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service provides technical information and educational programs designed to help Oklahoma agricultural producers as they implement strategies and practices to improve the sustainability of their agricultural operations.
Much of the technical information is derived from research-based knowledge generated by the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station at Oklahoma State University and the Langston University Research Program, as well as through the Land Grant University network around the country. These institutions employ a myriad of means to promote the sustainability of agriculture including: basic and applied research projects, training for cooperative extension field staff and personnel from many of the agencies and non-governmental entities working with agricultural producers, educational programs and demonstrations for producers, written information, one-on-one producer assistance, business development and planning, pilot plant operations, and much more.
What We Do
Oklahoma SARE is mandated by the Southern SARE professional development to coordinate sustainable agriculture professional development efforts in Oklahoma. The program works with other sustainable agriculture entities to achieve its mission.
Oklahoma SARE is committed to spreading the principles and practices of sustainable agriculture through education in various channels including class room education, workshops, demonstrations and travel workshops.
We share information about sustainable agriculture research, extension and education opportunities with extension, NRCS, NGOs , growers, and community groups who would like to promote sustainable agriculture in Oklahoma. Oklahoma SARE thrive to ensure all agricultural communities in the state get information about grant opportunities from SARE and elsewhere in timely manner.
The OkSARE program is co-coordinated by two faculty members from each institution and is supported by an assistant extension specialist who oversees the day-to-day activities of the program.
Professional Development Program
Within each state, agricultural educators work directly with farmers and ranchers to further sustainable agriculture production and marketing practices. Through a program called the Professional Development Program (PDP), SARE state ag coordinators provide support for sustainable agriculture education and outreach strategies.
SARE and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) offer the Sustainable Agriculture Fellows Program, which enhances Cooperative Extension personnel’s understanding of sustainable agriculture and provides broad-based, national exposure to successful and unique sustainable agriculture programs.