Connecticut certifies beginner vegetable crop producers during COVID-19

Vegetable crops programs benefit agricultural producers and the community at large by increasing food security, improving economic viability of the farms, and decreasing our reliance on outside food sources. With COVID-19 limiting in-person Extension programming, the Connecticut Cooperative Extension Service vegetable program launched an online Vegetable Production Certificate course for the first time with an objective to effectively deliver information to beginner vegetable producers.In a post-course evaluation survey of 23 participants, respondents indicated an average 34% increase in their knowledge from the course.Additionally, vegetable integrated pest management education was delivered to over 600 vegetable growers and stakeholders every week from May to September through 19 weekly vegetable pest alerts. These alerts focusedon pests, pest management and decision making and safe pesticide use.One grower stated, “Thanks to your advice this past June we saved our garlic crop (most of it) from white rot.”