Over the last decades, agribusiness has expanded while extension funding and services have declined. Yet not every agricultural problem has a marketable solution. The solutions to many of our most pressing agricultural problems rely on knowledge; knowledge of the crop, the pest, the community, the landscape, and their interactions. Emerging threats such as invasive species, declining agro-ecosystem diversity and changing climate make this knowledge base more relevant than ever. My mission in my extension work is to leverage the knowledge of farmers with the knowledge of ecologists to create sustainable solutions and resilient agricultural systems.
“One must begin in one’s own life the private solutions that can only in turn become public solutions.”
―Wendell Berry, The Unsettlingof America: Culture and Agriculture
I have learned so much from the growers who have welcomed me onto their farms for my various research projects. It is gratifying to translate the fruits of that knowledge into actionable management recommendations!