Fresh From the Field, May 2, 2019

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Fresh From the Field is a weekly album showcasing transformative impacts made by partners supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Editor: Falita Liles                                                                                                 May 2, 2019

Success Stories 

Yoko Takemura and Alex Cooper from Assawaga Farm. They are students in the Solid Ground Farmer Training Program offered by UConn Extension.

Strengthening Connecticut Farms

In response to training needs of new farmers, University of Connecticut (UConn) Extension launched its Solid Ground Farmer Training Program. The program features classroom trainings, online tutorials, and statewide events that target growers who range in experience from 0-10 years of farming. The UConn Extension team hires and schedules trainers, advertises the program, provides in-person staff support at each training, and steers collaboration with the New CT Farmer Alliance and CT Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut (NOFA). Partners set training priorities, help recruit participants, and ensure that trainings are happening across the state so that growers can access this learning opportunity in small group settings. Training is available in an e-learning format, as well as one-on-one consultations in selected subject areas.

NIFA supports the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.

Read more at UConn's New Farms and Farmers.

News Coverage

Photo by Debbie Miller, USDA Forest Service, USDA NIFA Fresh From the Field.

Slowing the Spread of EAB in Vermont

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect that kills 99 percent of the North American ash trees it infects. There is no way to eradicate EAB, but communities can slow its spread by learning how to identify the insect, reporting findings, and creating ash tree management plans. University of Vermont Extension and its partners reached an estimated 103,645 people with outreach and education efforts. As a result, 18 Vermont towns have taken action by writing a plan, completing an inventory of roadside ash trees, hosting outreach events, displaying and distributing flyers, and/or revising existing management plans.

NIFA supports this outreach through the Smith Lever Act Capacity Funds.

Read more about EAB at Vermont Invasive's site.

Contact Katherine Forrer ( for more information.


Adobe Stock . Red Stop sign-17/77239822. USDA NIFA Fresh From the Field.

Heart & Shield: A Program to End Family Violence in Nevada

Nevada’s Heart & Shield (H&S) creates an environment for child and adult survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) to obtain skills and resources necessary to break the cycle of IPV. Participants attend a 9-week session and monthly Family Night Out activities. Each meeting includes a healthy meal, nutrition tips, violence prevention tips for each age group, and a family activity that reinforces skills taught. Participants are divided into age groups: parents, children ages birth to 8, youth 9 to 13, and teens 14 to 18. Educational topics for parents focus on communication, emotion identification and regulation, problem solving, typical child development and development affected by family violence, parenting styles, guidance and discipline, healthy relationships, and strengthening families. Children, youth, and teen topics teach communication, emotion identification and regulation, problem solving, friendship skills, healthy relationships, social/emotional skills, and strengthening families. In 2017, 39 adults and 72 youth participated in the program. Faculty and staff delivered presentations to statewide and national stakeholders for sustainability. More than 40 local presentations targeted community partners to increase their awareness of IPV and its effects on children and adults, increasing program referrals and ways to collaborate to sustain the program.

NIFA supports this outreach and educational effort through the Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Program.

To learn more about the Heart & Shield and other success stories, please view the 2017 CYFAR Annual Report.

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Akhunov KState Wheat Genome tweet