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Agriculture and Food

Extension programs advance innovative and sustainable agricultural methods to help expand production of a safe and abundant local food supply. We work with farmers from urban and rural areas, on land and sea. 


Program Spotlight

Watch the documentary and learn about agricultural sustainability, the consumer connection, and uncommon commodities in the Nutmeg state.

Our Connecticut Sea Grant Extension program works with coastal ecosystems, environmental literacy, resilient communities, and aquaculture and fisheries.

UConn Extension hosts several programs to help build a sustainable food system that can supply fresh, healthy, local food to residents.

Find a Program

 

CT Farm Risk Management

Risk management is an often overlooked strategy that can make a difference in the success of your farm. Our mission is to provide farmers and agribusinesses with information to improve farm financial management and reduce risk.

Website

CT Sea Grant

Connecticut Sea Grant works toward achieving healthy coastal and marine ecosystems and consequent public benefits by supporting integrated locally and nationally relevant research, outreach, and education programs in partnership with stakeholders.

Website

Dairy Foods

We work extensively with small to very-small producers on product development, process control, environmental monitoring, and the development and implementation of dairy food safety management systems. We are bringing research to the real world through technical assistance, education, and advocacy to meet the needs of society and our stakeholders.

Website

Dairy and Livestock Education

The Dairy and Livestock Extension program offers educational outreach, learning events, and individual consultations for dairy and livestock operations in Connecticut. Focus areas include nutrient management planning, farm business planning, sustainable nutrition, marketing, and economic viability.

Website

Dairy Nutrition and Sustainability

UConn Extension received funding from the Connecticut Milk Promotion Board to promote dairy nutrition outreach and sustainability.

Website

Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program

Since 1968, EFNEP has been funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and is an integral part of the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System. Currently, it is one of the federal government’s longest running educational outreach programs targeted to low-income families. Specially trained EFNEP Nutrition Assistants, who know their communities well, work with program families in their homes or in small community groups to offer knowledge and skills to help people control and manage their food and nutrition practices for better health and quality of life. In combination with food assistance programs such and WIC or the USDA Food Stamp Program, EFNEP can make a difference in improving food choices and health.

Website

Equine Extension Program

Our Equine Extension Specialists provide outreach to people interested in horses throughout Connecticut, the Northeast and the United States.

Website

Food Safety

The CDC estimates that each year roughly 48 million people get sick; 128,000 are hospitalized; and 3,000 die of foodborne illness. The safety of our food supply is the responsibility of all who grow, process, sell, prepare, and eat food.

Choices made regarding the safe production, processing, preparation, and consumption of food should be based on current science-based safe handling guidelines.

Here you will find the food safety information and resources Connecticut consumers, producers, processors, retailers, and others need to help them produce and prepare safer food.

Website

GMO

The Science of GMOs is a website to share information on genetically modified organisms. The content is generated from UConn faculty and staff in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. These researchers and professors range in expertise from animal embryology to plant diagnosticians. It can be difficult to find science-based information that is understandable. The Science of GMOs is intended to help bridge the information gap. With information all vetted by a range of professors, this page is intended to provide real answers to questions concerning people today.

Website

Greenhouse

The Greenhouse research and Extension mission is to conduct and communicate research to assist growers in the greenhouse industry to become environmentally and financially more efficient and sustainable.

Website

HeartCTGrown

#heartctgrown is an initiative to promote farms, Farmer's Markets, CSA's, and pick-your-own operations throughout the state of Connecticut. We believe that local food is an important venue for making meaningful connections to each other and to building strong, resilient, healthy communities that are ready to tackle challenges together. We hope to share the stories of these connections, and that it will encourage you to tell your stories too.

Website

Hemp

The UConn Hemp Research, Extension and Outreach Programs are intended to assist commercial hemp producers by providing information on production techniques and pest management. The programs emphasizes healthy soils, balanced plant nutrition, pest identification, and preventative management strategies. The program offers research, training and field visits for hemp growers.

Website

Home & Garden Education Center

The UConn Home & Garden Education Center (HGEC) is a horticultural information resource for the citizens of Connecticut and beyond. The staff at the Center reach nearly 400,000 citizens in outreach efforts each year. We’re ready to assist you.

Website

Integrated Pest Management: Fruits & Vegetable Crops

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a sustainable and scientific approach to managing pests. IPM practitioners base decisions on information that is collected systematically as they integrate economic, environmental, and social goals. This approach applies to any situation, agricultural or urban, and is flexible enough to accommodate the changing demands of agriculture, commerce, and society.

Website

Livestock

Our Livestock program offers educational outreach for livestock operations in Connecticut. Work with our educators to learn more about livestock management and economic development.

Website

Master Gardeners

The UConn Extension Master Gardener Program is an educational outreach program that is part of UConn Extension. The program started in 1978 and consists of horticulture training and an outreach component that focuses on the community at large. Master Gardeners are enthusiastic, willing to learn and share their knowledge and training with others. What sets them apart from other home gardeners is their special horticultural training. In exchange for this training, Master Gardeners commit time as volunteers working through their local UConn Extension Center and the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford to provide horticultural-related information to the community.

Website

New Farms & Farmers

New farms and farmers has a suite of resources to strengthen our farms across Connecticut. Trainings are based on input from beginning farmers and UConn Extension’s recent experience working with beginner farmers.

Website

Nutrient Management

Nutrient Management on farms is a balancing act between how much manure needs to be spread and how many nutrients crop fields need. We work with dairy farmers throughout the state to address the challenge of managing nutrient distribution on their fields through research and outreach, innovative technology, and by fostering collaborative partnerships.

Website

Pesticide Safety Education Program

The goals of the Pesticide Safety Education program are to ensure that anyone using pesticides uses them safely. Pesticides are important tools in pest management, but they and must be respected for what they are and handled in a manner that protects the applicator, the public, the environment, and our food supply.

Website

Plant Diagnostic Lab

The UConn Plant Diagnostic Laboratory diagnoses plant problems including diseases, insect pests and abiotic causes. Techniques used for diagnosis include visual inspection, digital images, microscopy, incubation, baiting, culture, nematode services, and serological tests.

Website

Poultry

The UConn Poultry Extension program offers a variety of resources for backyard and commercial poultry flocks. Resources include keeping your small flocks at home, health resources, breeding, and buying guides.

Website
Poultry Care Video Series

Soil Health & Conservation

Our approach is to provide a team (with expertise in agronomy, engineering, pasture management, cover cropping, manure management, livestock and vegetable production, soil health, farming in a changing climate, food safety, weed management, farm energy use, and farm viability) to work with individual farmers in the watershed. By working with individual farmers to address their specific goals and challenges, we are seeking to build soil health and restore and protect water quality.

Website

Soil Testing

The University of Connecticut Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory (SNAL) has been serving the farmers, greenhouse growers, and residents of Connecticut for over 70 years.

Website

Solid Ground Farmer Trainings

UConn Extension offers in-person training opportunities as well as e-learning tools for new and beginning farmers through the Solid Ground Program. Trainings are based on input from beginning farmers and UConn Extension’s recent experience working with beginner farmers.

Website

Sustainable Food Systems & Locally Grown

UConn Extension hosts several programs to help build a sustainable food system that can supply fresh, healthy, local food to residents. Sustainability encompasses environmental integrity, economic vitality, and social equity. We are a small, hard-working team that values a diversity of perspectives and life experiences. Our progress is thanks to collaboration with state agencies, community-based non profits, municipalities, producer associations, and researchers/experts. We receive support through federal, state, and private grants.

Website

Unpeeled Food Marketing Label Game

Navigating the grocery store aisle is challenging for many consumers—especially those who want to buy the most nutritious food and stay within their budget.

Food manufacturers and distributors cover their boxed, canned, and bottled foods with labels like “whole grain” and “low-calorie” to suggest that their food has certain health benefits. Among the most misunderstood food marketing labels are “non-GMO,” “natural,” and “organic.”

Website

Vegetable Gardening Resources

Growing your own vegetables is fun, cost-effective, and helps provide your family with a safe and nutritious food supply. UConn Extension has many programs to assist with your vegetable garden, whether you are starting a garden for the first time, or returning for another season.

Website

4-H Youth

4-H is the youth development program of UConn Extension.  As part of the University of Connecticut, 4-H has access to research-based, age-appropriate information needed to help youth reach their full potential. The mission of 4-H is to assist all youth ages 5-18 in acquiring knowledge and developing leadership and life skills while forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive, and contributing members of their families and communities.

Website

Contact a Specialist

Agriculture

Emily Alger – 4-H

Sheila Andrew – Dairy

Sheila AndrewSheila Andrew

Dairy Specialist

sheila.andrew@uconn.edu

860-486-0803

Sarah Bailey – Master Gardener

Candace Bartholomew – Pesticide Safety

Joseph Bonelli – Business Planning

Joseph Bonelli

Business Planning

joseph.bonelli@uconn.edu

860-870-6935

Mark Brand – Nursery Production, Commercial

Mark BrandMark Brand

Nursery Production, Commercial

mark.brand@uconn.edu

860-486-2930

Boris Bravo-Ureta – Production Economics

Boris Bravo-Ureta

Production Economics 

boris.bravoureta@uconn.edu 

860-486-1918

Bonnie Burr – Agriculture Policy

Bonnie Burr, Department Head of ExtensionBonnie Burr

Agriculture Policy

bonnie.burr@uconn.edu

860-486-8944

Anoushka Concepcion – Aquaculture

Anoushka Concepcion

Aquaculture, Seaweed - Sea Grant 

anoushka.concepcion@uconn.edu

860-405-9105 

Mary Concklin – Fruit Crops, Commercial

Dennis D’Amico – Dairy Foods

Dennis D’Amico

Dairy Foods

ddamico@uconn.edu

860-486-0567

Bill Davenport – 4-H

Joe Emenheiser – Diversified Livestock

Joe EmenheiserJoe Emenheiser

Diversified Livestock

joe.emenheiser@uconn.edu

860-774-9600

Steven Geary – Pathobiology

Steven Geary 

Pathobiology 

steven.geary@uconn.edu 

860-486-8098

Tessa Getchis – Aquaculture

Tessa Getchis

Aquaculture, Shellfish Management - Sea Grant

tessa.getchis@uconn.edu

860-405-9104 

Shuresh Ghimire – Vegetable Crops, Commercial

Shuresh Ghimire

Vegetable Crops, Commercial - CT IPM

shuresh.ghimire@uconn.edu

860-875-3331

Nick Goltz – Plant Diagnostics

Nick GoltzNick Goltz

Plant Diagnostics

nick.goltz@uconn.edu

860-486-6271

Ana Legrand – Entomology

Ana Legrand 

Entomology, IPM 

ana.legrand@uconn.edu 

860-486-0869

 

Rigoberto Lopez – Marketing/Public Policy

Rigoberto Lopez

Marketing/Public Policy 

rigoberto.lopez@uconn.edu

860-486-1921

Jiff Martin – Food Systems

Jiff Martin

Food Systems & Locally Grown 

jiff.martin@uconn.edu

860-870-6932

Richard Meinert – Dairy Nutrient and Farm Management

Jenifer Nadeau – Equine

Dawn Pettinelli – Soil Science

Dawn Pettinelli

Soil Science

dawn.pettinelli@uconn.edu

860-486-4274

Leanne Pundt – Greenhouse Production, Commercial

Leanne Pundt

Greenhouse Production, Commercial - CT IPM

leanne.pundt@uconn.edu 

860-626-6240

Rosa Raudales – Greenhouse Specialist

Rosa Raudales Rosa Raudales

Greenhouse Specialist - CT IPM

rosa.raudales@uconn.edu

860-486-6043

Stacey Stearns – GMOs

Stacey StearnsStacey Stearns

GMOs

stacey.stearns@uconn.edu

860-486-9228

Indu Upadhyaya – Food Safety

Indu Upadhyaya

Food Safety

indu.upadhyaya@uconn.edu

860-875-3331

Food

Sheila Andrew – Dairy

Sheila AndrewSheila Andrew

Dairy Specialist

sheila.andrew@uconn.edu

860-486-0803

Molly Basak-Smith – EFNEP

Molly Basak-Smith

EFNEP - Fairfield County

molly.basak-smith@uconn.edu

203-258-8621

Candace Bartholomew – Pesticide Safety

Erica Benvenuti – EFNEP

Erica Benvenuti

EFNEP - New London County

erica.benvenuti@uconn.edu

860-885-2825

Joseph Bonelli – Business Planning

Joseph Bonelli

Business Planning

joseph.bonelli@uconn.edu

860-870-6935

Mark Brand – Nursery Production, Commercial

Mark BrandMark Brand

Nursery Production, Commercial

mark.brand@uconn.edu

860-486-2930

Boris Bravo-Ureta – Production Economics 

Boris Bravo-Ureta

Production Economics 

boris.bravoureta@uconn.edu 

860-486-1918

Lindsey Brush – EFNEP

Lindsey BrushLindsey Brush

EFNEP - New Haven County

lindsey.brush@uconn.edu

203-281-2961

Bonnie Burr – Agriculture Policy

Bonnie Burr, Department Head of ExtensionBonnie Burr

Agriculture Policy

bonnie.burr@uconn.edu

860-486-8944

Angela Caldera – EFNEP

Angela Caldera 

EFNEP - Hartford County

angela.caldera@uconn.edu

860-409-9072

Anoushka Concepcion – Aquaculture

Anoushka Concepcion

Aquaculture, Seaweed - Sea Grant

anoushka.concepcion@uconn.edu

860-405-9105 

Mary Concklin – Fruit Crops, Commercial

Mary Concklin

Fruit Crops, Commercial - CT IPM

mary.concklin@uconn.edu

860-486-6449

Dennis D’Amico – Dairy Foods

Dennis D’Amico

Dairy Foods

ddamico@uconn.edu

860-486-0567

Valerie Duffy – Public Health Nutrition

Valerie DuffyValerie Duffy

Public Health Nutrition

valerie.duffy@uconn.edu

860-486-1997

Tina Dugdale – Community Nutrition and Health

Tina DugdaleTina Dugdale

Community Nutrition and Health

tina.dugdale@uconn.edu

860-486-4262

Toni Ellis – EFNEP

Oak LeafToni Ellis

EFNEP - New Haven County

toni.ellis@uconn.edu

203-407-3171

Joe Emenheiser – Livestock

Oak LeafJoe Emenheiser

Livestock

joe.emenheiser@uconn.edu

860-774-9600

Tessa Getchis – Aquaculture

Tessa Getchis

Aquaculture, Shellfish Management - Sea Grant

tessa.getchis@uconn.edu

860-405-9104 

Steven Geary – Pathobiology 

Steven Geary 

Pathobiology 

steven.geary@uconn.edu 

860-486-8098

Shuresh Ghimire – Vegetable Crops, Commercial

Shuresh Ghimire

Vegetable Crops, Commercial - CT IPM

shuresh.ghimire@uconn.edu

860-875-3331

Sharon Gray – EFNEP

Oak LeafSharon Gray 

EFNEP - Hartford County

sharon.gray@uconn.edu

860-409-9062

Ana Legrand – Entomology

Ana Legrand 

Entomology, IPM 

ana.legrand@uconn.edu 

860-486-0869

 

Rigoberto Lopez – Marketing/Public Policy 

Rigoberto Lopez

Marketing/Public Policy 

rigoberto.lopez@uconn.edu

860-486-1921

Richard Meinert – Dairy Nutrient and Farm Management

Dawn Pettinelli – Soil Science

Dawn Pettinelli

Soil Science

dawn.pettinelli@uconn.edu

860-486-4274

Jiff Martin – Food Systems

Jiff Martin

Food Systems & Locally Grown

jiff.martin@uconn.edu

860-870-6932

Heather Pease – EFNEP

Oak LeafHeather Pease

EFNEP - Hartford County

heather.pease@uconn.edu

860-409-9073

Heather Peracchio – EFNEP

Heather Peracchio

EFNEP - Fairfield County

heather.peracchio@uconn.edu

203-207-3266

Mike Puglisi – EFNEP

Mike PuglisiMike Puglisi

EFNEP, Program Director

michael.puglisi@uconn.edu

860-486-1198

 

Stacey Stearns – GMOs

Stacey StearnsStacey Stearns

GMOs

stacey.stearns@uconn.edu

860-486-9228

Umekia Taylor – EFNEP

Umekia TaylorUmekia Taylor

EFNEP - New Haven County

umekia.taylor@uconn.edu

203-407-3169

 

 

Dianisi Torres – EFNEP

Dianisi Torres

EFNEP - Windham County

dianisi.torres@uconn.edu

860-774-9600

 

Indu Upadhyaya – Food Safety

Indu Upadhyaya

Food Safety

indu.upadhyaya@uconn.edu

860-875-3331

Zoraida Velazquez – EFNEP

Oak LeafZoraida Velazquez

EFNEP - New Haven County

zoraida.velazquez@uconn.edu

203-407-3169