My Extension activities are based on interaction with other members of the Commercial Horticulture Team on projects that are designed to deliver horticulture based programs and support to our clientele throughout the state. Through the USDA-Southern Region SARE program, I conducted on-farm research on sustainable irrigation methods for alternative crop production. This project provided funding to organize and conduct two annual workshops during the course of the study, a field day for on-farm demonstrations, and provided educational fact sheets presenting project results and promoting sustainable cultural practices for the southeastern U.S. Newly generated knowledge aided the newly established blueberry industry in the Wiregrass region and entire southeast region to overcome considerable production constraints by applying a combination of proper irrigation scheduling and acid injection.
I am the Alabama lead investigator in a USDA-Specialty Crop Research Initiative funded project that developed an www.eXtension.com Community of Practice (CoP), focused on blueberry production and consumption. The “All about Blueberries” Community of Practice is adapting the best existing extension publications and developing new research-based extension recommendations related to blueberry production and consumption. The primary goal of the project is to increase blueberry production efficiency and consumption of blueberries nationwide. We are using a variety of approaches to develop project content including: video, audio podcasts, photo galleries, interactive-training modules, interactive diagrams, animation, and social networking tools (i.e. Facebook, Twitter and blogs). I maintain a close contact with blueberry producers and representatives of local farmers’ markets who serve on our advisory committee. I have assumed responsibilities as a leader for the “Blueberry Production” topic. Our multistate team launched the www.extension.org/blueberries website in 2010, which became a powerful one-stop-shop for blueberry production and consumption that benefits not only the producers, but also the nation.