Fresh from the Field, Nov. 8, 2018-Military Transitions, Police Officer Safety Gear, and More

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Fresh from the Field is a weekly album showcasing transformative impacts made by partners supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.


Editor: Falita Liles                                                                                                    Nov.8, 2018

Success Stories 

SAVE military veterans  program in Kansas  learning about Agricultural opportunities. NIFA Fresh From the Field . Photo Gary LaGrange

Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans

The ServiceMember Agricultural Vocation Education (SAVE) - Farming for the Future program in Manhattan, Kansas, is developing a 320-acre diversified regional training center. The center includes 20-acre plots of cereal crops, soybeans, and alfalfa, 15 acres of orchards, a commercial honey-harvesting apiary, and pasture for ruminants, hogs, poultry, and horses.  SAVE’s goal for the three-year grant is to train 170 transitioning service members or veterans in maintaining cropland, rangeland, and livestock; assist in the transition for current members of the service and current veterans; and expand SAVE’s current apprenticeship program to additional regional locations.

NIFA supports this research through the Beginning Farmer and Ranch Program.

Watch the SAVE video at Flatland.

News Coverage

Small farmer mobile meat processing for chickens, sheep and goats.

Cutting through the Barriers of Local Meat Sales for Virginia’s Small Farmers

When a Virginia sheep farmer told small ruminant scientist Dr. Dahlia O’Brien that transporting his livestock to quality, inspected slaughter facilities stressed the animals and caused measurable decreases in meat quality, she took action.  O’Brien, a Virginia State University (VSU) Extension agent and researcher, used a grant from NIFA’s 1890 Capacity Building Grant in the Extension Program to bring cost-effective processing facilities to rural sheep and poultry farmers.  In 2018, VSU unveiled a USDA-certified mobile meat processing unit available to small ruminant producers.  The mobile unit will save producers money and fits well with the consumer trend of favoring locally produced meat and poultry.

NIFA funds this research through the 1890 Capacity Building Grants Program. USDA Photo.


Police Officer Duty Gear Carriage Improvements. Fresh from the Field Impact, editor Falita Liles. Photo of a State Police Officer wearing a protective vest courtesy of Unsplash.

Police Officer Duty Gear Carriage Improvements

Police officers spend approximately 50 percent of their shift inside a cramped patrol vehicle conducting tasks such as patrolling, laptop use, and paper work. Musculoskeletal injuries are reported to be high among the law enforcement community with low back pain being the most common reported. Oklahoma State University researchers questioned the duty gear carriage methods and searched for alternative methods of carrying heavy and bulky equipment. The current high-gloss leather duty belt weighs up to 10 pounds with a bulk that fails to accommodate the seat bolsters resulting in an awkward seated posture for the officers.

Removing heavy and rigid items of the duty belt with the intention of placing them in stronger parts of the body such as the trunk or leg was found to increase comfort and ability to move while seated. With increasing number of female officers, it is imperative to consider gender differences in uniform needs. Thus, providing multiple options for equipment carriage (thigh holster and tactical vest) rather than a singular approach (duty belt) was found to be desirable from officers’ perspective.

This work is a result of NIFA funded NC-170 Multi-State Research Project: Personal Protective Technologies for Current and Emerging Occupational and Environmental Hazards.

Contact: Dr. Mercan Derafshi, Oklahoma State University.

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