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Using New Alternatives to Enhance Adoption of Organic Apple Production Through Integrated Research, Education, and Extension

Investigators
Berkett, Lorraine
Institutions
University of Vermont
Start date
2006
End date
2010
Objective
  1. Incorporate and evaluate new apple cultivars and research-generated knowledge of appleecosystem dynamics into organic production systems to determine sustainability and profitability.
  2. Collaboratively develop and implement with stakeholders a multi-dimensional extension program that addresses their priorities and needs and improves the competitiveness of organic apple producers. This would include developing budgets and other informational publications for producers on organic apple production including a full risk analysis of the impact on production, marketing, financial, legal, and human resource risk. Academic Education - classroom and hands-on, experiential learning:
  3. Collaboratively develop a course on organic fruit production which effectively integrates classroom and experiential learning and which includes principles, practical aspects, and complexities of organic production.
More information
Non-Technical Summary: Apples are an important component of New England's diversified agriculture. Although there is strong interest in organic apple production, there are very few certified organic orchards because of insect and horticultural challenges plus disease challenges associated with the predominant cultivar grown in the New England region (i.e., `McIntosh'). Also, students (undergraduate and graduate) who are considering careers in agriculture or just want to be informed on organic production systems need classroom and in-field learning on organic principles and the complex issues associated with organic agriculture. This multi-disciplinary, multi-state research project will examine the two major production systems growers would use in changing to new cultivars and to organic production and will have a closely integrated organic apple extension program to disseminate research findings, information, and insights. We plan to build an interactive, vibrant community of growers, researchers, and educators (academic/extension) for the exchange and generation of information and knowledge to enhance adoption of organic practices and to improve the competitiveness of organic apple producers. Also, an Organic Fruit Production course will be developed in which students will apply organic principles, examine practical aspects, and deal with the multi-dimensional aspects of organic fruit production.

Approach: This multi-disciplinary, multi-state research project will examine the two major production systems growers would use in changing to new cultivars and to organic production and will have a closely integrated organic apple extension program to disseminate research findings, information, and insights. We plan to build an interactive, vibrant community of growers, researchers, and educators (academic/extension) for the exchange and generation of information and knowledge to enhance adoption of organic practices and to improve the competitiveness of organic apple producers. Also, an Organic Fruit Production course will be developed in which students will apply organic principles, examine practical aspects, and deal with the multi-dimensional aspects of organic fruit production.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
VT-0052OG
Accession number
206819
Categories
Education and Training
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication
Chemical Contaminants
Commodities
Produce