An Educational Program to Expand Season Extension of Horticulture Crops in West Virginia

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2008: $52,517.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Northeast
State: West Virginia
Project Leader:
Dr. Lewis Jett
West Virginia University

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: berries (brambles), berries (strawberries)
  • Vegetables: beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), leeks, peas (culinary), peppers, radishes (culinary), tomatoes, turnips


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, networking, on-farm/ranch research
  • Energy: solar energy
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
  • Pest Management: biological control, cultural control, row covers (for pests)
  • Production Systems: transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil analysis, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    The West Virginia Season Extension Professional Development project has accomplished many of the milestones originally established in the grant during 2009-2010. Trainees for this professional development include seven West Virginia University Extension Personnel, one West Virginia State University horticulturist and five progressive specialty crop growers. In 2009, five season extension workshops were conducted. In 2010, six season extension workshops were conducted. Topics covered in the workshops included: high tunnel design, construction and site selection; soil management; warm and cool season cropping systems; irrigation management; pest management; nutrient management; harvesting; marketing and economics. Workshops were conducted across the state of West Virginia on farms of cooperating growers. Training was expanded in 2010 to include USDA-NRCS personnel. Grower cooperators hosted three workshops in 2009 and two workshops in 2010. By the end of 2010, trainees in the program actively constructed or provided advice or training for approximately 35 high tunnels in West Virginia. All grower-educators had constructed at least one high tunnel on their respective farms by December 2010. Surveys of workshop attendees revealed a significant increase in skills and knowledge related to season extension technology.

    Performance targets from proposal:

    A comprehensive survey of extension- and grower- educators at the completion of this project will document the following:

    Extension- and grower-educators will have a significant increase in knowledge and skills specific to high tunnels and season extension technology when this project is completed in 2011.

    All extension- and grower-educators will have used information and resources derived from this training program in six regional workshops and field tours which they have facilitated or participated.

    As a result of this program, approximately 200 West Virginia growers will be exposed to high tunnel technology and at least 20 growers will have adopted this technology on their respective farms by 2011.

    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.