Soil quality workshop: Concepts and practices

2005 Annual Report for ENE05-089

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2005: $43,659.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:
Mary Barbercheck
PSU Dept. of Entomology

Soil quality workshop: Concepts and practices


We are planning a two-day workshop at the Rodale Institute that builds capacity among extension agents and other agricultural professionals in the NE for evaluating and promoting the soil quality paradigm to ag professionals and other stakeholders. The ultimate goal is to increase the numbers of farmers using practices that improve soil quality. We will consider our workshop successful if, of the 25 extension educators and other ag professionals participating: 25 will have increased awareness of, useable knowledge about, and improved access to soil quality information; and 15 will develop and deliver new extension programs that incorporate soil quality and motivate the producers in their area to use practices that enhance their soil quality.

Objectives/Performance Targets

Of 25 extension agents and other agricultural professionals that participate, will increase their knowledge about the relationship of ag practices to soil quality, 23 will accept that managing soil quality is critical to a more sustainable agriculture, and 15 will develop at least one new or transform at least one existing program to incorporate soil quality concepts, practices and evaluation to motivate farmers and others in the ag community to adopt practices that enhance soil quality. These agents will deliver at least one program on soil quality in the subsequent year for their clientele.


1) A group of 13 extension agents and agricultural professionals responded to an informal survey to express their needs, desired topics, dates of availability, and preferred learning formats. 2) Extension educators and other ag professionals in the NE learned of the workshop through notices from SARE PDP State Coordinators, Cooperative Extension State Program Leaders and other sources, and are responding to these program recruitment notices. 3) The Project Team and selected CE are planning the project’s activities, choosing potential educational materials from existing sources, identifying topics that require new materials, and developing a project time line. The workshop date has been set for July 5-7, 2006.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The soil quality workshop date has been set for July 5 – 7, 2006. Applications are currently being received.


Sjoerd Duiker

[email protected]
PSU Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences
408 ASI
University Park, PA 16802
Office Phone: 8148637637
Nancy Ellen Kiernan

[email protected]
Program Evaluator
PSU Cooperative Extension
401 Ag Admin Building
University Park, PA 16802
Office Phone: 8148637621