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NIFA Planned Extension Initiatives

Agriculture

This project is identifying potentially useful wine grape cultivars and evaluating their growth under conditions in central and coastal Massachusetts. It will provide information to Massachusetts fruit growers on grapes that they may grow to assist them to diversify their crops.

The objectives of this project are to conduct research and extension outreach to reduce feed and fertilizer purchase, increase farmers income and demonstrate best management practices to reduce non-point source pollution related to agriculture and equine operations.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst recognizes the importance of reliable and prompt diagnosis of plant problems for the turf, floriculture, vegetable, nursery, urban forestry and landscape industries. We serve farmers, horticulturists, landscape contractors, turf managers, arborists, nurseries, and others in agriculture and the green industries.  The lab also assesses ticks for Lyme disease as a service to the public.

The University of Massachusetts Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Laboratory offers accurate and affordable analytical testing of soil, plant tissue, compost, and soilless greenhouse media.

The goal of the UMass Extension Sustainable Cranberry Project is to provide cranberry growers with pertinent and timely information so they may sustain their operations in Southeastern Massachusetts.

UMass Extension provides farmers with access to current research information on new and alternative species and varieties, advanced horticultural management techniques, marketing and business management strategies, pest-ecology, and pest-management procedures

Through diverse methods the vegetable team will educate growers about environmentally and economically sound crop and pest management practices, invasive pests, changing pest conditions, innovative practices. Field based projects will assist growers to test and use new practices. Numerous educational programs and publications will reach over 1,000 growers. Specific new practices include biological control of two key pests (Mexican bean beetle in beans, European corn borer in peppers and corn), mitigation of soil borne diseases with cover crops and reduced tillage; using social media as well as newsletters and website for pest alerts; scouting networks for sweet corn pests, late blight, and other pests; educational programs throughout the year including the New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference; release of the new edition of the New England Vegetable Management Guide.

Home Lawn & Garden

The Pesticide Education Project works closely with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources to educate pesticide users about safe application, state regulation and proper use of pesticides in Massachusetts.

Nutrition

The UMass Extension SNAP-Ed program is part of a national nutrition education effort funded through the US Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Assistance Program (SNAP). The overarching goal of SNAP-Ed is to provide nutrition education programs and activities that help adults and youth eligible for SNAP to establish healthy eating habits and physically active lifestyles.

Commercial Horticulture

The University of Massachusetts Amherst recognizes the importance of reliable and prompt diagnosis of plant problems for the turf, floriculture, vegetable, nursery, urban forestry and landscape industries. We serve farmers, horticulturists, landscape contractors, turf managers, arborists, nurseries, and others in agriculture and the green industries.  The lab also assesses ticks for Lyme disease as a service to the public.

The University of Massachusetts Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Laboratory offers accurate and affordable analytical testing of soil, plant tissue, compost, and soilless greenhouse media.

The goal of the UMass Extension Sustainable Cranberry Project is to provide cranberry growers with pertinent and timely information so they may sustain their operations in Southeastern Massachusetts.

The Sustainable Greenhouse Management project will undertake applied research and educational opportunities to address key problems and opportunities facing the industry and the public.

 To foster and prolong the growth of the industry in Massachusetts, the Sustainable Landscape Management and Nursery Production project teaches integrated pest management practices and environmental stewardship strategies to municipal and private landscape professionals, nursery growers and home gardeners.

The UMass Extension Sustainable Turf Management Project helps turf managers and other interested individuals, organizations and communities meet turf management challenges by providing research based information disseminated through a comprehensive array of workshops, courses, newsletters, websites, educational presentations, field days, and site consultations.

Community & Economic Vitality

The 4-H Sustainable Communities Project will engage young people in the city of Springfield in the out of school time hours to provide educational enrichment and promote life skills development. An area of national and local need that has been identified by the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, National 4-H Council and UMass Extension 4-H is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education (STEM).

This project addresses the needs for IPM programming to serve the Massachusetts urban population. Through partnerships and collaborations, educational and service programs will be provided that encompass the structural pest control industry, bed bugs, Lyme disease, and IPM in K-12 schools, institutions of higher learning and the health care industry.

The aim of this collaboration between the UMass College of Natural Sciences and the Massachusetts Envirothon is to encourage high school age young people to develop the science literacy, citizen skills, and knowledge of routes to further education and careers that will allow them to participate responsibly and effectively in natural resource conservation and land use decisions in Massachusetts communities.

After years of decline, many American cities are experiencing growth and renewal. In the first decades of the new century a host of U.S. cities saw increases in urban employment and population along with decreased rates of poverty and crime (McDonald, 2008). For the last three years, data show American cities growing faster than their surrounding suburbs (Voith & Wachter, 2014).

Still, the urban resurgence is not happening everywhere (Ehrenhalt, 2012). This is especially true for the country’s traditional manufacturing centers, or “legacy” cities such as Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo (Mallach, 2012). A similar situation can be seen in Massachusetts where the state’s so-called “Gateway Cities,” the former manufacturing centers that once provided a “gateway to the middle class,” lag behind more prosperous areas such as Boston and its suburbs (Forman, 2009). For this study, the term “legacy city” is used to describe former manufacturing centers, in general. The term “Gateway City” is used to describe former manufacturing centers located in Massachusetts.

The UMass Extension SNAP-Ed program is part of a national nutrition education effort funded through the US Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Assistance Program (SNAP). The overarching goal of SNAP-Ed is to provide nutrition education programs and activities that help adults and youth eligible for SNAP to establish healthy eating habits and physically active lifestyles.

Environmental Conservation

The Building Energy Extension Program conveys current energy efficiency, renewable energy, and building science information to stakeholders including those in the building trades, design professionals, state government agencies, and building owners and occupants through workshops, web publication, and consulting. Applied research in building energy systems and is conducted to respond to perceived stakeholder need.

The Citizen Planner Training Collaborative (CPTC) provides local planning and zoning officials with up-to-date learning tools to make effective decisions regarding their communities' current and future land use.

This project addresses the needs for IPM programming to serve the Massachusetts urban population. Through partnerships and collaborations, educational and service programs will be provided that encompass the structural pest control industry, bed bugs, Lyme disease, and IPM in K-12 schools, institutions of higher learning and the health care industry.

The aim of this collaboration between the UMass College of Natural Sciences and the Massachusetts Envirothon is to encourage high school age young people to develop the science literacy, citizen skills, and knowledge of routes to further education and careers that will allow them to participate responsibly and effectively in natural resource conservation and land use decisions in Massachusetts communities.

Wildlife Conservation engages in applied research and provides information, educational materials and programs based on current research to promote wildlife conservation including efforts to better understand the impacts of roads and highways on wildlife and ecosystems and to develop and evaluate techniques for mitigating those impacts.

Family forest lands provide tremendous amounts of wood products and ecosystem services in the U.S, particularly in the northeast where 52% of the land is held by family forest owners (FFOs). Due to an aging landowner population, in the coming years, almost half of the FFOs in the U.S. will be deciding the future of their land (i.e., convert to another use, parcelize, conserve). These decisions will be the most important determinants of the viability of working forests, because forest cover loss and parcel size reductions eliminate or lessen forest management opportunities. Stabilizing the forest land base by stemming the tide of conversion and parcelization is critical to ensuring a future of viable and competitive working forested landscapes.

MASTEP is a "Stormwater Clearinghouse" web site, with a searchable database of verified technical information on stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) to provide information on innovative technologies to BMP users.

Youth Development and 4-H

The 4-H Military Project connects children ages 5-18 with educational, recreational and social activities before, during and after the deployment of a parent.  The project provides direct assistance to military children and families and educates the broader community on the effects of deployment on children to ensure that all Massachusetts military youth are safe, healthy, and supported.

Since 1919, the Massachusetts 4-H Program has provided support, resources and educational opportunities to Massachusetts youth. The mission of Massachusetts 4-H is to prepare youth to become independent and contributing members of society by providing them with the tools they need to be successful.

The 4-H Sustainable Communities Project will engage young people in the city of Springfield in the out of school time hours to provide educational enrichment and promote life skills development. An area of national and local need that has been identified by the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, National 4-H Council and UMass Extension 4-H is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education (STEM).

The 4-H Tech Wizards program is designed to expose youth to technology, help them understand how to better utilize it, have some experiences with it and learn about different possible careers that involve technology.  

Energy

The Building Energy Extension Program conveys current energy efficiency, renewable energy, and building science information to stakeholders including those in the building trades, design professionals, state government agencies, and building owners and occupants through workshops, web publication, and consulting. Applied research in building energy systems and is conducted to respond to perceived stakeholder need.

The Sustainable Greenhouse Management project will undertake applied research and educational opportunities to address key problems and opportunities facing the industry and the public.