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Delivering Cornell Grape and Tree Fruit Extension Education Resources on 2011

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Project Leaders: Juliet Carroll, NYS IPM, Cornell University; Timothy Martinson, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University; Marvin Pritts, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University

Cooperators: Catherine Heidenreich, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University; Craig Cramer, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University; Members of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Viticulture and Enology Steering Committee; Members of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Grape Program Work Team; Members of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Tree Fruit and Berry Program Work Team

Abstract: The Cornell Fruit Resources website,was thoroughly upgraded and re-organized to place fruit information at the fingertips of growers and Extension educators. A steering committee consisting of Juliet Carroll, Marvin Pritts, Timothy Martinson, Catherine Heidenreich, and Craig Cramer guided the direction of the upgrades and selection of featured content. Coordination of effort was also achieved with the Tree Fruit and Berry Program Work Team (PWT) and the Viticulture and Enology PWT. The three major commodity-specific sections are Tree Fruit, Grapes, and Berries. Content within each commodity section is grouped under three sub-sections: Production, IPM, and Post Harvest. There are six common sections: Food Safety, Value-Added, Enology, Business Management, Marketing, and Labor Management & Worker Safety. “News & Events”, features statewide and regional events and provides newsworthy briefs about new fruit resources. “Newsletters”, provides a listing of all the fruit-farming-related newsletters published by Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension. “More Cornell Websites”, provides easy access to other Cornell University Resources of interest to our fruit growers and extension personnel, such as diagnostic and analytical laboratories. Collaborating with the New York State Horticultural Society, we created and linked to over 200 individual articles from the New York Fruit Quarterly journal, published online since 2000. Special emphasis was spent on sourcing and organizing organic production and organic pest management information for fruit crops. We coordinated efforts with extension viticulture to develop web-based resources for new growers. Interest in growing vineyards and orchards has increased among people who have no prior experience in agriculture. This clientele poses a unique challenge to our regional and county-based fruit extension educators. Presentations about the Cornell Fruit Resources website were given at the Great Lakes Fruit Workers Conference, the Canada, New England & New York Fruit IPM Meeting, and the Cornell Summer Fruit Tour to showcase the expanded website as a source of information for growers, extension educators and crop consultants, and to increase interest in the site and its resources. Widespread promotion of the website is planned for January 2012.

Cornell Cooperative Extension has developed a high quality source of information for fruit growers in the Northeast USA. Outcomes include: complete information on fruit at one internet site; a showcase for Cornell University’s tree fruit, grape, and berry resources; assembled vital resources on food safety, value-added, enology, business management, marketing, and labor management & worker safety; a library of fruit content for Cornell Cooperative Extension; statewide and regional issues, news and events, and access to newsletters; improved efficiency for extension personnel in responding to inquiries; less duplication of extension resource materials; content for new farms, organic growers, cider and winemakers. Cornell Fruit Resources supports and advances information delivery on fruit topics and upholds the sustainability of fruit farms, their environmental awareness and profitability. Consumers and state residents are indirectly benefitting by having knowledgeable growers producing their food and managing their environment. The Cornell Fruit Resources website indexes vital content on food safety, value-added, enology, business management, marketing, and labor management & worker safety for the fruit industry. Expanded organic production resources now assist growers transitioning to organic production and support the increasing demand for local, organic foods. The development of the tree fruit and grape resources web pages has facilitated delivery of essential information to new growers who have limited to no farming background. On average, Cornell Fruit Resources receives per month 730 unique visitors, 795 visits, 1600 pages viewed, and 6,525 hits. The website contains 306 webpages, 669 images, and 262 files (250 pdf and 12 documents). Now that the site is complete and achieving its goal we can focus efforts on promotion of the website’s informational resource to foster the impacts and outcomes listed.