Organic Grains Cropping Systems - Marketing: In-Service Education

2000 Annual Report for ENE00-058

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2000: $95,005.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2002
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:
Bill Liebhardt
The Rodale Institute

Organic Grains Cropping Systems - Marketing: In-Service Education


This two-year project will provide training for Cooperative Extension agents on organic grain, and will address production, certification, economics, and marketing. Various experts will conduct the training, and visits to an experimental farm will be integrated into the curriculum. An oversight committee of agents and specialists will make sure the content of the workshop meets the needs of agents and their clients.


1. Increase the expertise of 30 extension staff to support farmers who want to make the transition to organic grain production.
2. Increase access of extension agents to resources on organic grain production that can be used by extension staff in their own local education programs by developing and distributing a handbook for organic grain production.
3. Distribute organic grain videos for training farmers.

The growing demand for organic foods is creating new marketing opportunities for grain producers in the mid-Atlantic region. The proposed project would provide inservice training resources for extension specialists and agents on organic grain production. The course will include concepts of organic management strategies, specific production practices, organic certification requirements, economics and marketing. We will draw on a full range of experts to convey this information including land-grant researchers and extension, farmers, organic grain buyers, and staff from organic certification organizations. During the first year a workshop will be held at The Rodale Institute Experimental Farm. Farm visits will serve as the classroom for farmer practices during the second year. An organizing committee of agents and specialists from PA, MD and NJ will assure that the content of the workshops meet the needs of agents and their clients. Participants will receive copies of organic grain videos, and a handbook that will be developed as part of this project. The effectiveness of the inservice training will be assessed by the use of a pre and post test questionnaire and a post-workshop questionnaire to assess how extension personnel are incorporating the knowledge and skills learned in working with farmers.

Approved for funding March 2000.


Bill Cox

Professor of Crop Science
Cornell University
Evelina Panayotova

Monitoring and Evaluation Manager
The Rodale Institute
Evy Weaver

Grants Accountant
The Rodale Institute
Maria Pop

Training Coordinator
The Rodale Institute
Mena Hautau

Extension Agent, Agronomy
Penn State Cooperative Extension
Jeremy Singer

Assistant Extension Specialist
Rutgers University
Gregory Roth

Associate Professor of Agronomy
Pennsylvania State University
Jeff Moyer

Farm Manager
The Rodale Institute
John Hall

Kent County Extension Educator
Maryland Cooperative Extension