- Education and Training: participatory research
- Sustainable Communities: public participation, sustainability measures
Institutionally based research efforts to address problems of organic producers are quite limited in the southeast. This planning grant initiated a process for improving availability and accessibility of information on organic agriculture in the southeastern region by engaging farmers, researchers, extensionists, and educators to: 1. identify issues critical to organic production in the southeast; 2. prioritize researchable questions to address these issues; and 3. organize multi-disciplinary research and education teams, including farmers, to develop grant proposals on the most important questions. A survey of organic farmers in the region was done to identify key production and marketing issues of organic horticultural commodities. A farmer-research roundtable with participants from throughout the southeastern U.S. was held to refine and prioritize identified survey issues. For the top priorities, seven multidisciplinary teams of researchers and farmers were formed to develop research proposals addressing these priorities. These proposals will be submitted to a variety of sources for funding. A Roundtable Report is being finalized and will be disseminated through participating organizations and shared via newsletters, conferences, and on the World Wide Web.
Project objectives:div style="margin-left:1em;">
The goal of this planning grant was to initiate a process for improving the availability and accessibility of information on organic agriculture in the Southeast region. To meet this goal, the planning grant engaged farmers, researchers, extension specialists, and educators to:
1. Identify issues critical to organic production in the Southeast.
2. Develop a prioritized list of researchable questions to address the issues from objective 1.
3. Organize multi-disciplinary research and education teams, including farmers, to develop grant proposals on the topics from objective 2.