Center for Urban Agriculture – Urban Programming Report
The Center for Urban Agriculture team magnifies the impact of Urban Extension through agent program support and advancement, innovative training programs, tools, and resources; fostering communications and outreach through newsletters, articles, alerts, publications, videos, and social media; organizing new initiatives and grant writing; collaborating on interdisciplinary projects and research; advancing and updating current program training materials; and administering multi-year programs and projects.
Key Focus Areas:
- Agent support: collaboration on programs, research, agent resources, and special projects
- Specialist support: collaboration on interdisciplinary initiatives, research, and grants
- Urban water quality and management
- Industry safety
- School and community gardens
- Pollinator health
- Urban Ag industry outreach and training, labor force shortages, consumer education, best management practices
- Collaboration and innovation using the latest available technologies
Recent Activity and Highlights:
1 . Urban Water Quality and Management:
- Created and staffed a new statewide urban irrigation and water management agent position, bringing the talents of Rolando Orellana to the center team.
- Established an irrigation and water management advisory board with industry representation
- Developed a calendar of water-related training programs for industry and urban agents
- Facilitated a University membership with the Irrigation Association
- Developing issue-specific fact sheets on water usage and management for the industry and homeowners in urban centers
- Working with individual companies to provide in-house training to landscape workers
- Identifying potential irrigation training and research sites and is working with industry to develop programs and collaborations
- Over the past two years, the center provided irrigation and water management training to 177 landscape practitioners and 33 urban agents.
2 . Green Industry Programming and Support:
- The center collaborates and partners with urban agents and professional organizations to bring Extension outreach and develop and implement industry training programs, coordinate instructional support, moderate sessions, and assist with CEU approval and reporting. Examples include:
- Edge Expo (Now “Landscape Pro University and Expo”), Urban Ag Council and Site One
- Wintergreen, Georgia Green Industry Association
- Turfgrass Research Field Day Ancillary Sessions, Urban Ag Council
- The Center assisted agents and specialists with 70 educational events across the state, providing 307 hours of training to 2,992 people, collecting $42,670 in gross revenue. Agents, departments, and the Northwest District utilized this service, which included program promotion, registration, and food service.
- The Georgia Pollinator Census was conducted in September 2017 and was repeated in September 2018. This is a small census that is serving as a pilot project for the larger Great Georgia Pollinator Census in 2019 (https://GGaPC.org)
3 . Development and Maintenance of Web-Based Resources and Applied Technology
- Getting the Best of Pests Webinar Training Series – an innovative collaboration with the Center led by Drs. Dan Suiter, Bodie Pennisi, and Shimat Joseph is now in its second year and continues to gain popularity as word gets out about this new mode of delivery for approved Georgia Department Agriculture pesticide CEUs.
- From January 2017 through July 2018 the Team has trained 1,077 commercial and private license holders granting 2,154 CEUs during that time.
- 86 county hosted events have been held.
- 10 of the green industry webinars have aired with 19 speakers from across the country.
- The Georgia Professional Certifications site trains prospective commercial, private, and GCAPP license holders statewide (a partnership between the Department of Entomology and the Center for Urban Agriculture).
- Prepares test takers for their exams.
- Generates a constant stream of new clientele for CEU training.
- 1,625 students actively enrolled in current courses on the site.
- The Center continues to develop and advance innovative web-based agent resources, training provides ongoing support and advancement of the online training and study sites including: Safety Training for Landscape Workers (English and Spanish), Tree Worker Safety Training, the Journeyman Farmer Certificate Training Program, Master Gardener Training, School Garden Teacher Training, and Getting the Best of Pests Webinar Series. The Georgia Certified Landscape Professional Training Course, Georgia Certified Plant Professional Training Course, SuperCrew (English and Spanish), GGIA Junior Certification.
- The 40 Gallon Challenge – online water conservation education program was updated with the generous help of UGA OIT and is now fully accessible on a mobile platform. The redesign was recognized by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP) with a dotComm Gold Award.
- Study sites for the Georgia Certified Landscape and Plant Professional programs.
4 . Grants, Research, and Collaborations with the Green Industry:
- The center identifies, pursues, and administers grants and funding for research and training programs that benefit urban agriculture.
- The center hosted the strategic planning meeting for the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture in Atlanta June 27–29.
- Over 80 participants from academia, industry, and the public sector attended to generate a national strategic plan for consumer horticulture.
- Extension Innovation Award Project – Benton, E., B. Griffin, E. Bauske, B. Pennisi, K. Braman, P. Pugliese, J. Fuder, K. Toal, B. Kelley, and L. Murrah-Hanson. Trees for Bees: Helping Georgians Improve Pollinator Habitats in the Urban and Suburban Landscape. Extension Innovation Awards. $8,000.
- The Pollinator Spaces Project continues certifying pollinator spaces. There are currently 125 certified gardens in 33 counties.
- Other Examples:
- OSHA Landscape and Arborist resources development grant.
- OSHA Emergency Response Grant for Chainsaw Users in the South and North Carolina impacted by Hurricane Florence.
- City of Savannah Green Infrastructure to Green Jobs Initiative – The center is working with the city to develop and provide Extension outreach and training related to urban trees through a grant from the Kendeda Foundation.
5 . Professional Certification for the Industry
- The Center promotes, coordinates, and administers the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional, Georgia Certified Plant Professional Programs, and Junior Certification program. The Center distributed 109 professional certification study manuals, tested 84 industry practitioners, and certified 67 industry practitioners.
- A multi-year initiative to overhaul of the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional study materials, testing format, and study site is ongoing. The new study manual is being restructured as a four-part text that aligns with industry career segments and workforce training programs. Upon completion, the new material is expected to invigorate and advance the long-standing program and serve as the industry standard for green industry practitioners.
- Promote industry advancement and lifelong learning through certification and a variety of strategic training opportunities.
6 . Green Industry Labor and Workforce Challenges:
- Extension Innovation Award Project – Pennisi, B., G. Huber. Empowering the New Landscape Entrepreneur: Increasing Profitability through Business Training and Professional Certification. Extension Innovation Awards. $7,000.
- The center partners with Georgia High School Ag Education and green industry professional organizations to offer junior certification, testing 120 junior participants and certifying 12 youth in 2018.
- CEFGA (Construction Education Foundation of Georgia) – The center partners with the Urban Ag Council each year to promote green industry careers and educational opportunities to over 7,000 high school students at this event. (Participated in 2016, 2017. In 2018 the center was not able to attend due to a schedule conflict, but plans to continue participation in this event.)
7. Green Industry Communication and Engagement:
- The center actively engages the green industry through professional organization memberships, event attendance, meetings, newsletters, and collaborations.
- Landscape Alerts from the Center for Urban Agriculture and Extension Specialists communicate timely topics critical to over 1,700 urban clientele and industry subscribers by email and web.
- Saw Safety Newsletter -The web and email based newsletter round out another successful year posting 87 issues to date, the weekly safety newsletter for the tree care industry is sent to 400 individuals and is further distributed by management within tree care companies.
- The Community & School Garden blog has been delivering weekly articles for over four years. The parent homepage (ugaurbanag.com) receives approximately 19,000 page views a month.
- The Homeowner’s Association project continues to deliver monthly articles for homeowner associations representing over 23,000 residents.
Recent Extension Publications in collaboration with the Center for Urban Agriculture:
- Joseph, S., & Bauske, E. M. (2017). Management of turfgrass insect pests and pollinator protection (C1127)
- Bauske, E. M., Pennisi, S., Braman, S. K., & Buck, J. W. (2017). Native Plants, Drought Tolerance, and Pest Resistance (C1122)
- Benton, E. & Griffin, B. (2018). Creating pollinator nesting boxes to help native bees. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension (C1125)
- Pennisi S., Braman S., Huber G., Benton E. (2017) Shade Gardens for Pollinators. (UGA Cooperative Extension AR4). Available at https://secure.caes.uga.edu/filesharing/?referenceInterface=FILE_SET&subInterface=detail_main&pk_id=2754
- Pennisi S., Huber G. Critical Evaluation of Green Industry Certification Programs in Georgia. Manual HortScience 52 (9) S26 01 Dec 2017
- Waltz FC, Huber G. (2017). Aerification: Restoring Turfgrass Carbohydrate Reserves. Manual. Internet publication. Available at https://ugaurbanag.com/aerification-restoring-turfgrass-carbohydrate-reserves/
Refereed Journal Articles:
- Dorn, S. T., Newberry, M. G., Bauske, E. M., & Pennisi, S. V. (2018). Extension Master Gardener Volunteers of the 21st Century: Educated, Prosperous, and Committed. HORTTECHNOLOGY, 28(2), 218–229. doi: 10.21273/HORTTECH03998–18
- Bradley, L. K., Behe, B. K., Bumgarner, N. R., Glen, C. D., Donaldson, J. L., Bauske, E. M., … Langellotto, G. (2017). Assessing the Economic Contributions and Benefits of Consumer Horticulture. HORTTECHNOLOGY, 27(5), 591–598. doi: 10.21273/HORTTECH03784–17
- Griffin, B. & Braman, K. 2018. Expanding Pollinator Habitat Through a Statewide Initiative. Journal of Extension [Online], 56(2) Article 2IAW6. Available at https://www.joe.org/joe/2018april/iw6.php
- Bauske, E. M., Cruickshank, J., & Hutcheson, W. (2018). Healthy Life Community Garden: food and neighborhood transformation. In Acta Horticulturae. Athens, Greece
CAES Newswire Articles:
- Griffin, B. 2018. Insect scouting is an important part of any vegetable management plan. CAES Newswire [Online]. Available at http://www.caes.uga.edu/newswire/story.html?storyid=7587&story=Scouting .
- Griffin, B. 2018. Be an asset to your child’s school garden. CAES Newswire [Online]. Available at http://www.caes.uga.edu/newswire/story.html?storyid=7627&story=School-Gardens .
- Griffin, B. 2018. Make the most of your community garden through event planning. CAES Newswire [Online]. Available at http://www.caes.uga.edu/newswire/story.html?storyid=7652&story=Garden-Promotion .
Landscape Alerts and Updates:
- Martinez-Espinoza, Alfredo 2018. Brown Patch and Pythium Blight. Landscape Alerts and Updates [Online]. Available at https://ugaurbanag.com/landscape/.
- Martinez-Espinoza, Alfredo 2018. Gray Leaf Spot. Landscape Alerts and Updates [Online]. Available at https://ugaurbanag.com/landscape/
- Hinkle, Nancy 2018. A New Exotic Tick is Headed to Georgia. Landscape Alerts and Updates [Online]. Available at https://ugaurbanag.com/landscape/
- Knox, Pam 2018. Tropical Storm Alberto. Landscape Alerts and Updates [Online]. Available at https://ugaurbanag.com/landscape/
- Pugliese, P., Joseph, S. 2018. Pest Alert: February Monitoring for Granulate Ambrosia Beetle. Landscape Alerts and Updates [Online]. Available at https://ugaurbanag.com/landscape/
- Griffin B. & Barkdoll, A. 2018. Pollinators Need Our Help. Available at https://youtu.be/HZpyg546iHU
- Griffin, B. 2017. IPM For Mexican Bean Beetles. Available at https://youtu.be/xRHbDs3cBfU .
- Griffin, B. 2017. Bee in a Squash Flower published on the Entomological Society of America webpage. Available at https://youtu.be/_UGU71bbM5I
- Griffin, B. & Griffin, M. 2018. Do You Have Mining Bees in Your Yard? Available at https://youtu.be/AD18-REQ2ng
- Griffin B. Tomato Pathology in the Community Garden. 2017. Available at https://vimeo.com/224501744 .
Awards & Recognition:
- Extension Materials Award, May 31, 2018
Extension Division Of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Nominated by: Bauske EM; Martinez-Espinoza A; Orellana R; Kelley P
- Bronze Award, May 1, 2018
Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals
Nominated by: Bauske EM; Hutcheson W; Maddy B; Orellana R; Peiffer G; Kolich H; Kelley P
In Recognition of Outstanding Educational Materials
- Urban Ag Innovations Award, November 15, 2017
Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture
Nominated by: Hutcheson W; Bauske EM; Kolich H; Maddy B; Pieffer G; Phillip K; Orellana R
Received for the Saw Safety Newsletter
- dotCOMM Gold Award,
Received for 40 Gallon Challenge redesign, Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP)
- Journal Cover Photo: Georgia Entomological Society Conference – pollinator photo chosen for 2018 journal cover.