Poultry Science Department Sponsors Pastured Poultry Workshop

Workshop participants looking at layer management while chickens graze and eat supplemental feed in the pasture.
Komala Arsi

Workshop participants looking at layer management while chickens graze and eat supplemental feed in the pasture.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, the University of Arkansas, the Department of Poultry Science and the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science, partnered with several organizations to provide a sustainable farming workshop from the poultry and swine perspective.

The workshop was hosted by a military veteran farmer, Terrell Spencer with Across the Creek Farm, in West Fork on May 21-22. Other joining forces to make it all come together were; National Center for Appropriate Technology, American Pastured Poultry Producers Association, Farmer Veteran Coalition, The Fertrell Company and the Poultry Production and Products Safety Research Unit, ARS, USDA.

The workshop was funded in part through a grant awarded to Dan Donoghue of the Poultry Science Department through the USDA-Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities: Small and Medium-Sized Farms Program. This five year, $500,000 grant provides funds to develop targeted training programs for military veterans emphasizing business and financial practices with the idea of enhancing efficiency and sustainability for small and medium farm enterprises.

The two-day workshop consisted of farm tours and classroom learning. Saturday morning, May 21, started with a farm tour, learning the ins and outs of raising poultry on pasture with hoop houses and an up close view of 200-plus-pound pastured hogs. Participants learned about marketing, profitability, important diseases and care of poultry. The second day enriched participants with a pastured pork overview and common health and nutrition practices. More than 30 individuals gained knowledge and experience through this program to start up or enhance their sustainable farming operations. Many of the participants in the program were military veterans, as well as many of the speakers and instructors.

The Small and Medium-Sized Farms Project is led by Donoghue and his collaborators; Annie Donoghue, ARS, USDA, H.L. Goodwin, University of Arkansas, Margo Hale, NCAT and others, provides basic business and marketing strategy education and extensive networking efforts for military veterans seeking engagement in farming.

About University of Arkansas Poultry Science Department and The Center of Excellence for Poultry Science: The Center of Excellence for Poultry Science provides comprehensive programs in research, teaching, and extension dedicated to improving the lives of Arkansans associated with all components of the poultry industry by generating knowledge through research and putting that knowledge to use through education.

About the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture: The Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service work hand-in-hand under the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, an autonomous institution of the University of Arkansas System. Research and extension faculty and staff conduct scientific investigations and education programs for agricultural, environmental, rural and community matters important to Arkansas’ economy and quality of life.

About the University of Arkansas: Founded in 1871 as a land-grant institution, the University of Arkansas is the flagship of the University of Arkansas System. Our 26,000 students represent all 50 states and more than 120 countries. The U of A has 10 colleges and schools offering more than 210 academic programs. The University of Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contacts

Sarah Wright, project coordinator
Poultry Science Department
479-575-3939, sbwright@uark.edu

Dan Donoghue, project director, Military Veterans Small Farms Program
Poultry Science Department
479-575-2913, ddonogh@uark.edu

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