AERO and a collaboration of partners hosted fourteen sustainable and organic field tours in 2003, ten field tours in 2004, organized a broad based two-day organic training for NRCS and Extension staff in 2003, and two Risk Management trainings in 2005. We also were a principle sponsor and collaborator for two statewide organic conferences, one in 2003 and one in 2005. Sustainable agriculture and organic principles relating to dryland and livestock production were the main focus of the tours, trainings and conferences. Over 750 total participants attended the tours, trainings and conferences over the three year period of this grant. Participants included NRCS, Extension, land grant researchers, RCDs, farmers, ranchers, Montana Department of Agriculture staff and related for-profit and non-profit businesses and organizations.
Bringing together farmers, ranchers, researchers and agriculture service providers to learn from and with one another is a win-win opportunity. Researchers and agriculture service providers learn more about how they can better serve sustainable and organic farmers and ranchers. And farmers and ranchers have the opportunity to talk directly with experienced agriculture professionals about the technical and scientific aspects of their operation.