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The Small Farm Institute - coordinates research and Extension outreach for evaluation and development of alternative agriculture technologies and marketing strategies that help maintain small family farm operations. Utilizing facilities located at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore campus, the Institute provides training and education to local growers and technical specialists. Research and development in Aquaculture, crayfish production, hydroponics, brambles, herbs, and white asparagus have been demonstrated directly with clientele and commercialize. Working the minority-owned, Nebo Road community, the Institute supported the initiation of a Public Watershed Association that led to major drainage renovations that improved the standard of living for both homeowners and farm families.
Education Support - for vocational agriculture teachers have included week-long workshops on hydroponics and Aquaculture classroom curriculum and working models. The support of agriscience technology in the classroom provides addition activities in maintaining culture facilities, materials, and tours for both secondary and primary teachers.
Extension Workshops - in intensive Aquaculture technology, particularly recirculating fish production, has attracted participants from over 9 states and 12 countries. Ongoing demonstrations of culture systems, plant field plots, and greenhouse experiments provide year-round Extension outreach. The Institute also participates in the annual UMES Farm Field Day.
Cooperators - and support have included the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, 1890 Capacity Building Program, FmHA, Maryland Industrial Partnerships, the town of Princess Anne, the Somerset County Development Office, and commercial entities such as: AquaMar Industries, 21st Century Seafood, CropKing, Inc., and Bell Nursery (www.bellnursery.com).
Greenhouse Network (www.skipjack.net/sfi) - focus on the development and support of economical, sustainable agriculture technologies. The development of recirculating Aquaculture technology has already spurred industrial development on the Delmarva Peninsula. Through the current efforts with CropKing, JANCO, and Bell Nursery, the Institute is hoped to establish the beginning of "contract greenhouse farming" on the peninsula.
| For more information, contact:
Dr. Thomas Handwerker
Room 2127, Richard Henson Center
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, MD 21853
Voice: (410) 651-7974
Fax: (410) 651-6207
Small Farm Institute