Finished Farm HQ. Aspargus farm trial.

2004 Accomplishments

  • Organized and conducted the Auksuciai Agricultural Development Conference at Siauliai University during the month of July 15-16, 2004. This conference involved Lithuanian and American university research scientists, Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture representatives, Lithuanian farm organizations, and agricultural business representatives. The program focused on the development and marketing of crops best-suited to small farming enterprises and how to utilize farmer associations and cooperatives to build markets for existing crops. Financial support for the event was provided by the University of California-Davis, Office of Outreach and International Programs; Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture; U.S. Embassy in Lithuania; and the Lithuanian Foundation, Inc.
  • Organized and conducted the second Auksuciai Farm Field Day July 14, 2004. Local farmers, agricultural educators and governmental representatives, including the Lithuanian Ambassador to the US and the Vice Provost for International Programs of the Univ. of California-Davis, were given an overview of the research program and were then taken on a tour of the research plots. They were shown examples of new crops and given suggestions as to how they might perform under local farming conditions. Participants were shown how modification of traditional farming practices, reduced use of fertilizers, and herbicides and the use of integrated pest management practices can result in greater income to the farmer.
  • Conducted research on blueberry varieties, expanded test planting of asparagus and began development of market acceptance.
  • Improved the fire pond, graveled the entry road to the farm and planted several thousand seedling trees in forested areas where timber had been cut.
  • Arranged educational visit in December 2004 to California for a Lithuanian Farm Center board member, including visits to University of California research facilities and to commercial farming operations, the most recent of sponsored educational visits to the US for Lithuanian agriculturists.
Preliminary work was started for:
  • Constructing a Farm Center building, to be completed by Fall 2005. This building will be used to hold meetings with farmers, house researchers, and conduct lab research.
  • Retaining professional assistance for the Foundation's fund development program.
  • Developing an Auksuciai Foundation International Research Advisory Committee.
At this point, the Foundation is working to recruit additional funding for operations at the farm and for specific projects to be conducted jointly with Lithuanian organizations.

2003 Accomplishments

Heather E. White, RN and director of the White Knight Fund joined the Auksuciai Foundation Board of Directors and is serving as Director of Alternative Agriculture and Development.

The University of California at Davis Office of International Programs provided a $10,000 grant to C. Qualset and L. Clement, both affiliated with the University, as partial support for a symposium to be held in July 2004 at the farm site and the University of Siauliai. Qualset was accompanied by Professor Charles Francis, a specialist in stainable agriculture research and education, in Lithuania in May 2003. They had discussions at the Ministry of Agriculture, Lithuanian Agricultural University, and Siauliai University where the symposium concept was warmly accepted, both for participation of Lithuanian scientists and sponsorship support. The symposium participants will include farmers, agriculture business representatives, scientists and agricultural development specialists from the U.S., Lithuania and other countries.

Both Qualset and Francis presented papers at an international conference on rural development at the Lithuanian Agricultural University in Kaunas, Lithuania. Qualset's presentation was presented in behalf of Foundation board members and local staff, "The Auksuciai Project in Lithuania: Building a new Paradigm for Rural Development." He also conducted a workshop on priority setting for the Foundation's projects at the Farm and Forestry Center. Development of this agenda is the main goal of the 2004 symposium. Qualset also made a similar presentation at the annual convention of the American Society of Agronomy in Denver, Colorado in November 2003.

Board Member Lawrence Clement, V.P, of Operations, served as Director of the farm. In addition, he made a presentation regarding the Auksuciai Foundation program to the Lithuanian Sciences and Creativity Conference in Chicago.

A grant was received from the Lithuanian-American Foundation as partial support for the education symposium previously mentioned.

Thirty-six donors contributed $19,900 to the Foundation during 2003. The Foundation has no paid administrative overhead; therefore, 100% of the donation funds were used to support programs in Lithuania.

Jurgita Tamutyte, a M.S. Landscape Architecture student from the University of Michigan developed an on-site plan for landscaping the farm entrance and pond area utilizing native species of plants. She has agreed to continue as the Foundation's volunteer landscaping consultant. Her activities were funded by personal contributions from the Board and grants from the University of Michigan. Jurgita is a native of Siauliai.

A Research and Education Report was published showing results of experiments of 2002 trials with various vegetable, grain and forage crops.

Along term research site for study of agricultural systems was initiated at the farm. The research is focusing on "ecologically friendly" agriculture. This project will be known as the Long-Term Research on Agricultural Ecological Systems (LTRAES) and will attempt to determine the long-term effects of intensive farming systems on the environment.

Dr. Charles Francis reviewed the farm and forest site and its activities and presented a very useful report the presented suggestions for improvement of the goals and overall operations.

A new financial accountant was hired and an improved accounting system was instituted.

The farm manager completed newly required Safety School courses.

Contact was made with the Siauliai University Botany Department for identification of native plant species found at the farm.

Two additional plastic greenhouses were constructed, making a total of four, for early establishment of seedlings of vegetable crops and other research activities at the farm.

Extensive research trials on blueberries and commercial plantings of asparagus are planned for 2004.

Foundation Board members made five trips to Lithuania in support of fulfilling Center's activities.

The Farm and Forest Center Board of Directors includes several Lithuanian specialists along with members of the Foundation Board of Directors. This Board met in Lithuania in 2003.

Foundation President V. Sliupas continued his work in Lithuania on the legal status of the Foundation's and Center's activities in Lithuania and pursued the complex issues surrounding the construction of the Center's new building to support research and outreach education.

Major Accomplishments Year 2002

Established the Auksuciai Farm Center as Lithuanian non-profit foundation. The Center is located near the village of Auksuciai and consists of 97 ha of farmable land and 58 ha of forested areas all being used for research and educational purposes. The farm is operated under a master lease and contract for service agreement with the Auksuciai Foundation, USA.

Sent 120,000 pounds of humanitarian aid to Alma Adamkiene Children's Fund, an orphanage in Siauliai and books for Siauliai City library. Also included was $125,000 of donated farm equipment for use at the Auksuciai Farm Center

The Foundation designated Vice-President and Director of Programs as the Director of the Auksuciai Farm Center, who spent 9 months on the site during which he complete a plan of operations, conducted research, and developed a Lithuanian non-profit corporation for local operations. Hires a farm manager, research assistant and accountant.

Provided funding to Auksuciai Farm Center to publish its 2002 Research and Educational Report, showing results of experiments conducted on various fruit, vegetable grain and forage crops.

Conducted its first Farmers' Day in August of 2002. The event was designed to show farmers the research projects and assist them in gaining new knowledge and information for their individual farms. The Field Day was an introduction to the local farming community of the Center's purpose and long-term research and education agenda for their benefit.

Erected a 60' by 90' (20 by 30 meter) steel machinery and storage building, completed electric service, drilled a new well and enlarged the existing fire pond.

Updated website and computer systems and developed a new promotional brochure for the Auksuciai Foundation and The Auksuciai Farm Center.

Sponsored a student from the Lithuanian University of Agriculture in Kaunas for nine months of study and hands-on work in California.

Arranged Agreements of Cooperation between the University of California, Davis and the Lithuanian University of Agriculture in Kaunas and Siauliai University.

Major Accomplishments Year 2001

  • Obtained major grant to build Agricultural Research and Learning Center at the institute site in Lithuania

  • Sent $200,000 Humanitarian Aid shipment to Lithuania in addition which $125,000 in farm equipment was delivered for use at the Auksuciai Institute

  • Sponsored a student from the Lithuanian University of Agriculture for eleven months of study and hands-on work in agriculture in California
Photo of aid loaded in cargo container, December 2001.
Photo of Lina, exchange student from Lithuania.