Sustainable Plant Breeding :A Participatory Methodology for CSA’s and Fresh Market Vegetable Producers in South Central WI
This project is grounded in two long term outcomes: The actualization of a sustainable plant breeding system to meet the needs of sustainable farmers in the North Central region; and the creation of institutional ties between Wisconsin farmers, NGOs, the land grant university system, and small seed companies. Short and intermediate term changes are expected in the awareness and behavior of four stakeholder groups: CSAs and fresh market vegetable farmers, University of Wisconsin Madison researchers, two small seed companies, and an NGO.
The research begins in summer/fall 2004 with preliminary interviews and with seed companies, researchers and farmers followed by 20 farm visits. During this phase information on participatory research and sustainable breeding will be distributed and semi-structured interviews will be held. Winter 2004/2005 one roundtable discussion will be held with all stakeholders (approximately 30 participants). The goals of the meeting will be to identify barriers to research, 6-10 possible breeding projects (with the goal of choosing 3 projects which are most feasible).
Established contact with farmers and plant breeders during the fall of 2004. Conducted interviews, passed out information on participatory research to farmers. Additionally, set date for roundtable and took input on meeting agenda. Unable to include vegetable seed companies because of geographical constraints.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
This initial research moves toward created participatory plant breeding research at UW-Madison and in the Midwest. There is considerable interest from farmers and researchers.