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Extension Education

Matthew Lollar
Commercial Horticulture Agent
University of Florida


A new long range plan to teach hands-on IPM principles and practices was developed at the Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center in response to increased interest among small farmers in Florida to adopt innovative pest management strategies.  A three-year USDA Extension IPM grant was secured to transform the 330 acre farm at the Center in Live Oak, FL into a field laboratory.  The three primary program objectives were to:  1) create a model to teach IPM principles and techniques beyond the classroom, 2) teach clientele whole farm IPM approaches, and 3) build a sustainable education infrastructure and networking capacity for future IPM information delivery.  The IPM strategies emphasized at the site include: annual and permanent plantings to attract beneficial insects and vertebrates providing year round habitats, demonstrating strategic trap cropping systems, utilizing banker plant systems, increasing natural pollinators, and enhancing the ecological services contribution of the lake, surrounding forest and other natural resources on the farm.  Since 2011, the Living IPM Laboratory has increased awareness of the opportunities to improve the adoption of IPM practices for a variety of cropping systems.  The project has been implemented by a diverse multi-disciplinary team of more than 25 University of Florida faculty and staff along with associated agency cooperators.    A total of 18 trainings with 521 participants have been conducted in a two year span, including a County Extension Agent In-service Training attended by 21 agents where evaluations indicated 94% were confident they could provide this training back in their counties.


Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

A poster file has not been provided

Authors: R.C. Hochmuth, M. Lollar, C.S. Saft, N.C. Leppla
  1. Hochmuth, R. Extension Agent IV, University of Florida, Florida, 32060
  2. Lollar, M. Extension Agent I, University of Florida, Florida, 32773
  3. Saft, C. Extension Agent II, University of Florida, Florida, 32064
  4. Leppla, N. Professor, University of Florida, Florida, 32611