LU Professor Discusses Best Practices for Organic Produce Farming
On June 10, Dr. Frieda Eivazi (LU Professor of Soil Science) research work on cover crops, including ways to terminate (cut) such crops. She and her research technician Mr. William Doggett were pictured observing vegetable crops grown at LU’s Busby’s Farm in Jefferson City.
The article focused on the knowledge she and her team provide to assist limited resource organic vegetable producers in various areas of Missouri.
To gain more insight, please read the full New Tribune article
The need for sustainable food production and better nutrition has taken the center stage in national discourse. Food security and safety are more critical than ever since COVID-19. The ripple effect from the pandemic disrupted the supply chain and at the same time demonstrated the imminent need to develop locally-based sustainable food systems, underscoring the importance of innovative agricultural initiatives to feed the most vulnerable populations.
In April 2021, an idea was born out of a discussion to bring community leaders together to teach and empower them to return to their communities and use urban agriculture and community gardens to reduce food insecurity, improve nutrition, develop local food systems, and foster a sense of community to reduce violence and substance abuse.
As a result of the discussion, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE) organized a successful two-day (June 16 and June 17, 2021), train-the-trainer workshop for key community leaders and selected state legislators. This idea was conceived by Ms. Sheryl Maxwell (LUCE Program Educator – Charleston), Ms. Yvonne Matthews (LUCE Associate Administrator), and Dr. Majed El-Dweik (Dean of the College of Agriculture, Environmental, and Human Sciences).
Lincoln University College of Agriculture used the train-the-trainer workshop platform to develop a shared vision of healthy, thriving communities using urban agriculture. A combination of informational workshops, tours, and events demonstrated how a partnership with Lincoln University could provide educational and training support.
To ensure their goals for success, LU will assist in developing plans to improve health equity and socioeconomic conditions in their communities. These types of projects can also foster a love of learning and support vocations in agriculture. The workshop challenged participants to serve as ambassadors for unity, community development and local food systems in partnership with Lincoln University College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences.
This workshop was made possible with the support of the following:
- Missouri State Highway Patrol
- Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
- Office of Minority Health
- Missouri Department of Mental Health
- Division of Behavior Science
- Missouri Department of Social Services
- Ameren Missouri
- United States Department of Agriculture/NIFA
- Ole Tyme Produce
- DRPAM J. Transport LLC
- Samaritan Center
- Immaculate Conception Church
- Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture
- Carver Farm Staff
- Lincoln University Cooperative Extension
- Lincoln University Cooperative Research
- Carla’s Embroidery
- USA Tours
- Ms. Chakyra David
Final Sessions Held for the 2021 Spring/Summer Gardening Season
JUNE 10 - Session 1
Garden Health Management
Facilitator: Dr. Clement Akotsen-Mensah, "Agroecological Pest Management"
JUNE 10 - Session 2
Facilitator: Dr. Jaimin Patel, “Plant Pathology in the Garden”
Health and Food Safety
Facilitators: Ms. Sarah Eber “Gardening Products and Homesteading Harvest Management” and Ms. Cindy Borgwordt, “Value Added and Commercial Kitchen”
4-H Promotes Safety First!
If anyone had driven by South Elementary School in Kennett on Friday, June 18, they would have seen a crowd of third, fourth and fifth graders engaged in learning activity stations in the nearby park. This was the special day reserved for Dunklin County participants of the Bootheel 4-H to take part in 4-H Progressive Agriculture Safety Day.
The mission of the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day is simple -- to provide education, training, and resources to make rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities.
The Safety Day provides training and resources for local communities to conduct one-day safety and health programs. Safety Days are designed to be age appropriate, hands-on fun, and safe for children.
When Mariann Wright, 4-H Area Educator, heard of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation and its efforts, she jumped at the chance to host an event locally. As the Event Coordinator, she approached area businesses and individuals to gain support for this activity and was pleased at the generous response.
In this inaugural year for the Safety Day, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE) 4-H partnered with the summer school program at South Elementary School in Kennett, Missouri. Principal Andi Maddox incorporated the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day material into the summer school curriculum.
During the event, students learned about a variety of safety topics by visiting activity stations. Each station was facilitated by a local business or organization that taught a topic related to its mission.
ATV Safety – M2 Outdoors
Farm Equipment Safety – Baker Implement Case IH
Fire Safety – Kennett Fire Department
First Aid – SEMO Health Network
Food Safety – LUCE EFNEP
Hidden Hazards – MU Extension
Home Alone – Dunklin County Caring Council
Roadway Safety – MoDot and Kennett Health Department
Tractor Safety – Legacy John Deere
Underground Utilities – City, Light, Gas, and Water
Students rotated through the stations for a full day of fun and learning. Popular among participants was the Food Safety station facilitated by LUCE staff, Laveta Lockridge and Dawn Jordan. Their activity, “Don’t Remove the Label,” was interactive and required critical thinking. Students examined labels to determine use and ingredients of products that look similar to each other. They then used their detective skills to identify those same products without labels.
Lunch for all volunteers was sponsored by Baker Implement and served by a local food vendor, Lupita’s. Legacy John Deere and Farm Credit Southeast Missouri gave financial support for equipment and supplies.
Each child left with a 2021 Progressive Agriculture Safety Day t-shirt and take-home bag stuffed with safety items and fun objects donated by area partners.
Fifty-four volunteers reported 324 hours executing this event. The Safety Day involved 116 area youth who learned about safety, safety hazard, and Lincoln University youth programs.
The Bootheel 4-H Progressive Agriculture Safety Day was part of LUCE’s celebration of National Safety Month during the month of June. The intention of National Safety Month is to provide a safer neighborhood by increasing awareness of hazards and solutions.
Most people know someone who has been affected by an accident. Unfortunately, the majority of harmful and sometimes fatal incidents could have been prevented with a few simple safety precautions. The shared goal of LUCE 4-H in the Bootheel and the Progressive Agriculture Foundation was to bring safety and health information to the communities that desperately need it.
At the end of the event, each participant and volunteer received a take-home bag stuffed with safety items from the event sponsors. Because of the enthusiasm of volunteers, donors, and sponsors, this event will be planned for 2022. Ms. Wright and LUCE staff in the Bootheel look forward to this continued partnership with the Progressive Agriculture Foundation.
The Safety Day included the Following Workshops:
First Aid: At the First Aid station, students had the opportunity to assemble personal first aid kits.
Tractor Safety: Getting to sit in a tractor from Case IH and honk the horn was a highlight of the Tractor Safety station.
Underground Utilities: The local utility company made learning about underground utility safety fun with an interactive game.
Food Safety: The Food Safety station was facilitated by LUCE’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) staff.
ATV Safety: Understanding the hazards of ATV and UTV was the focus of the ATV Safety station.
Fire Safety: Participants heard from firefighters about how to prevent home fires and what to do in an emergency situation.
Evaluations: The all- day event finished with students and volunteers completing an event evaluation.
Lincoln University Cooperation Extension sincerely thanks each organization for their participation in this fun and meaningful youth project.
Staying Healthy...Even on a Limited Food Budget
In a joint project with ISFOP-Urban Agriculture Initiative, the LU Cooperative Extension, St. Louis Urban Impact Center’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and its participants were recent recipients of plants and seedlings from Theodora Farms in Godfrey in Illinois. These container gardens were delivered to twenty-five families who would be attending upcoming training classes conducted by the Center.
Eighteen of the families attended the five scheduled Gardening and Nutrition training classes taught by Ms. Miranda Duschack (Small Farm Specialist) and Ms. Jennifer Davis (Nutrition Program Assistant). The classes were developed in a hybrid format, allowing for a combination of Zoom and in-person class sessions.
Participants of the program were also given an opportunity to tour Urban Buds, a farmer-florist company located in the St. Louis area.
It is EFNEP’s continuing goal to educate participants on how to grow their own fruits and vegetables as a way to incorporate produce into nutritious and hearty family recipes.
Food safety and food preservation instructions were also provided to help maintain nutritional value during time periods of storage.
Early Learning Experiences in STEM
Science is Fun for Southeast Youth
The LUCE Caruthersville Office's 4-H Activity Night kicked off with a fun-filled evening of chemistry and comradery at the St. John A.M.E Church in Kennett, Missouri.
Youth in elementary school grades 2nd through 5th were invited to participate in the evening event under the supervision of Ms. Mariann Wright (4-H Educator/Youth Development). Additional volunteers were present to assist with meals and coaching.
The project introduced youth to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts with two demonstrations pertaining to chemical reactions. Youth created a colorful foam fountain by using yeast as a catalyst to produce a chemical reaction.
The second activity for the night expanded on this concept in the making of fizzing bath bombs. Participants prepared bath bombs and created attractive packaging to be given as Mother’s Day gifts.
This outreach experience from a faith-based group drew volunteers from the church and relatives of 4-H participants.
This collaboration is intended to be an ongoing 4-H club that will increase the number of new members in the 2nd to 5th grade level age group. The club will explore the critical issues that are the foundation for LUCE programs.
Teaching youth about research-based topics will promote changes in family groups. This was the purpose for recruiting volunteer family members and church leaders. A memorandum of agreement was signed with this local church to reinforce support of this LUCE 4-H effort.
There will be an ongoing effort to include this age group in 4-H, adding more youth who are in grades 2nd through 5th. This club will explore the critical issues that are the foundation for LUCE programs.
A Taste of the Past
During the first week of the Lincoln Summer Camp in Caruthersville, youth contributed to a LU Cooperative ISFOP (Innovative Small Farmer's Outreach Program) project in the neighboring town of Kennett, Missouri.
Mr. Jim Shepard, Farm Outreach Worker and Horticulture Area Educator, spearheaded the “Taste of the Past” project in collaboration with Virgie and Leonard’s Place, a non-profit, social services organization in Kennett.
Mr. Shepard’s work is visible throughout southeast Missouri as he promotes research and teaching principles of Lincoln University.
A Taste of the Past is a project made possible through a land donation from Mr. and Mrs. Fred and Jennie Gilmer. The demonstration is located on Baldwin Street. Campers from Lincoln Summer Camp visited the site and identified the paw-paw, plum, and pear plantings. 4-H Area Educator Ms. Mariann Wright introduced the campers to these native Missouri trees and their historical significance.
The group proceeded to the Kennett Community Garden located in the next block. After demonstrating proper step-by-step planting instructions, the youth used Mr. Shepard’s techniques to successfully establish seedlings of sunflowers and buckwheat in designated areas.
This project and other types of hands-on, adventurous activities are a part of the youth camp experience in the Bootheel.
Discussions from June 29 Central Missouri ISFOP Listening Session
The ISFOP program hosted a listening session at Guiding Light Baptist Church of Christ in Fulton, Missouri. The church is led by Rev. Charles Jackson. The meeting began with a welcome and a short video clip of Mr. Wayne Hall, a Black cattle farmer in the Southeast region with over 80 head of cattle on about 100 acres.
Mr. Hall praised LU Cooperative Extension for their assistance in informing minority farmers about the many programs that Lincoln University has to offer as well USDA programs.
During a recent listening session that was hosted in Charleston Missouri, Dr. Clement Akotsen-Mensah (LU State IPM Specialist and Director of Innovative Small Farmer's Outreach Program (ISFOP), gave an overview of the ISFOP program and the importance of utilizing the expertise of the farm specialists and farm outreach workers within their region. Ms. Yvonne Matthews, LU Cooperative Extension Associate Administrator, was the facilitator of the listening session.
Mr. Dan Gesieke, Regional FSA representative, also attended the session. Mr. Gesieke is in charge of 18 FSA offices throughout the State of Missouri. He talked directly to the farmers about utilizing the FSA programs and completing a business plan. He stated that any foot work that a farmer can do before applying can help expedite the process. He discussed the Farm Bill and the funding opportunities available for individuals to apply. He, however, mentioned that the program is on hold at the moment.
Mr. Gesieke gave out business cards and was really excited about being able to work with the Missouri Black Farmers Network and making sure that future listening session across the state will invite FSA personnel to speak directly to farmers about available programming.
Dr. Ye Su, Lincoln University Cooperative Research Assistant Professor gave a presentation on the USDA Black Farmers Debt Relief Program Forgiveness and included the entire American Rescue Act. The information in which the farmers were tuned into were the American Rescue plan for Agriculture and Food. The four focal points were delivering nutrition assistance across America, ensuring equity for farmers of color, supporting farmers, strengthening the food supply chain, strengthening infrastructure housing, and health care in rural America.
Ms. Yvonne Matthews, the LU Cooperative Extension Associate Administrator led the listening session by asking the question as to whether the information provided met the expectations of the participants. The local farmers stated that a great deal of information was presented, but it was important to Dr. Cooper continue to look for assistance to help struggling farmers who own their land debt-free.
The listening session also addressed farm management from an economic and business standpoint. Ms. Matthews assured the farmers that Lincoln University can assist in helping to develop business plans for their farms. She further stated that it is important for growers to take advantage of the services Lincoln University ISFOP provides so that their farm will be productive and sustainable.
Listening, asking, collaborating, and offering solutions were initial steps toward solving the many issues faced by Black farmers, particularly in Missouri. The ISFOP team would like to thank Ms. Matthews for doing a great job as the facilitator and for providing leadership for the entire LUCE program, the Regional FSA Office, the regional Farm Service Agency, and Dr. Ye Su (LU Assistant Professor – Agribusiness) for providing essential information to the attendees, and Rev. Charles Jackson and the members of Guiding Light Baptist Church of God and Christ in Holt Summit, Missouri.
The entire LU team all would like to all the members of the Missouri Black Farmers Network that continue to recruit and support the mission of Lincoln University ISFOP and a special thanks to Dr. Dweik, the Dean of the College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences for his support, encouragement and leadership as we continue to listen to the needs of our minority farmers across the State of Missouri.
Training for Careers in Agriculture
Students in the College of Agriculture receive a vast amount of observation experience and hands-on training.
Three students in particular have recently spent many hours working on various projects in the LU Aquaculture Program, led by Dr. James Wetzel, Aquaculture Program Coordinator.
Ms. Tuesday Williams, an Animal Science major has worked in Aquaculture for over a year. She has performed work in both LU Cooperative Research and LU Cooperative Extension. She also works in fish production and fish processing for various farmers markets.
Michael Smith, an Animal Science major, works for Aquaculture exclusively on our fish market, producing, and processing.
He has taken a lead role alongside Staff Member Mr. August Timpe in developing and expanding the fish market at LU. Currently, he is in Alaska on an internship where he has been working long hours processing salmon for various markets.
Mr. Smith is also involved in the LU MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Science) organization.
The Aquaculture Program is also fortunate to have Ms. Emma Haenchen, an Agriculture (Plant Science) major who has worked in Aquaculture for at least one year.
She currently assists LU Research Technician Mrs. Marrianne Timpe in the setup of the new green houses on the LU campus. She previously gained experience working on research projects in Aquaculture.