Technology Transfer for the Burgeoning Midwest Grape Industry

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2008: $68,828.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: North Central
State: Nebraska
Project Coordinator:
Paul Read
University of Nebraska

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: grapes


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, networking, participatory research, study circle, workshop, youth education, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, cooperatives, feasibility study, agricultural finance, market study, risk management, value added, agritourism
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, grass waterways, indicators, riparian buffers, soil stabilization, wildlife
  • Pest Management: biological control, biorational pesticides, botanical pesticides, chemical control, compost extracts, cultural control, disease vectors, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, genetic resistance, integrated pest management, mulches - killed, mulches - living, physical control, prevention, row covers (for pests), sanitation, trap crops, mulching - vegetative, weather monitoring, weed ecology, weeder geese/poultry
  • Production Systems: holistic management, organic agriculture
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, nutrient mineralization, soil microbiology, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, infrastructure analysis, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, urban agriculture, urban/rural integration, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    Educating the Educators

    This project will enhance the ability of the traditionally-educated Extension professionals to better meet the needs of the rapidly developing Midwest grape and wine industry. As a result of particpipating in the proposed program, Extension professionals will:

    1) Be more knowledgeable about the Midwest grape and wine industry and the overall importance of the industry nationally and globally.
    2)Be more effective in assisting new and prospective grape growers with initiating and developing their vineyard enterprises.
    3) Gain knowledge and tools to communicate more effectively with the public, especially about the economic impact and value to rural communities.
    4) Create new communication components (web sites, printed and electronic instruments) enabling more effective communication with clientelle and the public.
    5) Be able to provide local expertise to assist new and prospective growers with establishment and profitable management of their vineyards.

    The overall result will be more effective service to this outstanding example of a value-added and sustainable industry, the Midwest grape and wine industry.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. To conduct regional in-service workshops to educate Extension Professionals (Extension Educators/Agents, Extension Assistants) about the fundamental viticulture information required to respond to questions presented by the developing grape and wine industries in their assigned areas. "Hands-on" vineyard opportunities will assure that participants will gain familiarity with the characteristics of the grape vine.
    2. Because poor site selection is one of the most common causes of vineyard failure, to involve Extension Professionals in evaluating various site characteristics in order to better advise people wishing to establish commercial vineyards.
    3. To provide Extension Professionals with resources critical to their ongoing viticuture education (books, bulletins, web sites, other electronic media).
    4. To encourage Extension Professionals to communicate effectively with the pubblic about the economic impact of vineyards and wineries on the local economies, especially those in rural communities.
    5. To involve Extension Professionals in developpment of communication tools appropriate for ready use in their future viticulture educational programs.

    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.