Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Hannah Stevens
Extension Agents Receive High Tunnel Training to Better Assist Growers
Kentucky county extension agents receive high tunnel training in order to help growers with a range of production challenges, including soil salinity, fertilizer use, and season extension.
University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension specialists get funding from the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) Professional Development Program in order to create a series of trainings that provide accurate current information, and equip county extension agents with useful skills to help high tunnel growers better.
Rachel Rudolph, University of Kentucky Extension vegetable specialist, said that Kentucky’s high tunnel production has increased significantly since 2012. However, growers still deal with production problems, which are more commonly seen in high tunnel systems. This is due to how relatively new high tunnels are, and most agents do not have the knowledge or experience to properly help high tunnel growers. Fortunately, Kentucky State University and University of Kentucky county agents are eligible to take part in this training series.
As of now, county agents have mastered the construction of high tunnels, and they can provide guidance to growers on proper site selection, construction details, and design features. They have also learned how the soil should be prepared for summer production, and transition to winter with frost protection, row cover use and winter crops. Moreover, they have learned the basic Integrated Pest Management strategies, and what a grower needs to prepare for the market.
The Kentucky State University and the University of Kentucky collaborated to create the Kentucky SARE program. Kentucky SARE works in conjunction with researchers, extension faculty, producers, and community organizers to find and implement science-based practices available in every aspect of Kentucky’s agriculture system.
You can also read more about Farm Certifications – SARE Southern.
- $4.6 million in funding since 1988
- 94 projects funded since 1988
Professional Development Program
In each state, agricultural educators work directly alongside farmers and ranchers to promote sustainable agriculture production and marketing. SARE state agricultural coordinators offer support in sustainable agriculture education and outreach strategies through a program called “The Professional Development Program” (PDP).
The Sustainable Agriculture Fellows Program is offered by SARE and NACAA. It enhances Cooperative Extension staff’s knowledge of sustainable agriculture and gives them broad-based national exposure to unique and successful sustainable agriculture programs.
SARE State Coordinators play a vital role in expanding sustainable agriculture training for Extension, NRCS and other agricultural professionals. This will help producers transition to a more sustainable farming system.
Kentucky State University
Email | (502) 597-6437
University of Kentucky
Email | (859) 257-7270
You can see more Farm Grants for Females elsewhere on this website.