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

    Proposal abstract:

    Organic trainings were offered to agriculture professionals in Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina in 2008. State trainings were held independently, tailored to the needs of ag professionals in individual states. Various delivery methods were used to present information critical to successful organic operations including presentations, hands-on activities, case studies, and farm tours. In 2009, selected participants from each state will come together for an advanced organic training in Chapel Hill, NC. As a result of the trainings, participants will have the skills necessary to conduct their own organic presentations, workshops, demonstrations, research or other type of project.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    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.