Vol 120 (2007): Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society
Vegetable

New technologies for extension education in organic production

Danielle D. Treadwell
University of Florida
Published December 1, 2007
Keywords
  • eXtension,
  • adult education,
  • outreach,
  • distance learning

Abstract

Scholarly findings and new technologies in organic agriculture have emerged rapidly since the National Organic Standards were released in Oct. 2002. This expanding knowledge base creates a challenge for researchers, who are required to review literature from a wide range of disciplines to provide the best production information possible. To this end, the dissemination of research findings through web-based portals grants information providers immediate access to the latest research, as well as a current and relevant synthesis of interdisciplinary knowledge. "eXtension" is an Internet-based educational partnership of the 74 institutions that comprise the US Land Grant University System (LGUS). eXtension is an evolving, virtual, customer-centered educational environment that aims to provide the most current, objective, research-based information from the LGUS. Teams of subject specialists and support professionals (Communities of Practice or CoPs) interact with the clientele served (Communities of Interest or CoIs) to create educational materials that evolve over time based on the needs of the clientele and the latest research available. "eOrganic" is a new CoP created to address information gaps among many land grant universities for science-based information relevant to organic production systems.