Building IPM Capacity in Missouri Through Train-the-Trainer Workshops and Effective Partnerships

This article was originally published by the Journal of Integrated Pest Management. Below is just an abstract. The full article link is available below the abstract. 

At times when the Cooperative Extension System (CES) continues to receive decreased funding to accomplish its core mission, a useful strategy to mitigate such effects is train-the-trainer workshops conducted through partnerships. Here, we describe steps taken to conduct, over a 5-yr period, six train-the-trainer workshops coordinated by the Lincoln University (LU) IPM program in cooperation with the Missouri Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, the University of Missouri (MU) Extension, and the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA). Subject matter experts from 10 U.S. states provided training to 228 educators from MU Extension, LU Cooperative Extension, USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS), MDA, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), University of Illinois Extension, and University of Nebraska Extension as well as vocational educators and growers representing early IPM adopters. At the end of each 2-day workshop, trainees indicated that they significantly increased their IPM knowledge base (a short-term outcome) leading to improved abilities to assist farmers. Important mid-term outcomes were documented. For example, combined results from 9-mo post-workshop surveys indicated that: 1) 3,554 farmers were assisted by 127 trainees (survey responders) using IPM information received at the workshops, 2) 29.7% of the respondents wrote articles for newsletters and/or newspaper columns (179 total outputs), and 3) 87.8% provided one-on-one assistance to clients. Overall, the implementation of the workshops described here was successful, and the outcomes highlight the efforts that the CES in Missouri is taking to train Extension educators and agriculture (Ag) professionals in necessary IPM skills for the benefit of farmers.

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