The Secretary shall establish a National Training Program in Sustainable Agriculture to provide education and training for Cooperative Extension Service agents and other professionals involved in the education and transfer of technical information concerning sustainable agriculture in order to develop their understanding, competence, and ability to teach and communicate the concepts of sustainable agriculture to Cooperative Extension Service agents and to farmers and urban residents who need information on sustainable agriculture.
The National Training Program shall be organized and administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, in coordination with other appropriate Federal agencies. The Secretary shall designate an individual from the Cooperative Extension Service in each State to coordinate the National Training Program within that State. The coordinators shall be responsible, in cooperation with appropriate Federal and State agencies, for developing and implementing a statewide training program for appropriate field office personnel.
(c) Required training
(1) Agricultural agents
The Secretary shall ensure that all agricultural agents of the Cooperative Extension Service have completed the National Training Program not later than the end of the five-year period beginning on November 28, 1990. Such training may occur at a college or university located within each State as designated by the coordinator designated under this section.
(2) Proof of training
Beginning three years after November 28, 1990, the Secretary shall ensure that all new Cooperative Extension Service agents employed by such Service are able to demonstrate, not later than 18 months after the employment of such agents, that such agents have completed the training program established in subsection (a) of this section.
(d) Regional training centers
The Secretary shall designate not less than two regional training centers to coordinate and administer educational activities in sustainable agriculture as provided for in this section.
(2) Training program
Such centers shall offer intensive instructional programs involving classroom and field training work for extension specialists and other individuals who are required to transmit technical information.
(3) Prohibition on construction
Such centers shall be located at existing facilities, and no funds appropriated to carry out this part shall be used for facility construction.
Such centers should be administered by entities that have a demonstrated capability relating to sustainable agriculture. The Secretary should consider utilizing existing entities with expertise in sustainable agriculture to assist in the design and implementation of the training program under paragraph (2).
(5) Coordination of resources
Such centers shall make use of information generated by the Department of Agriculture and the State agricultural experiment stations, and the practical experience of farmers, especially those cooperating in on-farm demonstrations and research projects, in carrying out the functions of such centers.
(e) Competitive grants
(1) In general
The Secretary shall establish a competitive grants program to award grants to organizations, including land-grant colleges and universities, to carry out sustainable agricultural training for county agents and other individuals that need basic information concerning sustainable agriculture practices.
(2) Short courses
The purpose of the grants made available under paragraph (1) shall be to establish, in various regions in the United States, training programs that consist of workshops and short courses designed to familiarize participants with the concepts and importance of sustainable agriculture.
(f) Regional specialists
To assist county agents and farmers implement production practices developed under this subchapter, chapter
86 of this title, and other appropriate research programs of the Department, regional sustainable agriculture specialists may be designated within each State who shall report to the State coordinator of that State. The specialists shall be responsible for developing and coordinating local dissemination of sustainable agriculture information in a manner that is useful to farmers in the region.
(g) Information availability
The Cooperative Extension Service within each State shall transfer information developed under this subchapter, chapter
86 of this title, and other appropriate research programs of the Department through a program that shall—
(1)assist in developing farmer-to-farmer information exchange networks to enable farmers making transitions to more sustainable farming systems to share ideas and draw on the experiences of other farmers;
(2)help coordinate and publicize a regular series of sustainable agriculture farm tours and field days within each State;
(3)plan for extension programming, including extensive farmer input and feedback, in the design of new and ongoing research endeavors related to sustainable agriculture;
(4)provide technical assistance to individual farmers in the design and implementation of farm management plans and strategies for making a transition to more sustainable agricultural systems;
(5)consult and work closely with the Soil Conservation Service and the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service in carrying out the information, technical assistance, and related programs;
(6)develop, coordinate, and direct special education and outreach programs in areas highly susceptible to groundwater contamination, linking sustainable agriculture information with water quality improvement information;
(7)develop information sources relating to crop diversification, alternative crops, on-farm food or commodity processing, and on-farm energy generation;
(8)establish a well-water testing program designed to provide those persons dependent upon underground drinking water supplies with an understanding of the need for regular water testing, information on sources of testing, and an understanding of how to interpret test results and provide for the protection of underground water supplies;
(9)provide specific information on water quality practices developed through the research programs in chapter
86 of this title; 
(10)provide specific information on nutrient management practices developed through the research programs in chapter
86 of this title;  and
(11)provide information concerning whole-farm management systems integrating research results under this subchapter, chapter
86 of this title, and other appropriate research programs of the Department.
(h) “Appropriate field office personnel” defined
For purposes of this section, the term “appropriate field office personnel” includes employees of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, and other appropriate Department of Agriculture personnel, as determined by the Secretary, whose activities involve the provision of agricultural production and conservation information to agricultural producers.
(i) Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated $20,000,000 for each fiscal year to carry out the National Training Program.
86 of this title, referred to in subsecs. (f) and (g), was in the original “subtitle G of title XIV”, meaning subtitle G (§§ 1481–1485) of title XIV of Pub. L. 101–624, which was repealed by Pub. L. 105–185, title III, § 302(c),June 23, 1998, 112 Stat. 563.
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