Building Organic Agriculture Extension Training Capacity in the Southeast

2009 Annual Report for ES07-088

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
Co-Investigators:
Dr. M. Elena Garcia
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

Building Organic Agriculture Extension Training Capacity in the Southeast

Summary

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.

Objectives/Performance Targets

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.

Accomplishments/Milestones

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Collaborators:

Jeanine Davis

jeanine_davis@ncsu.edu
Associate Professor and Extension Specialist
North Carolina State University
Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension
455 Research Drive
Fletcher, NC 28732
Office Phone: 8286843562
Kenneth Ward

kenneth.ward@email.aamu.edu
Associate Professor, Entomology
Alabama A&M
142 Agricultural Research Center
P. O. Box 1927
Normal, AL 35762
Office Phone: 2563724249
Charles Mitchell

mitchc1@auburn.edu
Extension Specialist and Professor, Soils
Auburn University
259 Funchess Hall
Auburn, AL 36849
Office Phone: 2058445489
Rufina Ward

rward@aamu.edu
Assistant Professor, Entomology
Alabama A&M
216E Carver Complex Bonner Wing
P. O. Box 1208
Normal, AL 35762
Office Phone: 2563724244
Obadiah Njue

njue_o@uapb.edu
Extension Specialist – Horticulture
University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff
Mail Slot 4966 1200 N. University Dr.
Pine Bluff , AR
Office Phone: 8705758152
Geoff Zehnder

zehnder@clemson.edu
Professor, Entomology
Clemson University
114 Long Hall
Clemson, SC 29634
Office Phone: 8646563111