The final episode of SARE’s Our Farms, Our Future podcast series features Michigan State University Extension educator Dean Baas, who serves as the SARE co-coordinator for his state. Baas speaks with Alan Sundermeier, a fellow Extension educator with The Ohio State University and a former SARE co-coordinator in Ohio, about the importance of farmer participation in on-farm research.
“Farmers are hard to convince. You have to get the farmer to do it himself to convince him that whatever you’re testing is going to work,” says Sundermeier. Baas agrees: “Farmers listen to farmers. If you take them out to an on-farm research site, the fact that they see it, feel it and observe it gives it a lot of credibility with other farmers.” Sundermeier and Baas share the importance of involving farmers in small-scale research to help them explore or adopt new practices at the farm scale.
The Our Farms, Our Future podcast was created to bring people together for important conversations about our food system, and to share the knowledge of agricultural professionals with a wider audience. Each episode features two members of the sustainable agriculture community in conversations about their successes, challenges, fears, hopes, lessons learned and projects to come. This is the final episode of the series, but all of the episodes in the series remain available online.