University of the Virgin Islands Training Grant- MSP22

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2022: $21,925.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2023
Grant Recipient: University of the U. S. Virgin Islands
Region: Southern
State: U.S. Virgin Islands
State Coordinator:
Louis Petersen, Jr.
University of the Virgin Islands


  • Vegetables: cucurbits, eggplant, greens (leafy), okra, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes
  • Animals: bees, poultry
  • Animal Products: eggs, honey


  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, carbon sequestration, riparian buffers, soil stabilization, strip cropping
  • Pest Management: mulches - general, mulching - vegetative, row covers (for pests), trap crops
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture, organic certification
  • Soil Management: composting, green manures, organic matter, soil analysis

    Proposal abstract:

    This project proposal will focus on four priority areas of training needs based on input received from the members of the SARE Advisory Council. The proposed professional development activities for 2022 - 2023 will build upon previous accomplishments while addressing the current needs of all stakeholders.
    During the 2021-2022 implementation period one of the training objectives was to increase knowledge and awareness regarding the Naturally Grown Program. In order to enhance the knowledge base of the trainees regarding natural crop production methods, the 2022-2023 training cycle will focus on crop rotation as a sustainable agricultural practice. In addition to learning about the principles and benefits of crop rotation, the target audience will also gain insight regarding suitable crop rotation sequences for their operations.
    As in the previous year, the 2022-2023 period will include training activities on the topics of farm safety, health and well-being. The members of the local SARE Advisory Council cited the need to continue this training on these topics based on the on-going personal challenges faced by producers and the community in general. These challenges are associated with the continued recovery efforts from the most recent hurricanes, drought periods, the COVID-19 Pandemic, and farm-related hazards.
    There is also a continued need for farmers to be more knowledgeable regarding the water quality and testing requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
    The target audience for the training events will be outreach staff and mentor farmers.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The target audience for the USVI Professional Development Program for the 2022 - 2023 implementation period will be mentor farmers and agricultural outreach staff from state and federal agencies as well as members of pertinent non-government organizations.
    Objective 1. To increase knowledge and awareness regarding the benefits, principles, and practice of crop rotation.
    Objective 2. To continue increasing knowledge and awareness of practices to safeguard and enhance the health and wellness of farm families.
    Objective 3. To increase knowledge and awareness regarding measures to improve farm safety practices.
    Objective 4. To increase knowledge and awareness of the water quality and testing requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

    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.