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Training promotes chemical free crop growing methods

Published: 09/25/15 3:14PM
By: booner

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Dr. James E. Brown (right), a horticulture professor at Fort Valley State University, discusses planting methods on FVSU’s farm during the organic in -service training Sept. 17

A crowd of more than 50 county agents, small farmers, Fort Valley State University staff and gardeners gathered at FVSU’s Agricultural Technology Conference Center (ATCC) for a small-scale organic farm training Sept. 17.

The in-service training called, Sustainable Organics Methods in Small-Scale Production of Food Crops, brought in presenters from various agencies and organizations. The organizations included the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Georgia Grown, the University of Georgia (UGA) and FVSU. Presenters covered a variety of subjects including tax-exempt programs, organic farming methods and guidelines, solar energy and farm loans.

Dr. James E. Brown, FVSU horticulture professor and Extension specialist, coordinated the event. “There is a great need for these kinds of programs to keep county agents updated on the latest technologies with sustainable methods of organic production throughout the United States and the world,” Brown said.

The FVSU horticulturalist said each year local, state and federal governments pass laws involving organic and sustainable products. Brown believes it is important to share this type of information with county agents making direct contact with farmers to keep them (farmers) abreast of the latest news.

Earnest Dotson, a native of Dawson, plans to use organic methods discussed during the training in his garden and distribute it to his neighbors. Dotson said he would recommend his colleagues attend next year’s in -service training to gain needed organic gardening information.

After the lectures, participants toured the organic garden plot on FVSU’s farm, inspected plants and picked crops such as muscadines, persimmons and Chinese chestnuts. 

FVSU Cooperative Extension, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) sponsored the training.

For more information about future in-service trainings, contact Brown at (478) 827-3118 or e-mail at brownj01@fvsu.edu.