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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out the National Training Program $20,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2023.