Training IPM Professionals in Rural Areas: A Model to Achieve Sustainable Knowledge

Final report for EW14-031

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2014: $74,755.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2017
Grant Recipient: Oregon State University
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Silvia Rondon
Oregon State University
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Project Information

Abstract:

 Our project provided agriculture personnel from the Pacific Northwest with a high quality, multifaceted training program to increase participants knowledge of IPM.  The program included two and one-half day experiential learning workshops that addressed identification of pest and beneficial organisms, pest damage assessments, scouting techniques, basic experimental methods, and reporting skills.  Workshops were offered at two locations across the Pacific Northwest (Ontario, OR and Aberdeen, ID).  Course plans and educational materials are currently publicly available to encourage others to conduct similar programs (http://extension.oregonstate.edu/umatilla/ipm).  The proposed project builds upon the success of a similar, insect-only course funded by WSARE (2009-2011 Professional Development Program EW09-001: “Empowering Ag Professionals through a Beneficial and Pest Insect Train-the Trainer Course”).  

Project Objectives:

Objective: Develop the template and materials for ongoing educational activities that will increase the sustainability of agriculture in the Pacific Northwest by training agriculturists to better identify pest (insects, weeds and diseases) and beneficial organisms, thus leading to improved IPM and leading to a more balanced and ecological approach to agriculture.

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Dr. Ken Frost (Educator and Researcher)
  • Dr. Pamela Hutchinson
  • Dr. Stuart Reitz
  • Dr. Steve Van Vleet

Education

Educational approach:

At the conclusion of this course, participants were able to: (1) Recognize on sight major insect orders, weed
families and diseases present in the Pacific Northwest; (2) Understand general life history differences between
order/classes, as appropriate, of insects, weeds, and diseases; (3) Learn about ecological pest management
principles and strategies; (4) Skills to design, conduct and evaluate research demonstration plots, and ability to
evaluate biological data. Participants were trained in pest identification and IPM management strategies
and equipped with teaching materials and improved skill levels so that they will be able to educate others
about ecological pest management strategies. Our approach was 100% hand-on. 

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Hands-on training
Objective:

(1) Recognize on sight major insect orders, weed
families and diseases present in the Pacific Northwest; (2) Understand general life history differences between order/classes, as appropriate, of insects, weeds, and diseases; (3) Learn about ecological pest management principles and strategies; (4) Skills to design, conduct and evaluate research demonstration plots, and ability to evaluate biological data.

Description:

Check website for more information http://extension.oregonstate.edu/umatilla/ipm 

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants now have the ability to use on-line resources to find information on how to manage pests using sustainable, biologically-based means. All participants were trained in pest identification and IPM management strategies and equipped with teaching materials and improved skill levels so that they will be
able to educate others about ecological pest management strategies. Insects mounted and weeds and plant diseases pressed into mini collections created by participants for the purpose of pest identification that are currently being used as future training materials at subsequent agricultural and community outreach and
education events. These collections go with the IPM trainers thus dispersing them across the three states of the Pacific Northwests. 

Educational & Outreach Activities

30 Consultations
12 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
6 On-farm demonstrations
2 Online trainings
8 Published press articles, newsletters
4 Tours
4 Webinars / talks / presentations
4 Workshop field days
10 Other educational activities: Numbers are estimate per PI.

Learning Outcomes

100 Participants gained or increased knowledge, skills and/or attitudes about sustainable agriculture topics, practices, strategies, approaches
25 Ag professionals intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned

Project Outcomes

Project outcomes:

Impacts

Participants (70% Farm managers; 10% growers; 20% extension agents) now have the ability to use on-line resources to find information on how to manage pests using sustainable, biologically-based means (http://extension.oregonstate.edu/umatilla/ipm). All participants were trained in pest identification and IPM management strategies and equipped with teaching materials and improved skill levels so that they will be able to educate others about ecological pest management strategies. Insects mounted and weeds and plant diseases pressed into 80 mini collections created by participants for the purpose of pest identification that are currently being used as future training materials at subsequent agricultural and community outreach and education events. These collections go with the IPM trainers thus dispersing them across the three states of the Pacific Northwests.  The program continue to educate additional agricultural industry and farm individuals, and community members, both adult and youth since several staelite workshops were also conducted by main PIs and participants themselves. 

Accomplishments

At the conclusion of this course, participants were able to: (1) Recognize on sight major insect orders, weed families and diseases present in the Pacific Northwest; (2) Understand general life history differences between order/classes, as appropriate, of insects, weeds, and diseases; (3) Learn about ecological pest management principles and strategies; (4) Skills to design, conduct and evaluate research demonstration plots, and ability to evaluate biological data. Forty participants were trained in pest identification and IPM management strategies and equipped with teaching materials and improved skill levels so that they will be able to educate others about ecological pest management strategies. We are currently evaluating the effectiveness of our methods in meeting these objective and the overall outcomes of the project.  At the conclusion of each workshop, we  solicited input from participants on modifications to the course program and methods that may facilitate greater learning.  

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.