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Webinar: Innovations in Workforce Development

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Innovations in Workforce Development

A CEDAS Academy Webinar

Thursday, February 16, 2017
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Workforce development is one of the foundations of successful local and regional economic development strategies.  Local, new and emerging businesses need a well-trained and accessible labor force. In light of recent industry location decisions in the state, more than ever, communities are recognizing the importance of talent in keeping and attracting business in a global economy.Attend this webinar to learn more about the key factors affecting Connecticut’s workforce and examples of how communities are innovating to build on existing assets.

Attend this webinar to learn:

  • What’s happening in Connecticut’s labor market
  • Collaborative and innovative strategies for workforce development
  • How workforce development can grow collaboration and support businesses in your region

To register, please visit our site.

Partnerships Create a Food Safety Culture

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Photo: Ohio Extension

Extension educators from throughout the Northeast consider collaboration essential to the success of their work with fruit and vegetable growers. In 2012, regional food safety specialists from the Universities of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cornell received a NEED-NERA (Northeast Extension and Experiment Station Directors) planning grant focused on coordinating efforts to address the safety of post-harvest handling of fruits and vegetables on small, diversified northeast farms. Recognizing the limitations of our individual resources, it only made sense to work together. “The Northeast regional partners involved in food safety Extension programming have established a cooperative to better support our stakeholders,” states Amanda Kinchla, Extension Assistant Professor from the University of Massachusetts. “Over the past few years, we have been able to leverage resources and establish supports that help address critical food safety issues.” Produce farmers have benefited from this collaboration as research-based information regarding use of agricultural water, produce washing and sanitation is shared and work-shops, curricula and training videos and material are developed. For more information on programs visit: http://www.foodsafety.uconn.edu

Deadline Extended – Become a UConn Extension Master Gardener

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Hartford County Master Gardener Coordinator Sarah Bailey and a Master Gardener volunteer work in Burgdorf. Photo: Chris Defrancesco.

UConn Extension is accepting applications for the 2017 Master Gardener Program. Master Gardener interns receive horticultural training from UConn, and then share knowledge with the public through community volunteering and outreach efforts. Enrollment in the UConn Extension Master Gardener program is limited and competitive.

“Gardening and the study of it is something we can do our whole lives,” says Karen Linder, a 2015 graduate of the UConn Extension Master Gardener Program at the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford. “There is always something new to learn – we can get deeper into a subject. Our instructors truly brought subjects to life that I thought could not be made exciting. Who knew soil had so much going on? It has truly changed the way I think and observe the world around me. That is pretty amazing!”

The program is broad-based, intensive, and consists of 16 class sessions (one full day per week) beginning January 9, 2017. The Master Gardener program includes over 100 hours of classroom training and 60 hours of volunteer service. Individuals successfully completing the program will receive UConn Extension Master Gardener certification. The program fee is $425.00, and includes the training manual. Partial scholarships may be available, based on demonstrated financial need.

“Working at the Courthouse Garden signature project in Hartford gave me the opportunity to use my gardening skills to help feed and educate others,” says John Vecchitto, a 2015 graduate from Hartford County. “We’re teaching others, many of whom have never gardened, to enjoy the gardening experience. People expressed their satisfaction when they heard the produce we grew would go to a shelter to help hungry people. We fed those who needed good food, and we fed the spirits of our participants with a taste of kindness. It was empowering.”

Classes will be held in Haddam, West Hartford, Bethel, Brooklyn, and Stamford. The postmark deadline for applications has been extended until Friday, November 18, 2016

For more information or an application, call UConn Extension at 860-486-9228 or visit the UConn Extension Master Gardener website at: www.mastergardener.uconn.edu.

First Place in Storytelling with Maps

screen shot of story mapLast week at the Esri International User Conference in San Diego, UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research‘s Emily Wilson and Chet Arnold received the First Place Award in the Science/Technology/Education category of the Esri Storytelling with Maps Contest. There were over 400 submissions to the contest and only 5 first place winners. Over 16,000 GIS professionals from around the world attended the conference. As a result of the award, Emily was asked to present in two sessions with audiences of about 500 and 300 people, respectively.

A story map is a simple yet powerful way to engage an audience that combines interactive maps, data, text, graphics and images. Story Maps have become a major focus of Esri, the industry leader in GIS technology. Our story map, called Connecticut’s Changing Landscape, highlights information from the 25 year land cover series produced at CLEAR. See the winning story map at the link: http://s.uconn.edu/ctstory

Congratulations PEP Graduates

Congratulations to our recent UConnExtension‬ People Empowering People (PEP) graduates from Meriden and Putnam. A few graduates are pictured below, but many more were also recognized.

3 out of 5 graduates were able to make it to the graduation in Putnam, due to bad weather. Sherry Curran (far left) read a short description of each grad and what they brought to the group. Kris Cicchetti, President of the Northeast Early Childhood Council (next to Sherry) presented the certificates to the grads. Shannon Haney, PEP co-facilitator, (far right, back) is seen clapping for the next grad coming up for her certificate.
   PEP Meriden Graduation PEP Meriden graduation2

UConn Extension Receives Farmland Preservation Pathfinder Award

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Dean Weidemann accepting the Pathfinder Award on behalf of the Agriculture Team with Kip Kolesinskas of Working Lands Alliance. Photo: Lisa Bassani.

The UConn Extension Agriculture Team was the recipient of the Farmland Preservation Pathfinder Education Leader Award at the Working Lands Alliancee Annual Meeting on Tuesday, November 18th at the State Capitol in Hartford. The award recognizes significant contributions in the area of educating the public about the importance of farmland preservation.

 

UConn Extension connects the power of UConn research to real life for Connecticut communities, citizens and businesses. Our programs create practical, science-based tools and technologies to help solve complex problems. Extension provides outreach, knowledge and expertise to the public in areas such as: economic viability, business and industry, community development, agriculture and natural resources. Through the work of our Agriculture team, UConn Extension has advanced farmland preservation in Connecticut by assisting farmers with economic viability, leadership in the agriculture field, advocacy for agriculture, planning and educational programs. Without economically viable businesses, it would be impossible for farmers in Connecticut to remain in business. UConn Extension Agriculture team programs give farmers the tools they need to enhance their agricultural businesses, playing a direct role in the success of the industry and farmland preservation. Farmers we work with include those who have already preserved their farmland and those considering it as an option.

 

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UConn Extension’s Bonnie Burr, Mike O’Neill and Jiff Martin with Dean Weidemann. Photo: Lisa Bassani.

Agriculture team members serve the efforts of farmland preservation in a variety of methods. Programs include: Scaling Up for Beginning Farmers, Farmland ConneCTions, Buy 10% Local, Connecticut Food System Alliance, Agriculture Risk Management, Crop Insurance, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Food Safety, Agriculture Nutrient Management and more.

 

Through our team approach to agriculture outreach and education, UConn Extension has created a vibrant network of professionals to meet the needs of our state’s versatile agricultural industry. For the past 100 years, UConn Extension has been tying research to real life for Connecticut farmers and agricultural producers. Our efforts have had a direct impact on farm viability and preservation in Connecticut and we look forward to our next century of tying research to real life.

4-H Education Center at Auerfarm

The 124-acre 4-H Education Center at Auerfarm is located in the northwest section of Bloomfield, Connecticut.  Hartford entrepreneur and retailer Beatrice Auerbach deeded the farm to the CT 4-H Development Fund in 1976. Founded in the early years of the twentieth century, Auerfarm had been honored many times as a model site that included 60 purebred Guernsey cows, 20,000 chicken and 300 apple trees.  Today, the Auerbach legacy to the 4-H Education Center is expressed through the variety of 4-H education programs offered to families and children in the areas of gardening, agriculture and environmental science. Over 15,000 students and family members participate in year round 4-H curriculum based school science programs, animal clubs, and Junior Master Gardening activities.

auer farm

Visitors are invited to walk the property, go to the animal barn, the blueberry and raspberry beds and tour the newly established herb beds and the organic Master Gardener/Foodshare garden located on the hill above the animal barn.  The children’s herb garden, “Thyme in Auer Garden,” developed in 2012, provides a new area of horticultural discovery as butterflies, birds and flowers present themselves in a symmetrical raised bed. Children readily access and experience the colors, smell, and taste of the New England hardy perennials while they learn that plants provide medicine, flavorings, aroma and seed for wildlife.  With funding from a generous friend of the 4-H Education Center at Auerfarm and the hard work of Master Gardeners and volunteers, the herb garden has become a place to pause and reflect on the beautiful surrounding landscape.

The Master Gardener/Foodshare garden is a quarter acre vegetable garden used by Master Gardeners and 4-Hers as a demonstration site for learning the basics of environmentally responsible vegetable and flower production.  Students study growing conditions through understanding soil, water, insect, and disease management. The garden offers multiple opportunities helping in the seasonal progression of growing plants as well as observation of wildlife, especially birds.   Approximately 300 volunteers come out to help the Master Gardeners on the weekends.  Enjoying the farmland setting and giving back to the community provides a meaningful reward for the volunteers.  They do seeding, weeding and harvesting of approximately 3600 pounds of fresh produce for distribution to the community kitchens in and around Hartford.

The 4-H Education Center is open to the public daily throughout the calendar year.  You can see video of the gardens here.