LU Addresses Supply and Demand Needs for Goat Meat Market
Interest in raising meat goats continues to grow, as does the unmet demand. On March 13, 2021, the Innovative Small Farmers' Outreach Program (ISFOP) partnered with the LUCE Small Ruminant Program to offer an in-person goat workshop hosted by Mr. Chris Olliges, Ms. Molly Dupree, and Ms. Shelia Donnely of Red Fox Farm in Spanish Lake, Missouri.
Field experts Ms. Susan Jaster (LU Farm Outreach Worker ISFOP and Regenerative Agriculture Sheep Rancher) and Dr. Christopher Baughman (Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and LU State Extension Specialist – Small Ruminants) and the event’s organizer, Ms. Miranda Duschack (LU Regional Small Farm Specialist ISFOP) comprised the team of topic experts.
The training workshop focused on: beginning goat meat production, animal health and parasite management, breeding, nutrition, pasture management and home dairy production. To assist with marketing plans for the sale of goat meat specifically, the workshop covered all aspects of legal marketing, including live sales for custom processing.
The group of 24 attendees, which exceeded the LU team's expectation, remained enthusiastic throughout while adhering to COVID-19 compliance protocols.
The well-attended workshop also included Ms. Rhonda Davault, who serves as Franklin County Lead Resource Conservationist for NRCS (USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service) and Dr. Clement Akotsen-Mensah (LU Director of ISFOP and State Integrated Pest Management Specialist).
The diversity of the workshop participants consisted of African Americans (11), refugee farmers from the International Institute Global Farms Program (3), and Iranian farmers (2). Within the total number of participants, two identified as US Military Veterans and two identified as women sole proprietors.
After attending the event, Chef Robert Rusan of R.U.F.F.S. Kitchen in St. Louis, Missouri remarked:
“My cousin and I had a fantastic experience! Really covered good information in that (short) amount of time…. I can’t wait for the next one!”
Instilling Best Practices When Growing Organic
Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall (LU Specialty Crops Specialist) and Ms. Susan Jaster (LU ISFOP Farm Outreach Worker) were two of the dynamic guest speakers for the 13th Annual Mid-America Organic Conference two-day event on March 2 and March 3 in Jefferson City.
The purpose of the event, hosted by the Missouri Organic Association, was to introduce educational and networking opportunities for farmers statewide.
Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall, who is a member of the Missouri Organic Association, offered listeners information on specialty crops and highlighted those grown and studied at Lincoln University farms and other off-campus locations.
Ms. Susan Jaster’s presentation, “What is Regenerative Agriculture and why should I try it?” spoke on how regenerative agricultural practices can help farmers and ranchers become climate resilient in a world of flooding, drought and other weather events that are attributed to climate change.
Ranchers will use adaptive grazing techniques to maintain a minimum height of eight inches of forage to support the large root base of each plant, so soil can remain at a constant temperature to accommodate diverse soil biology.
Farmers inter-seeding cover crops into a standing cash crop will prevent soil erosion and keep a living root in the ground year around to supply a food source for the mycorrhizae and help keep a balance between bacteria and fungi.
Regenerative practices lower the cost of synthetic inputs because the active biodiversity of soil keeps itself healthy.
LU Graduate Student Nikita Bhusal Chosen to Participate in 2021 Consumer Food Safety Conference
United States-based graduate and undergraduate students studying food science, food safety, food microbiology, public health or environmental health were recently offered an opportunity to receive a CFSEC (Consumer Food Safety Education Conference) scholarship. Lincoln University student, Ms. Nikita Bhusal was chosen as a recipient of the scholarship.
Having graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology from Purbanchal University in Nepal, Ms. Bhusal is now seeking her Masters degree in Sustainable Agriculture at Lincoln University and will graduate in December 2021. Her research addresses food safety issues in fresh romaine lettuce. She is also developing a novel biocontrol method using endophytic microorganism to act as an antagonist against internalized human pathogen E. coli 0157:H7 in romaine lettuce.
As a scholarship recipient, Ms. Bhusal received:
- Waived registration fee to attend the live 2021 conference held on March 10-12.
- A valuable 25-minute introduction and a one-on-one virtual mentoring session with a senior food safety scientific or communications expert from government, industry, or non-profit sectors.
- A post-conference invitation to be part of a student BAC Fighter ambassador group through the Partnership for Food Safety Education.
The CFSEC is the leading US-based conference that focuses on food safety behavior change and hand hygiene. The 2021 CFSEC Conference was supported by the USDA NIFA.
Ms. Bhusal is also one of the team members involved the Lincoln University Department of Agriculture participating in the Campus RainWorks Challenge, a green infrastructure design competition for American colleges and universities, offered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
After graduating from LU, she plans to pursue a PhD program in the field of food safety or food microbiology field. Her long-term goal is to work in these industries and establish herself as an entrepreneur.
To Learn more about Nikita Bhusal’s journey to Lincoln University, please visit the Bayer Shaping Agriculture blog post:
Technology Tools for Teaching and Learning
Felecia Anderson, Regional Educator for Lincoln University Cooperative Extension - Sikeston, Missouri collaborated with two leadership students, Amyari Blissett and Kelsie Anderson to create a YouTube channel titled LU Fun Time with Mari & Kel.
This virtual program was created during the statewide COVID-19 shutdown to help maintain a connection with the program’s youth participants. The assigned leadership students really aimed at doing something innovative and fun for the other program participants.
The online virtual program encouraged youth to keep their focus on academics during the frequent school closures. Research and creativity played a major role in deciding what “fun” activities could be woven into the school curriculum relating to science, a subject prevalent in the current news cycle.
Arts & Crafts projects were offered, which have risen in popularity for those confined to home for various reasons. Lastly, sports activities, which have limited group participation were also offered as a fun activity.
The subject-matter videos included dancing and singing segments for the purpose of maintaining good health, both physically and emotionally.
As student leaders, Amyari and Kelsie bring fresh ideas and timely information to steer participants in a positive direction. The two creators spent countless hours recording and editing each video segment of Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. Scriptwriting and videotaping were done using editing software such as I Movie, Videoleap, Intro Maker, and PicsArt Photo.
These accomplishments further strengthened their leadership skills in areas of organization, innovation and communication.
Students and parents seemed to really enjoy the videos, as evidenced in the online comments. LU Fun Time with Mari & Kel has received over 2,000 views.
The team wanted to do something great for youth …mission accomplished.