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Tactical Agriculture (TAg) Train the Trainer Workshop 2008

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Project Leaders: K. Wise, Eastern NY Area IPM Educator, Livestock / Field Crops, NYS IPM Program; J.K. Waldron, NYS IPM Livestock / Field Crops Coordinator, NYS IPM Program; J. Dennis, Western NY Area IPM Educator, Livestock / Field Crops, NYS IPM Program

Cooperators: M. Duttweiller, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Assistant Director, Program and Professional Development; S. Hadcock, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia county; M. Stanyard, Cornell Cooperative Extension, NWNY Dairy / Field crops team; J. Miller, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida/ Herkimer counties; A. Gabriel, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Washington county

Abstract: Workshops were held to teach northeast region extension educators use of a proven educational approach called Tactical Agriculture (TAg). While most extension educators conduct in-field workshops to disseminate current information and strategies relative to integrated crop management (ICM) and integrated pest management (IPM) to producers, most educators do not design programs in such a way as to maximize advantages of sound educational design for adult learners. The TAg program specifically is an experiential, hands-on season-long training program for small groups of field crop producers in local areas. The TAg program has been used successfully in New York State to teach producers to better manage field crops, protect the environment, reduce health risks, and enhance their own long-term viability by implementing specific targeted IPM and ICM practices. Producers are actively integrated into the growing-season-long educational program, which focuses on the collection of data from their fields in conjunction with meetings to discuss critical pest and crop management issues that arise during the growing season. The program has had remarkable success in encouraging participants to adopt IPM and ICM strategies. Impacts of the program are measured by pre- and post-testing of subject matter and an exit survey to determine the percentage of adoption of IPM and ICM practices taught to producers. Two separate 2 day workshops were held on design, teaching, and evaluating an effective TAg program. The workshops were very well received with 15 out of 20 participants conducting or developing new TAg or TAg-like programs in the Northeast.