Goal 1: Further develop eOrganic, the Organic Agriculture Resource Area at eXtension.org, as a resource for farmers, agricultural professionals, certifiers, researchers and educators seeking information on best organic agricultural practices, research results, farmer experiences, and certification. <P>Goal 2: Train organic farmers, extension personnel, and other agricultural professionals in organic agricultural principles and practices. <P>Goal 3: Facilitate researcher/educator networking, collaboration, and research and outreach project management through the eorganic.info workspace and web community. <P>This project will publish at least 60 articles, 10 videos, and 45 FAQs at eXtension.org/YouTube in 09-10. eOrganic will continue to improve its drupal collaborative workspace to facilitate content development, review and publication; group management; and community networking.<P> The 2 farming systems and 7 discipline groups will coordinate at least 11 webinars for farmers and agricultural professionals and 9 virtual seminars for researchers, ag professionals and farmers. Research/outreach groups will deliver at least 6 virtual project or farm tours for researchers, educators and farmers. <P>This project will also publish at least one peer-reviewed journal article on the eOrganic workspace and public content.
Non-Technical Summary: Extension has traditionally been a source of reliable, science-based agricultural information for farmers and agricultural professionals. Until recently, Extension personnel typically have had little direct experience or training in organic agriculture, and there has been little published Extension information on organic agricultural practices. The growth in organic market opportunities has increased the demand on Extension personnel across the country to supply this clientele with information on all aspects of organic production. eOrganic, the eXtension Organic Agriculture Community of Practice and Resource Area at eXtension.org, was initiated in 2006 to fill this information gap. eOrganic publishes science-, experience- and regulation-based articles, FAQs, and videos authored by researchers, educators, farmers, certifiers and others with expertise in organic agriculture (at eXtension.org). eOrganic also answers organic agriculture questions through eXtension's Ask-an-Expert system. eOrganic members author and review eXtension content in its collaborative workspace (at eOrganic.info). This workspace is also developing as a web community supporting research/outreach project management and researcher/educator/practitioner networking and learning. In the long term, eOrganic's farming systems, discipline, and RO groups will efficiently deliver critical, high quality, research-, experience- and regulation-based information, through articles, videos, webinars, and short courses, to farmers, extension and other agricultural professionals, researchers, and certifiers in every state in the nation, resulting in enhanced sustainability of organic farms. eOrganic's active and engaged online research-outreach community will foster networking and collaboration amongst researchers, educators, agricultural professionals, and farmers engaged in understanding and improving organic farming systems. This community and its activities should increase the rate of learning about and the depth of understanding of these systems, as well as increase the rate of translation of organic farming systems research results into eOrganic content. These changes in understanding and translation will significantly increase the impact of OREI and other federal research dollars. <P> Approach: The 2 farming system (dairy and vegetable production) and 7 discipline groups will focus this year on group and content development. Core members of each group will convene in a work retreat. By the end of the work intensive each participant will work collaboratively in the workspace and complete one final article draft; each group will describe its content goals, outline, and deliverables (# and titles of articles/FAQs/video/webinars) for the year. On average, each group will publish 9 articles, 1 video, and 5 FAQs. Quality and utility of articles, FAQs and videos will be evaluated through the use of surveys and focus groups with farmers, extension professionals and other content user groups. eOrganic will reach out to farmers, ag professionals, researchers and other stakeholders through our public content, webinars, and the eOrganic.info web community, as well as through outreach activities at organic and other farming conferences and agriculture professional society meetings.