Presentations from the 2016 Mississippi Blueberry Education Workshop

The 2016 Mississippi Blueberry Education Workshop was held on January 14 in Hattiesburg. There were 55 attendees that heard the following speakers.  To access a PDF copy of each talk (if available), click the linked title.

Speaker Line-Up and Schedule:

1:10-1:40 pm Dr. James Barnes (MSU-ES):

The Economics of Marketing Blueberries Using Facebook: Some Lessons Learned from the Mississippi Bricks to Clicks Extension Program

1:40-2:10 pm Chaille Clements (Mississippi Dept. of Agriculture and Commerce):

Farm to School Presentation (Market Ready)

2:10-2:40 pm Dr. Eric Stafne (MSU-ES):

Update on Harvest-aid Technologies to Improve Harvest Efficiency

 

2:40-3:00 pm Mechanical Harvest Survey and Break

 

3:00-3:30 pm Dr. Rebecca Melanson (MSU-ES):

Recognizing and Managing Blueberry Diseases

3:30-4:00 pm Dr. Donna Marshall-Shaw (USDA-ARS, Poplarville):

Blueberry Cultivars for Small and Local Markets

 

4:00-5:00 pm Questions/Discussion/Evaluation

 

2016 Mississippi Blueberry Workshop

The 2016 Mississippi Blueberry Educational Workshop will be held in Hattiesburg on January 14, 2016 from 1-5pm.  Several topics will be covered including mechanized harvest, Farm-to-School, Social Media marketing, blueberry cultivars, and disease control basics. Everyone with an interest in blueberries is invited to attend.  See the information below for details on the program.

BlueberryWorkshop2016

BlueberryWorkshop2016agenda

2015 Grape and Muscadine Short Course Update

UPDATE:

The MSU Grape and Muscadine Short Course will be held Tuesday, March 10 in Pontotoc, MS.  The address is: 

MSU Pontotoc Extension Office at 402 C.J. Hardin Jr. Drive

Pontotoc, MS 38863

 

The MSU Grape and Muscadine Short Course originally scheduled for February 26 in Verona, MS is being rescheduled.  The new date has not been established yet, but should be by the end of the week or early next week.  Once that information is in hand, I will update this post and include the new date.

Last week the class was held in Hattiesburg and we had a good and excited crowd on hand to learn viticulture techniques.  We look forward to an even bigger crowd at the next one in Verona.  Keep an eye on this post for more information as it becomes available.

2015 Mississippi Blueberry Education Workshop Presentations

Last week (February 12), MSU Extension, USDA-ARS, and the Gulf South Blueberry Growers’ Association co-hosted a blueberry education workshop for Mississippi blueberry growers.  The agenda was as listed below.  Click on the name of the presentation to see the PowerPoint as a PDF file.

Dr. Barakat Mahmoud (MSU-ES): Overview of the Revised FSMA Rule on Produce Safety Standards

Dr. Tim Rinehart (USDA-ARS, Poplarville): An Update on Rabbiteye Blueberry Genomics

Aaron Rodgers (Mississippi Dept. of Agriculture and Commerce): Mechanical Harvesters vs. Hand Labor: Examining the Economic Decision-making of Blueberry Harvests (PDF not available)

Dr. Eric Stafne (MSU-ES): Scale-neutral Harvest-aid System and Sensor Technologies to Improve Efficiency and Handling of Fresh-market Highbush Blueberries

Dr. Barbara Smith (USDA-ARS, Poplarville): Blueberry Disease Control Recommendations

Dr. John Adamczyk (USDA-ARS Poplarville): Pollinators and You in our Blueberries: Are We Taking It For Granted?

Dr. Blair Sampson (USDA-ARS, Poplarville): SWD in Mississippi Blueberries

Overall there were roughly 50 attendees.  Evaluation data indicated that the crowd was pleased with the topics.  Some even suggested topics for next time, which is always welcome.  Below are a couple photos of the event.

Dr. Mahmoud covering the upcoming FSMA regulations

Dr. Mahmoud covering the upcoming FSMA regulations

Dr. Rinehart covering an exciting new topic -- Rabbiteye genomics

Dr. Rinehart covering an exciting new topic — Rabbiteye genomics

If you were not able to attend this year’s event, please plan to make it next year.  It will likely be around the same time and place.  If you have any requests for topics or speaks please let me know and I will do all that I can to accommodate it.  Thanks for a great turnout!

I also “Live Tweeted” the workshop.  Those tweets generated 1015 impressions (how many people saw the tweet in their timeline) and 66 engagements (how many people clicked on the tweet).  That is a 6.5% engagement rate from those who did not even attend!

If you want to follow me on Twitter, my handle is @EStafne

I try to tweet other events as well and general information related to fruit crops.

 

2015 Mississippi Grape and Muscadine Short Courses Announced

Thanks to a grant from the Specialty Crops Block grant program and the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, MSU Extension Service will be hosting two short courses for grape and muscadine growers.  One will be held in Verona and the other in Hattiesburg.  Each short course will meet on two dates, one in February and one in July, so that attendees can see and experience the vineyard at different growing seasons.  Because the grant covers all the expenses, the short course will be free to attend; however, pre-registration is mandatory.  Below the schedules and registration form can be downloaded.

Grape and Muscadine Short Course: Hattiesburg

Grape and Muscadine Short Course: Verona

This course is intended for COMMERCIAL growers (and those interested in becoming commercial) only — those who currently grow or wish to grow for markets (farmer’s markets, local retail, wineries, etc.).  Please see the links above for further details and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.  We look forward to seeing you at these great events!

More info here: http://msucares.com/news/farmweek/pages-weekly/2015/2015-01-30msugrapecourses.html

Translating the Value of Extension Scholarship

Earlier this summer I was asked to give a webinar for Next Generation Extension – University of Nebraska Southeast Research and Extension Center (http://nextgenerationextension.org/) on the topic of online scholarship.  This grew out of a webinar that I gave in July (Peaks and Pitfalls of Extension Scholarship in an Online World) and a couple papers I published in the Journal of Extension (http://www.joe.org/joe/2013october/comm1.php and http://www.joe.org/joe/2014april/tt1.php).  In this webinar I tried to address online scholarship, how it is viewed in academia (as I see it) and how we can better use and value it.  The links below will take you to the recorded webinar (thanks to Next Generation Extension) and also a PDF version of the slide show.

Translating the Value of Extension Scholarship

Translating the Value of Extension Scholarship

Webinar is available here: https://connect.unl.edu/p7pjtc99xp8/

The PDF version is here: Translating the Value of Extension Scholarship

If anyone has questions or comments I would be happy to hear them!

2014 Muscadine Field Day a Success

The 2014 Muscadine Field Day was a great success. The cooperative event by Mississippi State University and the USDA-ARS is held every year in McNeill, MS. The weather was cool (relatively), so the crowd came out — about 110 in all. The educational portion of the program covered muscadine history, health properties, and pollination. Attendees were then free to ask questions and taste the ripe grapes. See the photos below for a quick peek at how it all went.

The crowd at the Muscadine Field Day listening on  to the program.

The crowd at the Muscadine Field Day listening on to the program.

Dr. Shaw addresses the topic of health-related properties of muscadines.

Dr. Shaw addresses the topic of health-related properties of muscadines.

Fruit tasting gets underway.

Fruit tasting gets underway.

Reggie Davis provides guidance on training new vines.

Reggie Davis provides guidance on training new vines.