Building Organic Agriculture Extension Training Capacity in the Southeast

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2007: $195,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
Principal Investigator:
Heather Friedrich
University of Arkansas
Dr. M. Elena Garcia
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Nuts: pecans
  • Additional Plants: herbs


  • Crop Production: cover crops, crop rotation, organic fertilizers, application rate management
  • Education and Training: networking, workshop
  • Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, cultural control, integrated pest management, mating disruption, physical control, soil solarization, mulching - vegetative
  • Production Systems: transitioning to organic, organic agriculture
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, nutrient mineralization, soil chemistry, soil physics, soil quality/health


    The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension System, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, North Carolina State University, Clemson University, Auburn University, Alabama A&M, Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network, teamed up to train and educate a total of 217 CES personnel and other agricultural professionals on the philosophy, certification, production methods and economics of organic agriculture systems. Through individual state trainings in Year One and an in-depth region-wide training in North Carolina in Year Two, participants’ knowledge, confidence and technical skills of organic agriculture were improved and enhanced. Materials used in the trainings were used to develop a website ( to assist Extension agents and other agriculture professionals in developing their own organic training workshops.

    Project objectives:

    The behavior based objectives of this multi-state training project are listed below.
    1. Increase knowledge and awareness, and improve attitudes of project participants towards organic agriculture through the development of organic agriculture curricula to be used as in-depth modules during training sessions and for future use by agriculture educators throughout the SSARE region.

    2. Increase confidence level and technical skills of participants, for organic related questions, by developing a website for this specific project with organic educational resources, training tools, presentations, videos and case studies which can be used as a model for future trainings as resource for addressing common organic agriculture issues

    3. To enable a select group of participants with skills and additional knowledge and expertise to become trainers and be recognized as experts in organic agriculture in their states.

    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.