Source: NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV submitted to
ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI AND SUSTAINABLE AGROECOSYSTEM RESEARCH IN NORTH CAROLINA
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0209455
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
NC06862
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2012
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2017
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Schroeder, M. S.
Recipient Organization
NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV
(N/A)
RALEIGH,NC 27695
Performing Department
Crop Science
Non Technical Summary
1. Situation/Problem: A. Certain agricultural practices, such as tillage, pesticide use and heavy applications of synthetic fertilizers, can deplete soil biological populations and diversity. B. The loss of some beneficial soil organisms, such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, can result in agroecosystems being more dependent on external inputs of fertilizers and pesticides. C. Sustainable agriculture and agroecology education and community outreach is needed for the future of our agricultural systems to be environmentally sounds, economically viable and socially just. 2. Purpose. A. The purpose of this project is first to examine the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in improving crop growth and then to examine specific agricultural practices that enhance the functioning of mycorrhizal fungi in agroecosystems in North Carolina and the Southeastern United States.
Animal Health Component
(N/A)
Research Effort Categories
Basic
40%
Applied
60%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
13640201070100%
Knowledge Area
136 - Conservation of Biological Diversity;

Subject Of Investigation
4020 - Fungi;

Field Of Science
1070 - Ecology;
Goals / Objectives
Goals and Objectives: The general objectives of this project are to test new hypotheses with regard to the functioning and management of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in various agroecosystems. Specifically they are to: 1. Evaluate the long term impacts of various farming systems on the native arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi species diversity and community structure. 2. Develop populations of native arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal in single species culture acquired from agroecosystems in the objective described above. 3. Examine AM fungal species specific functions and host benefits from mycorrhizas for a variety of crops in North Carolina. 4. Examine how integrated sustainable soil management practices (e.g., cover crops, composts, vermicomposts) influence crop response to AM fungi for various crop hosts (.e.g., strawberry) or systems (.e.g. organic). 5. Promote technology and education transfer on arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi and sustainable agriculture production practices among farmers, extension agents, researchers and students. The last objective relates to education and community engagement related to food systems and sustainable agriculture generally: 6. Facilitate technology and education transfer on sustainable agriculture, community food systems, food security, and agroecology with students and the larger community in NC. Expected outputs Activities: 1.Teach at least 3 agroecology courses per year, including an online agroecology course to non-majors. 2.Recruit and advise undergraduate students in Agroecology programs. 3.Advise students in the Campus Farmers Market student club. 4.Recruit and advise graduate students in sustainable agriculture research projects. Events: 5.Provide workshops or events educating about sustainable agriculture, soil ecology and similar topics to the larger community, including K-12 audiences in NC. 6.Attend and present research and teaching scholarship sustainable agriculture to national and international meetings and conferences 7.Participate in leadership positions in national and international associations and societies focused on sustainable agriculture. Products: 8.Develop curriculum and educational materials for teaching agroecology. 9.Produce manuscripts on sustainable agriculture research and teaching scholarship and publish in nationally and internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals.
Project Methods
Methods Objective 1. This project will use the long-term field experiment in the Farming Systems Research Unit at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) in Goldsboro. Soil samples have been collected since 1999 and every 3 yrs from 5 systems (Conventional crops, Crop-Animal, Organic crops, Forestry, and a Successional system) to examine the effects of farming systems on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi diversity. Soil samples will be setup with trap cultures in a greenhouse and mycorrhizal species will be described from spore morphology. A technician with expertise in mycorrhizal taxonomy has been assigned to this project and I continue to support her at 100% through grants and soft money. Greenhouse and lab space needed. Objective 2. Native mycorrhizal species cultures will be established by inoculating plants with single spores of fungal species and then re-identifying species to ensure species identity. Cultures must be maintained yearround with living plants and special care must be taken to ensure no cross contamination occurs. A technician with expertise in AM fungi taxonomy and propagation methods is necessary. Air-conditioned greenhouse space and lab space is required. Objective 3. Once mycorrhizal cultures are established, greenhouse experiments will be developed to examine how mycorrhizal species differ for their effects on growth and nutrient uptake responses for individual crops. Using stable isotopes, mycorrhizal species will be evaluated for ability to increase N acquisition. We will also examine how native mycorrhizal diversity affects crop yields in response to stresses. Objectives 4 and 5. I will evaluate how integrated sustainable soil management practices of cover crop rotation, composts, vermicomposts interacted to influence crop response to mycorrhizal fungi and how these practices may function as alternative soil fertility and pest management practices for organic strawberry production in NC. This is a multi-year (7 years) project in collaboration with researchers in the Horticulture Science and Soil Science Departments. The project will begin with greenhouse studies to examine responses of strawberry cultivars to native and commercial mycorrhizal fungi. A field experiment at CEFS will be established to examine the effects of 6 cover crop species and combinations on strawberry yields and mycorrhizal fungi activity. Results will be communicated to producers, agents, and researchers through presentations at extension workshops, conference talks and publications. Objective 6: I have already developed 5 agroecology courses, which includes an introductory course, online course, an advanced course and lab, a co-instructed graduate level sustainable agriculture course, and a study abroad course. The courses continue to grow in enrollment and I advise undergraduate and graduate students in agroecology education and various research projects. I direct the CEFS Sustainable Agriculture Internship program and am developing the Agroecology Education Farm Facility with the purpose of sustainable agriculture experiential learning opportunities for students and the surrounding community.

Progress 10/01/12 to 09/30/17

Outputs
Target Audience:There are 5 main target audiences for the accumulation of this work- students, community members, farmers, extension personal, and other researchers. Changes/Problems:By far, the hardest challenge that was presented in accomplishing these research, education and outreach objectives was not having any start up or state appropriatedfunds that supported a technician position. I think I was the only position in my department like this without that support. While I only had a 20% research appointment, the large amount of time dedicated to teaching year round made a techinician position even more important to be abel to do any reserach. I did manage to receive enough grant funding over time to support a techniican position (at 3/4 time) at 100%, which meant a lot of time spent grant writing and budgets that went towards technicial support rather than more student support. During this time period, in 2014 I did have to let go my technician because of lack of continued grant support for her position which has lessened my research capability and program. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?I successfully trained and mentored 8 graduate students (2 PhD and 6 Masters level) and 1 post doctoral resarcher during this time. One of the PhD students is now a tenure track faculty member at the Univerity of Arkansas and all others are in successful careers as well. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?Through peer reviewed journal publications, extension publications, website and social media materials, field days, invited and conference presentations, and in classes as activities and information with students. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Nothing Reported

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? During this period I successfully developed 3 agroecology curricular programs -a minor, concentration and recently a new BS major taught 8 different courses, many of which I develoepd anddid not exist prior at NC State, one included a inew nternational study abroad course in Costa Rica. published 20 peer reviewed manuscripts in well recognized scientific journals Trained 8 gradaute students and served on numerous graduate committees Mentored over 70 undergraduate students Led or collaborated on numerous competitve grants totalling over 6.9 Million $ Developed a new student farm- the Agroecology Education Farm Co-developed and served as one of the first chairs of a new nationally recognized association- the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA). I also hosted the national SAEA conference at NC State in 2014. Provided over 80 presentations at various scientific conferneces, workshops,universities, and organizations Served on various departmental, college, university and external committees

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Rysin, O., A. McWhirt, G. Fernandez, F.J. Louws, M. Schroeder-Moreno. 2015. Economic Viability and Environmental Impact Assessment of Three Different Strawberry Production Systems in Southeastern United States. HortTechnology. 25(4):585-594.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Cardoza, Y.J., W.L. Drake, D.L. Jordan, M.S. Schroeder-Moreno, C. Arellano, R.L. Brandenburg. 2015. Impact of Location, Cropping History, Tillage, and Chlorpyrifos on Soil Arthropods in Peanut. Environmental Entomology. 44(4):1-9.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Ratasky, S., M. Schroeder-Moreno, J. Jayaratne, L. K. Bradley, J. Grossman, D. Orr, 2015. Identifying Key Characteristics for Student Farm Successes through a National Delphi Study. North American College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA). 59(1):96-103.
  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2014 Citation: McWhirt, A., G. Fernandez, M. Schroeder-Moreno. 2014. Sustainable Practices for Plasticulture Strawberry Production in the Southeast. North Carolina Cooperative Extension Publication. AG-796. http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/sustainable-practices-for-plasticulture-strawberry-production-in-the-southeast/.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2012 Citation: Schroeder-Moreno, M., S. Clark, C. Byker, X. Zhao. 2012. Internationalizing sustainable agriculture education. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development. 2(3):55-68.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Under Review Year Published: 2018 Citation: Rutz, J., D. Bloom, M. Schroeder-Moreno, C. Gunter. 2018 (submitted). Farm to Childcare: An Analysis of Social and Economic Values in Local Food Systems. Submitted to the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Under Review Year Published: 2018 Citation: Cruz, A., M. Schroeder-Moreno, E. Mendez, S. Bowen, K.S.U. Jayaratne. 2018 (in review). Examining food security and yield barriers for smallholder farmers in El Salvador. Submitted to the Journal of Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Mandeep, K. Riar, M.K., D.S. Carley, C. Zhang, M.S. Schroeder-Moreno, D.L. Jordan, T.M. Webster, T.W. Rufty. 2016. Environmental influences on growth and reproduction of invasive Commelina benghalensis, International Journal of Agronomy, vol. 2016, Article ID 5679249, 9 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/5679249.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Niewolny, K., Schroeder-Moreno, M., Mason, G., McWhirt, A., & Clark, S. 2017. Participatory Praxis for Community Food Security Education. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 7(4), 105-128.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Beck, J. E., Schroeder-Moreno, M. S., Fernandez, G. E., Grossman, J. M., & Creamer, N. G. 2016. Effects of Cover Crops, Compost, and Vermicompost on Strawberry Yields and Nitrogen Availability in North Carolina. HortTechnology, 26(5), 604-613.


Progress 10/01/15 to 09/30/16

Outputs
Target Audience:There are 5 main target audiences for the accumulation of this work- students, community members, farmers, extension personal, and other researchers. In the USDA/NIFA funded project, the main audience is to engage community members in enhancing their food system in the Appalachian regions across North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. In the University of Arkansas/Walmart Foundation Sustainable Soil Management for Strawberry funded project the main audiences are educating farmers, extension agents and researchers about alternative soil and pest management strategies of using cover crops and mycorrhizal fungi in sustainable strawberry production for the SE US. Lastly, the most important audience to my job is students. My primary role (80%) is academic that focuses on teaching and curriculum development of the agroecology program at NC State. In all of these research projects, students are also an important target audience, exposing both undergraduate and graduate students to sustainable agriculture research. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?The following training opportunities were developed this year: 1. Created a field day demonstration, lecture and published Fact Sheet,Evaluating Nutrient, Soil Health, and Economic Benefits of Compost Additions to Summer Cover Crops for Strawberries in North Carolina (http://www.southernsare.org/Events/Southern-Cover-Crop-Conference/Southern-Cover-Crop-Conference-Fact-Sheets#biology) for the Southern Cover Crop Conference in July 2016. Over 200 extension agents, producers and researchers attended. 2. Co-authored a non-referred training publication, The Western North Carolina Appalachian Foodshed Project: Community Food Security Assessment, http://www.appalachianfoodshedproject.org/documents/AFP_WNC%20CFSA_Final.pdf, 2016, Authors: Eshleman, J., M. Schroeder-Moreno, A. Cruz. This has been used by various extension personal, community organizations, and researchers to learn about community food security and assessment strategies. 3. Mentored one post doctoral rsearchers, one PhD student and 2 undergraduate students in research. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?Results have been disseminated through published mansucripts, published abstracts, conference and invited presentations, field days, materials developed for online disitribution, and social media. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?I plan to write more grants to support more projects, students and ongoing efforts.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? A great was accomplished in relationship to specifically Objectives 3 and 4. We wrapped up the the grant funded proejct,Sustainable Soil Management Practices for Strawberries: Diverse Approaches for Facilitating Adoption,as well as the PhD student's dissertation research supported by this grant. The student, Amanda McWhirt, successfully defended her PhD in spring 2016 and was immediately hired as a tenure track faculty in Hortiulture extension and sustainable agriuclture by the University of Arkansas. From this gradaute field-based research project, we learned that inoculation of strawberry plugs with beneficial mycorrhizal fungi and vermicompost resulted in higher marketable strawberry yields in non-fumigated field production systems in the first year but not in the second year. Additionally we learned that repeated inoculation of mycorrhizal fungi to strawberry plugs following the recommended wait period after fumigation could not successfully establish mycorrhizal colonization of strawberry roots in 2 years of the project. Lastly we learned the sustainablesoil managment practices investigated (summer cover crops, composts, vermicompost and mycorrhizal fungi) could reduce the need for synthetic fertilizer applications, especially in spring fertigation and can impact strawberry yields but function differently in combination and under fumigiation or non-fumigation. This is fundamental research that will build on best (and sustianable) managment strategies to help strawberry producers in North Carolina and the southeast to reduce fumigation in strawberry production systems. Results from this research has been presented formally and informally at conferences to extension agents, producers, and shared with researchers and students regionally and nationally.

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Beck, J. E., Schroeder-Moreno, M. S., Fernandez, G. E., Grossman, J. M., & Creamer, N. G. 2016. Effects of Cover Crops, Compost, and Vermicompost on Strawberry Yields and Nitrogen Availability in North Carolina. HortTechnology, 26(5), 604-613
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Mandeep K. Riar, M.K., D.S. Carley, C. Zhang, M.S. Schroeder-Moreno, D.L. Jordan, T.M. Webster, T.W. Rufty. 2016. Environmental influences on growth and reproduction of invasive Commelina benghalensis, International Journal of Agronomy, vol. 2016, Article ID 5679249, 9 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/5679249
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Schroeder-Moreno, M., A. Reeves, R. Kohanowich. 2016. Opportunities and partnerships integrating education and production on student farms- Examples of two student farms in North Carolina, published abstract, Sustainable Agriculture Education Association National Conference, UC Santa Cruz, CA, July 2016.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Accepted Year Published: 2016 Citation: Cruz, A., M. Schroeder-Moreno. 2016. Assessing the potential for soil conservation to improve food security in rural El Salvador, published abstract, Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, November 2016.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Accepted Year Published: 2016 Citation: Cruz, A., M. Schroeder-Moreno, V.E. Mendez, D. Hesterberg, S. Bowen, KSU Jayaratne. 2016. Examining the relationship between managing cropland for soil health and food security in El Salvador, published abstract, Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, November 2016
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Schroeder-Moreno, M., K. Niewolny, R. Landis. 2016. A participatory design and student focused approach to developing a community food security course across two universities, published abstract, Sustainable Agriculture Education Association National Conference, UC Santa Cruz, CA, July 2016
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Rutz, J., D. Bloom, M. Schroeder-Moreno. 2016. Getting started in farm to child care. Agriculture and Human Values Annual Conference, published abstract, Toronto, Canada, June 2016
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Cruz, A., M. Schroeder-Moreno, V.E. Mendez, D. Hesterberg, S. Bowen, KSU Jayaratne. 2016. Soil management as a catalyst for increasing food security for smallholder farmers in El Salvador, published abstract, American Association of Geographers Conference, San Francisco, CA, April 2016
  • Type: Other Status: Other Year Published: 2016 Citation: Schroeder-Moreno, M. 2016. Micorrhizas y agroecologia (presented in Spanish), University of El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
  • Type: Theses/Dissertations Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: The Use of Sustainable Soil Management Practices in Fumigated and Non-fumigated Plasticulture Strawberry Production in the Southeastern United States, PhD Dissertation of Amanda McWhirt, Department of Crop Science, NC State, completed Spring 2016


Progress 10/01/14 to 09/30/15

Outputs
Target Audience:There are 5 main target audiences for the accumulation of this work- students, community members, farmers, extension personal, and other researchers. In the USDA/NIFA funded project, the main audience is to engage community members in enhancing their food system in the Appalachian regions across North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. In the University of Arkansas/Walmart Foundation Sustainable Soil Management for Strawberry funded project the main audiences are educating farmers, extension agents and researchers about alternative soil and pest management strategies of using cover crops and mycorrhizal fungi in sustainable strawberry production for the SE US. Lastly, the most important audience to my job is students. My primary role (80%) is academic that focuses on teaching and curriculum development of the agroecology program at NC State. In all of these research projects, students are also an important target audience, exposing both undergraduate and graduate students to sustainable agriculture research. Changes/Problems:I have no more support for my technician focused on benefical mycorrhizal researchand she was terminated May 2015. Since I began at NC State in 2006, I have supported my technician's salary at 100%, without any additional support from the university. I realize I am unusual in the department and most faculty have some sort of technician support. While I have been successful with grant support in supporting my technician thus far, this won't always be the case and supporting a technician at 100% is very challenging, especially with only 20% research appointment. I also realize I only have a 20% research appointment focused on benefical root symbionts (arbuscularmycorrhizal fungi), but consideringhow much I teach and do community outreach, that means I greatly need technician support if I am going to continue any research in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and sustainable agriculture. This is clearly not new and not sustainable and I have no choice but to make plans to gradually end my field and greenhouse research in mycorrhizal fungi. I am the only researcher at NC State focused on mycorrhizal fungi and I had many species isolated from North Carolna in signe species collections that will likely not survive in the future.This clearly impacts other colleagues I commonly collaborate with but again there is nothing else I can do. I'm not exactly sure why my research was not supported as others, especially as I continue to bring competitive funds for research and educational programs to the college and department. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?1. Fulbright Scholar (in Croatia), June -Dec 2015(and on sabbitcal during this time) 2. Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Award, 2015-2016 3. Community Engaged Faculty Fellow, NCSU (2011-2015) 4. Was chosen to participate in the LEAD21 from CALS in 2016. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?I disseminate results to communities of interest through peer review journal publications and extension publications,(already mentioned previously) , conference and invited talks and through website and social media (listed below) Conference Presentations (2): McWhirt, A., M. Schroeder-Moreno, G. Fernandez, (Feb 2015). How sustainable soil management practices and fumigation strategies interact to impact strawberry yield and soil quality. Oral Presentation, North American Strawberry Symposium, CA. McWhirt, A., M. Schroeder-Moreno, Y. Cardoza, G. Fernandez, H. Burrack. Interactions of Sustainable Soil Management Practices and Fumigation Strategy on SE Strawberry Production. (June 2015). Southern Region American Society of Horticultural Science (ASHS) Conference. Invited presentations (7): Schroeder-Moreno, M (December 2015), How Community Gardening Can Change the World, Guest lecture to high school students and teachers at the Srednja škola Arboretum Opeka Horticulture High School in Varazdin, Croatia. Schroeder-Moreno, M (November 2015), Organic Agriculture Challenges and Opportunities in the US, Guest lecture to undergraduate level Introduction to Organic course, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia. Schroeder-Moreno, M (November 2015), How Community Gardening Can Change the World, Guest lecture to high school students and teachers at the Agricultural High School at Slavonski Brod, Slavonski Brod, Croatia. Schroeder-Moreno, M (November 2015), Soil health and agroecology research from El Salvador to North Carolina, Oral presentation, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia. Schroeder-Moreno, M (November 2015), The Agroecology Education Farm- Experience of Developing a Student, Oral presentation, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia. Schroeder-Moreno, M (October 2015). The Center for Environmental Farming Systems and Sustainable Agriculture Research in North Carolina, Oral presentation, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia. Schroeder-Moreno, M (October 2015). Soil Health and How to Measure it with Indicators, Guest lecture to graduate level Global Ecology course, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia. Websites, Social Media and Videos: Croatian public television interview with the Croatia public television program on the state of organic and sustainable agriculture in the US,http://www.hrt.hr/enz/eko-zona/.(aired on television Dec 16, 2015, 40 min). NEW Agroecology Education Farm website- (launched 7/2015) -http://agroecologyfarm.ncsu.edu/ We continue to maintain the Agroecology Education Farm Facebook site-https://www.facebook.com/NCSUagroedu, 697 total likes as of Jan 25, 2016. Video- Agroecology Farm Trip - NC State First Year College Inquiry (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO2f4nm2aIU), produced by the NC State University Division of Academic & Student Affairs (DASA) TH!NK program, 235 views on YouTube New Facebook site for my Sustainable Soil Management for Strawberries research project - (https://www.facebook.com/SustainableSoilManagementforStrawberries), 284 total likes as of Jan 26, 2016. Our strawberry research project has produced one short video aimed toward farmers concerning plug inoculation with vermicomposts and mycorrhizal fungi(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dET8r3bhdQ),Currently there are 1,327 views of this video on the Youtube channel What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?Similar outreach and dissemination strategies.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? I worked collaboratively on 6 federal grants (USDA/NIFA (x2), USDA/SARE, USAID) and scholarships (Fulbright) during this period totaling $5,558,660. I published on the results of sustainable strawberry production research and agroecology education programs. I have given 2 conference talks and 7 invited presentations on the NCSU agroecology education program and for my research. I direct the agroecology education programs, the NC StateAgroecology Education Farm and have submitted a new undergraduate major curriculum,Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems,for approval at the UNC system I advise 4 graduate students, serve on 3 graduate commitees, oversee a postdoc, advise approx 20 undergradauates in the agroeoclogy concentration and minor programs and mentor 1 Parks Scholar. Although I do not have any extension appointment, we have organized 6 youth and community gardening workshops this past year at the Agroecology Education Farm and I continue to enhance community engagement and outreach in sustainable agriculture through various workshops and presentations. I participated in field days and extension/training workshops when asked and will continue to this next year.

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: 1. Rysin, O., A. McWhirt, G. Fernandez, F.J. Louws, M. Schroeder-Moreno. 2015. Economic Viability and Environmental Impact Assessment of Three Different Strawberry Production Systems in Southeastern United States. HortTechnology. 25(4):585-594.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: 2. Cardoza, Y.J., W.L. Drake, D.L. Jordan, M.S. Schroeder-Moreno, C. Arellano, R.L. Brandenburg. 2015. Impact of Location, Cropping History, Tillage, and Chlorpyrifos on Soil Arthropods in Peanut. Environmental Entomology. 44(4):1-9.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: 3. Ratasky, S., M. Schroeder-Moreno, J. Jayaratne, L. K. Bradley, J. Grossman, D. Orr, 2015. Identifying Key Characteristics for Student Farm Successes through a National Delphi Study. North American College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA). 59(1):96-103.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Other Year Published: 2016 Citation: 2. Beck, J., M. Schroeder-Moreno, G.E. Fernandez, J.M. Grossman, N.G. Creamer. Compost, cover crops, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and vermicompost as integrated sustainable practices for strawberry production in the southeastern United States. HortTech. Rejected and resubmission planned for May 2016


Progress 10/01/13 to 09/30/14

Outputs
Target Audience:There are 5 main target audiences for the accumulation of this work- students, community members, farmers, extension personal, and other researchers. In the USDA/NIFA funded project, the main audience is to engage community members in enhancing their food system in the Appalachian regions across North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. In the University of Arkansas/Walmart Foundation Sustainable Soil Management for Strawberry funded project the main audiences are educating farmers, extension agents and researchers about alternative soil and pest management strategies of using cover crops and mycorrhizal fungi in sustainable strawberry production for the SE US. Lastly, the most important audience to my job is students. My primary role (80%) is academic that focuses on teaching and curriculum development of the agroecology program at NC State. In all of these research projects, students are also an important target audience, exposing both undergraduate and graduate students to sustainable agriculture research. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?Our strawberry research project has produced one short video aimed toward farmers concerning plug inoculation with vermicomposts and mycorrhizal fungi (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dET8r3bhdQ), Currently there are 796 views of this video on the Youtube channel We had also accomplished 7 different trainings, workshops or professional development opportunities- Schroeder-Moreno, M. (Dec 2013). Soil Biology 101 for Strawberry Growers. Invited oral presentation and published abstract, North American Strawberry Growers Conference, Durham, NC. Louws, F., Schroeder-Moreno, M. (Dec 2013). Soil Health Management & IPM. Co-invited oral and presentation and published abstract, North American Strawberry Growers Conference, Durham, NC. M. Schroeder-Moreno. Maintaining Soil Health through Sustainable Soil Management Practices for Strawberries, Invited oral presentation, MidAmerican Strawberry Growers Conference, Branson, Missouri on Feb 28, 2014; Impact- Over 70 growers and agents in attendance from various states. M. Schroeder-Moreno, A. McWhirt, G. Fernandez, Sustainable Soil Management Practices for Strawberries: Evaluation of Individual and Integrated Approaches. Invited oral presentation, University of Arkansas/Walmart Sustainable Strawberry Initiative Meeting. University of Arkansas, May 18-20, 2014 M. Schroeder-Moreno Enhancing Soil Fertility and Health through Cover Crops, Invited oral presentation, The Southern States Training Forum, Raleigh, NC, August 13, 2014. Impact- Over 50 Southern State Crop Consultants in attendance from various states. S. Clark, S. Hodges, and M. Schroeder-Moreno, Appalachian Foodshed Project: Enhancing Food Security by Cultivating Resilient Food Systems and Communities: Place-based Foodshed Analysis from Research to Practice, USDA AFRI Grant PD Meeting, Washington DC, September 2014. M. Schroeder-Moreno. Creating Sustainable Food Systems: Three Urban Myths Unraveled, Invited oral presentation, The NC Carolina Governor's School, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC, Sept 2014. M. Schroeder-Moreno, A. McWhirt*, G. Fernandez. Integrated Strategies for Soil Health in Strawberries. Field Research Plots Tour and Oral Presentation, SOILbration Meeting, Center for Environmental Farming Systems, Goldsboro, NC. Oct. 17th, 2014. Impact: Impact: 40 growers, extension personnel, student participants visited the field tour M. Schroeder-Moreno, B. Kirby, A. Jaeger. Service Learning: What is it? How do I do it? How is it recognized?, NC State University, Office of Faculty Development Workshop, November 17, 2014 How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?-We produced one extension publication -Sustainable Practices for Plasticulture Strawberry Production in the Southeast, 2014.McWhirt, A., G. Fernandez, M. Schroeder-Moreno.NC Cooperative Extension publication. AG-796. (http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/sustainable-practices-for-plasticulture-strawberry-production-in-the-southeast/) and used 9 Media publications to dissemenate information to the various auidiences Agroecology Education Farm facebook site- https://www.facebook.com/NCSUagroedu New Facebook site for my Sustainable Soil Management for Strawberries research project - (https://www.facebook.com/SustainableSoilManagementforStrawberries), 182 total likes. "Returning Good Microbes to the Soil with Beneficial Soil Inoculants", Article in the NC Strawberry Grower newsletter (sorry no link available now) April 2014, pages 4-5 "Strawberry Fields Forever", article in the NC State News release, April 2014- http://news.ncsu.edu/releases/strawberry-fields-forever/ "The Dirt on Healthy Plants", The Grower Citrus and Vegetable Magazine, May 2014 issue (also the cover of the magazine) (http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/?i=209781 ). "Research looks to keep North Carolina strawberries sustainable, competitive", Southeast Farm Press, June 3, 2014, (http://southeastfarmpress.com/orchard-crops/research-looks-keep-north-carolina-strawberries-sustainable-competitive ) "Sustainable strawberries: Researcher's work on strawberries could have significant results in North Carolina", the Technician, NC State University, June 18, 2014, (http://www.technicianonline.com/features/article_4640c4d8-f759-11e3-a637-001a4bcf6878.html NCSU Researchers Look at Ways to Make Strawberries Last Longer- our strawberry research project was covered by our local Raleigh, NC newspaper, the News and Observer, on July 28, 2014: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/07/28/4035902_ncsu-researchers-look-at-ways.html?sp=/99/106//&rh=1 We also had 6 conference presentations (previously described)· What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?More conference presentations, teaching/academic events and activities, etc.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? IMPACT STATEMENT:We are at a critical crossroads in agricultural education where we need to completely redesign our programs to teach students to critically think about agriculture and food systems at a 'systems-level' to be able to develop sustainable solutions for our nation's and world's food problems. Gone is the time that we can simply educate students to only focus on enhancing yields at all costs while not considering the environmental, social, cultural and larger long-term implications. Moreover, our nation's and world's food problems is not just a question of is there enough but what is the quality of our food, food security, environmental contamination, and the health of our communities, which require sustainable approaches. This generation of students clearly understand this and are demanding agroecology and sustainable agriculture courses and major programs at a unprecedented rate. Land-grant universities (LGUs) have been somewhat slow to respond to this compared to private and other public universities, but in the past few years a number of LGUs, including a variety of partner institutions are now offering sustainable agriculture majors and supporting vibrant student farm programs. While NCSU has an extreme wealth of specific sustainable agricultural knowledge, research and outreach through the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, there needs to be much more investment (rather than talk) into leading new agroecology and sustainable education programs now or we will get left behind. We have great student interest and the foundational steps to build an innovative and successful Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems undergraduate major. Sustainable agriculture and agroecology education is no longer a "fringe" or "alternative" to be ignored and students are already seeking out other non-LGUs in North Carolina and nationally. What Has Been Done: I have developed the following programs and courses from the ground up at NC State- Undergraduate Agroecology Minor and Agroecology Concentration programs and the Introduction to Agroecology course (including also an online DE section of this course, which is one of the few in the nation), Advanced Agroecology course and laboratory, Sustainability of Tropical Agroecosystems study abroad course in Costa Rica. I also direct our Summer Sustainable Agriculture Internship program at the Center of Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), which continues to attract over 50 high quality applicants per year from around the nation and internationally for 12-14 spots. In all of these courses, I have integrated participatory learning activities with hands-on experiences that focus on building critical thinking skills and developing oral and written communication skills. In this past year I worked collaboratively with the Department of Horticulture Science on developing a multidisciplinary cross departmental Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems major program. This received strong support from faculty in both departments and the Council of Deans already. We will continue to work on the paperwork and submission of this new major this year. For over six years I have been working on developing a new 6 acre facility, the Agroecology Education Farm at the Lake Wheeler Field Station. To date I have put together a Agroecology Education Farm Advisory Committee comprised of faculty, staff and students to help design this area with a plan for development. In the past I diverted my own grant funds to supporting a graduate student for over a year and a half to focus on the design and initial development stages of this facility as well. The Crop Science Department in the past 2 years has generously supported this facility equitably to the support the Agronomy Fike Garden at Lake Wheeler received over many years. This past year we hosted our largest and most important event, the On-Farm Dinner for the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association national conference at the Agroecology Education Farm in August 2014. This brought together the foremost educators in sustainable agriculture and agroecology to our farm, which really helped highlight and elevate our Agroecology education programs at NC State at a national level. In the near future I look forward to further developing our educational activities with a diversity of NC State students and courses, developing funding strategies which includes a new partnership with University Dining and CALS. While I was able to hire afarm manager this year from support from CALS, this support will gradually be decreased and eliminated; thus it is term limited. This makes keeping a farm manager very challenging and it's critical that itbecomes permanent support in the future if we are to sustain all our development and efforts thus far. I am committed to increasing students' global understanding of sustainability issues through integrating international perspectives into courses and through promoting study abroad experiences. I will no longer serve as the NCSU study abroad coordinator and no longer teach the Sustainability of Tropical Agroecosystems summer course in Costa Rica. For the past 6 years, 25 NCSU students from various majors have successfully completed this course. Lastly I am a founding member and the past Chair of the Steering Council for the new Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA; http://sustainableaged.org/). NC State University hosted the National Sustainable Agriculture Education Conference in Aug 3-6, 2014 which I organized. We had over 200 educators and students from various leading programs nationwide to attend this and we can highlight our successes and accomplishments here at NC State University. Impact: It is challenging to measure the impacts of the Agroecology programs because they are still growing and it is still difficult to track minor students at NCSU. With that said, I continue to have more students than I have space for in both my Introduction to Agroecology face to course (capped at 90 students) in fall and in the online section (capped at 40) in spring. The agroecology courses continue to attract a wide diversity of students from various majors and an increased participation of women (generally 50-65%) and more minorities drawn to these agroecology courses than compared to our traditional agricultural science courses. Moreover, each year there have been a few masters students from the Nicolas School of the Environment at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill that have enrolled in the Agroecology courses, although this has dropped off in the past year as now Duke and UNC-CH have sustainable agriculture and food courses. There are 8 students in the new Agroecology Concentration and self-design Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Major and an estimated 15 undergraduate students in the Agroecology Minor program (although it is difficult to track). From this initial success, we expect more students from diverse majors (and new to agricultural sciences) to be attracted to these agroecology programs and courses.

Publications

  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2014 Citation: McWhirt, A., G. Fernandez, M. Schroeder-Moreno. 2014. Sustainable Practices for Plasticulture Strawberry Production in the Southeast. NC Cooperative Extension publication. AG-796. (http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/sustainable-practices-for-plasticulture-strawberry-production-in-the-southeast/)
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Accepted Year Published: 2014 Citation: Schroeder-Moreno, M., S. Ratasky, J. Jayaratne, L. K. Bradley, J. Grossman, D. Orr. 2014. Identifying Key Characteristics for Student Farm Successes through a National Delphi Study. North American College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA). Accepted-in press.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Under Review Year Published: 2015 Citation: " Cardoza, Y., *W. Drake, D. Jordan, M. Schroeder-Moreno, R. Brandenburg. Impact of cropping history, tillage, and chloropyrifos on rootworm pod damage and incidence of soil arthropods in peanut. Environmental Entomology, Submitted in review
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2014 Citation: McWhirt, A., M. Schroeder-Moreno, Y. Cardoza, G. Fernandez, H. Burrack, and J. Pattison (Dec 2013). Sustainable Soil Management Practices for Southeastern Strawberry Production, North American Strawberry Growers Conference, Durham, NC
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2014 Citation: McWhirt, A., M. Schroeder-Moreno, G. Fernandez. Effects of Cover Crops and Vermicompost on Strawberry Production in the Southeastern United States, ASHS 2014 Conference Poster Abstract, July 2014
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2014 Citation: " M. Schroeder-Moreno, A. Cruz*, S. Clark, and K. Niewolny. Developing a Graduate Level Food Systems Course from the Ground up: Preliminary Analyses of Food System Courses, Poster presentation, Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) National Conference, NC State University, Raleigh, NC, Aug 3-6, 2014
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2014 Citation: K. Jacobsen, M. Schroeder-Moreno, M. Hendrickson, A. Ogden, Building Collaborative Networks in International Sustainable Agriculture Education, Discussion panel, Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) National Conference, NC State University, Raleigh, NC, Aug 3-6, 2014
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2014 Citation: S. Ratasky, M, Schroeder-Moreno, and R. Koenig Developing sustainable agriculture teaching curriculum for student farms through a multi-institutional collaboration: An example of a soil biology lesson. Poster presentation, Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) National Conference, NC State University, Raleigh, NC, Aug 3-6, 2014
  • Type: Other Status: Submitted Year Published: 2014 Citation: S. Clark, S. Hodges, and M. Schroeder-Moreno, Appalachian Foodshed Project: Enhancing Food Security by Cultivating Resilient Food Systems and Communities: Place-based Foodshed Analysis from Research to Practice, USDA AFRI Grant PD Meeting, Washington DC, September 2014


Progress 10/01/12 to 09/30/13

Outputs
Target Audience:There are 5 main target audiences for the accumulation of this work- students, community members, farmers, extension personal, and other researchers. In the USDA/NIFA funded project, the main audience is to engage community members in enhancing their food system in the Appalachian regions across North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. In the SARE/USDA funded project the main audiences are educating farmers, extension agents and researchers about alternative soil and pest management strategies of using cover crops and mycorrhizal fungi in sustainable strawberry production for the SE US. In the EPA funded project, the two man audiences are to inform other researchers but more importantly EPA professionals responsible for policy efforts in managing nitrogen deposition. This study is one a few that is examining plant and below ground mycorrhizal fungi responses to realistic current and future rates of nitrogen deposition. Lastly, the most important audience to my job is students. My primary role (80%) is academic that focuses on teaching and curriculum development of the agroecology program at NC State. In all of these research projects, students are also an important target audience, exposing both undergraduate and graduate students to sustainable agriculture research. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?In addition to peer review publications, I also participated in Media publications, Conference presentations and invited training or workshops described below. Media Publications New Agroecology Education Farm facebook site- https://www.facebook.com/NCSUagroedu Groundbreaking: NC State's Agroecology Education Farm. NC State Alumni Association. April 13, 2013. http://www.alumni.ncsu.edu/s/1209/interior-hybrid.aspx?sid=1209&gid=1&pgid=252&cid=4277&ecid=4277&crid=0&calpgid=13&calcid=3252 Agroecology Farm and Program Have Grown and Improved. Perspectives NCSU publication. Winter 2013 (Feb 7 2013). Pg 21-23. http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/agcomm/news-center/perspectives/agroecology-farm-and-program-have-grown-and-improved/ NC State Farm follows small, sustainable model. WRAL Video report broadcasted on April 10, 2013 6pm news. http://www.wral.com/news/local/video/12328391/ Conference Presentations McWhirt, A., M. Schroeder-Moreno, Y. Cardoza, G. Fernandez, H. Burrack, and J. Pattison (Dec 2013). Sustainable Soil Management Practices for Southeastern Strawberry Production, North American Strawberry Growers Conference, Durham, NC Cruz, A., M. Schroeder-Moreno, D. Watson. (August 2013). The role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi diversity in crop response to drought, Oral Presentation and published abstract, Ecological Society of America (ESA) Conference, Minneapolis, MN. Glennon, H., J-M. Luginbuhl, J.P. Mueller, J. Grossman, M. Schroeder-Moreno. (October 2013). Addition of clovers to tall fescue pastures enhances nitrogen status of animals, forages and soils. Presentation for the Southern Section of the American Society for Animal Science Conference. Ratasky, S., M. Schroeder-Moreno, J. Jayaratne. (June 2013). Challenges and Opportunities in Developing the Student Farm as an Educational Resource: A Nationwide Delphi Student on Student Farms. Oral Presentation and published abstract, North American College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Conference, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. Grossman, J., S. Smith, M. Schroeder-Moreno, J. Jayaratne. (June 2013). Application of Service-Learning in two courses for a hands-on, minds-in, and hearts felt educational experience. Oral Presentation and published abstract, North American College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Conference, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. Invited presentations/workshops/training Schroeder-Moreno, M. (Oct 2013). Invited Panel discussion on Personal/Professional Life Integration, The NCSU CALS Graduate Student Professional Development Workshop, Aqueduct Conference Center, Chapel Hill, NC. Schroeder-Moreno, M. (Aug 2013). Invited Keynote speaker, North Carolina Women in Agriculture Meeting, Raleigh, NC. Schroeder-Moreno, M. (Aug 2013). Invited Panel discussion on sustainable agriculture and waste management, Waste Reduction and Sustainable Sourcing Seminar, The Chef's Academy, Morrisville, NC. Schroeder-Moreno, M. (Sept 2013).The View from the Field: A Dialogue with North Carolina Growers and Experts, Invited discussion panel for agricultural teachers across North Carolina, NC Biotechnology Center, RTP, NC. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?Please see response to question above. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Nothing Reported

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Accomplishments for this period for both research (20%) and academic (80%): Completed the USDA/SARE funded research on sustainable soil and pest management alteratives to methyl bromide fumigation which inlcudes directing 1 masters student and 1 PhD student researchprojects with mutlidisciplinary faculty teamon examining summer covercrops, composts and mycorrhizal fungi applications. I received tenure and there was a unanimous positive vote in my department and at the college level. Development and Design of the Agroecology Education Farm. For over four years I have been working on developing a new 6 acre facility, the Agroecology Education Farm at the Lake Wheeler Field Station without clear funding or support from NCSU. This year Dr. David Smith (CALS Research) made a significant contribution towards the CALS Academic matching from the CEFS Kellogg Endowment. This will enable me to finally get the irrigation going, which means we can finally grow something and begin meeting the demand from NCSU students and surrounding community wanting to visit. To date I have put together a steering committee composed of faculty, staff and students to help design this area with a plan for development. I have established a 70ft organic habitat buffer to protect from potential chemical drift from surrounding areas. The Crop Science Department under the direction of Dr. Smith also helped contribute to purchasing a shed there in 2009, similar to the Agronomy Fike Garden at Lake Wheeler. The Agroecology Education programs and courses continue to grow. Currently I am teaching the 12th semester of the DE online Intro Agroecology course (CS 230-601) and over the past year, I have incorporated more instructor-student interactions, including a face-to-face meeting at the beginning of the course and informal, non-graded short quizzes to encourage student active learning throughout the semester. I continue to advertise this course heavily and student enrollment expanded to 45 students (from originally 18) this spring semester. The face-to-face section o f this course also continues to cap out at student enrollment of over 80 students in fall 2012 (from originally 15). I have also improved service learning community engagement activities with the Agroecology courses. In both the online and face-to-face course Intro to Agroecology course sections and the Advanced Agroecology course with the community gardens developed by the Interfaith Food shuttle (IFFS) non-profit organization in Raleigh, NC. Student learning was evaluated through reflective articulated learning writings during the course. In 2009, I also received a competitive Engaged Scholarship (EDGES) grant to participate in community engagement training with a multidisciplinary group of faculty and administrators at NCSU. Enhancing global awareness of sustainable and food security issues for students. I continue to develop opportunities to increase global awareness of sustainability issues related to food and agriculture for students. I co-instructed the Sustainability of Tropical Agroecosystems study abroad course in Costa with UGA in summer 2012, continue to engage international examples and case studies in my courses and I am currently leading a network for faculty teaching sustainable agriculture and food security internationally at LGUs.

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2012 Citation: Schroeder-Moreno, M.S, T.L. Greaver, S. Wang, S. Hu, T.W. Rufty. 2012. Mycorrhizal-mediated nitrogen acquisition in switchgrass under elevated temperatures and nitrogen enrichment. Global Change Biology Bioenergy. 4:266-276.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2012 Citation: Jacobsen, K., K. Niewolny, M. Schroeder-Moreno, M. VanHorn, M. Williams, D. Parr. 2012. Creating sustainable agriculture education programs: A land-grant university mission. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development. 2(3):13-26
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2012 Citation: Schroeder-Moreno, M., S. Clark, C. Byker, X. Zhao. 2012. Internationalizing sustainable agriculture education. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development. 2(3):55-68.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Under Review Year Published: 2014 Citation: Cardoza, Y., W. Drake, D. Jordan, M. Schroeder-Moreno, R. Brandenburg. Impact of cropping history, tillage, and chloropyrifos on rootworm pod damage and incidence of soil arthropods in peanut. Environmental Entomology, Submitted in review
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Ratasky, S., M. Schroeder-Moreno, J. Jayaratne. (June 2013). Challenges and Opportunities in Developing the Student Farm as an Educational Resource: A Nationwide Delphi Student on Student Farms. Oral Presentation and published abstract, North American College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Conference, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Grossman, J., *S. Smith, M. Schroeder-Moreno, J. Jayaratne. (June 2013). Application of Service-Learning in two courses for a hands-on, minds-in, and hearts felt educational experience. Oral Presentation and published abstract, North American College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Conference, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Cruz, A., M. Schroeder-Moreno, D. Watson. (August 2013). The role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi diversity in crop response to drought, Oral Presentation and published abstract, Ecological Society of America (ESA) Conference, Minneapolis, MN.


Progress 10/01/11 to 09/30/12

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Activities. 1. Teaching- I taught the Intro to Agroecology course CS 230 fall 2010 (39 students) and fall 2011 (47 students), the Advanced Agroecology course and lab CS 430/590 in spring 2011 (8 students), the Intro to Agroecology Online course CS 230-601 in spring 2011 (17 students). I coordinated the Sustainable Agriculture Internship Program CS 492 summer 2011 (14 students) at CEFS) 2. Extension- Together with international colleagues from UDE in Montevideo, Uruguay, I developed an international online agroecology course in Spanish through the InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture fall 2011. 2 Mentoring -I mentored 3 undergraduates in research projects, 2 of which received undergraduate research awards. I advise for the NCSU Campus Farmers Market. I advised 4 graduate students and serve on 3 graduate committees. 3. I worked collaboratively on 3 federal grants (USDA/NIFA, USDA/SARE, and USDA/HEC grants). I published from results of sustainable strawberry production research and previous EPA work. I have given 10 conference talks on the NCSU agroecology programs. I have finished a field research project to examine an integrated approach of using cover crops with composts, and beneficial inoculations for strawberry production. 4. Products. 1). Developed online Agroecology course in Spanish offered collaboratively with UDE University in Uruguay and IICA fall 2011. A total of 45 students throughout Latin America enrolled, 2) Lead author on Advancing Education in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at NCSU Aug 2011, 3) Coordinated the CEFS Sustainable Agriculture Internship Program (CS 492). 5. Conference Presentations: 12 total: 1) Sustainable Agriculture and Lessons from Cuba, Resourceful Communities Conference, 2) The Sustainable Agriculture Revolution: Panacea for the "Special Period" in Cuba, NCSU Entomology Seminar 3) Reflections on excellence in teaching and learning. NCSU, Caldwell Fellows Program, 4) Student Efforts in Sustainable Agriculture Education through a Campus Farmers Market, SAEA Conference, 5) Redefining the Student Farm Model, SAEA Conference, 6) How Agroecology Programs Interact with Traditional Agricultural Programs. SAEA Conference, 7) Building and Sustaining Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Education Programs at CEFS, SAEA Conference, 8) Diverse Strategies to Develop and Assess Student Impacts From Community Garden Service Learning Experiences, SAEA Conference, 9) Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Coming of Age, SAEA Conference, 10) An Innovative Study abroad Curriculum for Enhancing Global Sustainability SAEA Conference, 11) An Interdisciplinary Team Approach to Building International Collaboration in Organic Agriculture, USDA/NIFA International Science Education Project Director's Conference, 12) Community Engaged Teaching and Scholarship, NCSU. PARTICIPANTS: Co-Pis on USDA/NIFA/AFRI grant- Susan Clark (VTech), Stephen Hodges (VTech). Kim Niewolny (VTech), Cheryl Brown (UWV) Co-Pi on USDA/SARE grant- Julie Grossman (Soil Science) and Sarah Bowen (Sociology) Co-Pis on SARE project- Gina Fernandez (Horticultural Science) and Nancy Creamer (Horticultural Science) Co-Pis on EPA project- Tara Greaver (EPA project director), Shuijin Hu (Plant Pathology) and Tom Rufty (Crop Science) Co-Pis on USDA International Science Education Extension grant- Paul Mueller (Crop Science), Gary Bullen (Agricultural Resources and Economics), Nancy Creamer (Horticultural Science), Jean-Marie Luginbuhl (Animal Science/Crop Science) and Sophia Kathariou (Food Science) TARGET AUDIENCES: There are 6 main target audiences for the accumulation of this work. In the USDA/NIFA funded project, the main audience is to engage community members in enhancing their food system in the Appalachian regions across North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. In the SARE/USDA funded project the main audiences are educating farmers, extension agents and researchers about alternative soil and pest management strategies of using cover crops and mycorrhizal fungi in sustainable strawberry production for the SE US. In the EPA funded project, the two man audiences are to inform other researchers but more importantly EPA professionals responsible for policy efforts in managing nitrogen deposition. This study is one a few that is examining plant and below ground mycorrhizal fungi responses to realistic current and future rates of nitrogen deposition. In all of these research projects, students are also an important target audience, exposing both undergraduate and graduate students to sustainable agriculture research PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
1. As methyl bromide fumigation will eventually be phased for strawberry production, many growers are looking for alternative strategies to maintain productivity and reduce environmental impacts. A 2-year (2007-2010) field experiment was conducted to examine the effects of 8 cover crop treatments combined with two arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculants on strawberry yields. Grass-based cover crop treatments, particularly pearl millet, produced greater aboveground biomass and all cover crops significantly reduced summer weed biomass compared to the no cover crop control. Cover crop treatments had no effect on strawberry growth or yields in either year. Mycorrhizal treatments did not differ in their effects on overall strawberry yields or growth. Results from this first 2-year study prompted a follow-up study consisting of a 2-year field study (2009-2011) and phytotron study further examining the integrated use of composts, selective summer cover crops with enhanced seeding rates, and beneficial vermicompost and mycorrhizal inoculants. A phytotron experiment was conducted to examine the beneficial inoculants effects on strawberry yields, growth and nutrient uptake when infected by a native Pythium sp. common to NC producers. We are currently analyzing the results from this second follow-up study and this is the focus of my graduate student's (John Beck) MS thesis. We have published results from the first study in HortScience journal, which was my previous graduate student's (Ben Garland) first chapter of his master's thesis defended in Jan 2010. In June 2011 and August 2011, I additionally published the highlights of these findings in the SARE national online press and in the NC Strawberry Growers newsletter, respectively to reach a broader producer audience. 2. Continue to advertise, recruit for the Agroecology programs. There are currently 7 students in the Agroecology Concentration and related multidisciplinary Sustainable Food Systems degree and approximately 20 students in the Agroecology Minor. 3. I am chair of an interdisciplinary CALS Agroecology Education Steering Committee that assessed the agroecology and sustainable agriculture graduate and undergraduate education at NCSU. We published are assessment and recommendations for moving these programs forward in the publication "Advancing Education in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at North Carolina State University". 4. Continue to develop the site plan for the Agroecology Educational Farm (AEF) at the Lake Wheeler Field Research Station. The AEF Steering Committee comprised of faulty, staff and students has developed the mission statement, goals, and development plan. This year I worked closely with Dr. Reid Evans (UFL Research Stations) and Progress Energy to install belowground electrical lines and we will finish drip irrigation spring 2012. To date, we still have not received the NCSU Kellogg Endowment commitment of a farm manager.

Publications

  • Schroeder-Moreno, M., S. Clark, C. Byker, X. Zhao. 2012. Internationalizing sustainable agriculture education. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development. 2(3):55-68.
  • Jacobsen, K., K. Niewolny, M. Schroeder-Moreno, M. VanHorn, M. Williams, D. Parr. 2012. Creating sustainable agriculture education programs: A land-grant university mission. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development. 2(3):13-26.
  • Schroeder-Moreno, M.S, T.L. Greaver, S. Wang, S. Hu, T.W. Rufty. 2012. Mycorrhizal-mediated nitrogen acquisition in switchgrass under elevated temperatures and nitrogen enrichment. Global Change Biology Bioenergy. 4:266-276.
  • Drake, W.L., D.L. Jordan, M.S. Schroeder-Moreno, P.D. Johnson, J.L. Heitman, Y.J. Cardoza, Y.L. Brandenburg, B.B. Shew, T. Corbett, C.R. Bogle, W. Ye, D. Hardy. 2010. Crop Response Following Tall Fescue Sod and Agronomic Crops. Agronomy Journal. 102:1692-1699.
  • Agroecology Farm and Program Have Grown and Improved. 2013. Perspectives NCSU publication. Winter 2013. Pg 21-23.
  • N.C. State farm encourages organic, sustainable agriculture. 2012. WRAL Video report on the Agroecology Education Farm. October 2012.
  • NCSU Agroecology Education Farm: Up and Growing, 2012. CEFS E-News online, August 2012
  • Conventional and Organic Strawberry Production, 2011. Strawberry Grower Newsletter by the North Carolina Strawberry Association, July-August 2011, Vol 18, No 6.
  • Cover crops a sustainable method of soil management in strawberries, 2011. USDA/Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Online Press Release, June 2011
  • Beck, J. M. Schroeder-Moreno, G. Fernandez, J. Grossman, N. Creamer. August 2012. A systems level approach to sustainable soil and pest management strategies for strawberry production. Oral Presentation and published abstract, Ecological Society of America Conference, Portland, OR.
  • Schroeder-Moreno, M., J. Grossman. August 2012. Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA): Promoting the Teaching and Learning of Sustainable Agriculture, Poster Presentation and published abstract, Ecological Society of America Conference, Portland, OR.
  • Ratasky, S., M. Schroeder-Moreno. September 2012. Reinventing the Student Farm: Results from a Nationwide Delphi Study on Student Farms. Oral presentation and published abstract, Fifth National Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference, Oregon State University.
  • Schroeder-Moreno, M., Jacobsen, K. September 2012. Developing International Learning Opportunities in Sustainable Agriculture What and How Do We Want Students to Learn Oral presentation and published abstract, Fifth National Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference, Oregon State University.
  • Schroeder-Moreno, M., A. Cruz, A., S. Clark. September 2012 Developing a Graduate Level Food Systems Course from the Ground up: Preliminary Analyses of Food System Courses. Poster presentation and published abstract, Fifth National Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference, Oregon State University.


Progress 10/01/10 to 09/30/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Activities. 1. Teaching- I taught the Intro to Agroecology course (3 crd) CS 230 in fall 2010 (39 students) and fall 2011 (47 students), the Advanced Agroecology course and laboratory (4 crd) CS 430/590 in spring 2011 (8 students), the Intro to Agroecology Online course (3 crd) CS 230-601 in spring 2011 (17 students). I coordinated the Sustainable Agriculture Internship Program CS 492 summer 2011 (14 students) at CEFS) 2. Extension- Together with international colleagues from the Universidad del Empressa (UDE) in Montevideo, Uruguay, I developed an international online agroecology course in Spanish through the InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) fall 2011. 2 Mentoring -I mentored 3 undergraduates in research projects, 2 of which received undergraduate research awards. I advise for the NCSU Campus Farmers Market. I advised 4 graduate students and serve on 3 graduate committees. 3. I worked collaboratively on 3 federal grants (USDA/NIFA, USDA/SARE, and USDA/HEC grants) and one state grant (Small Fruits Consortium) ended. I published 2 media publications of results from my sustainable strawberry production research. I have also published findings from previously funded EPA project. I have given 10 conference talks on the NCSU agroecology programs. I have finished a field research trial summer 2011 to examine an integrated approach of using cover crops with composts, vermicomposts and beneficial mycorrhizal inoculations for strawberry production and am currently analyzing these results. 4. Products. 1). Developed online Agroecology course in Spanish offered collaboratively with UDE in Uruguay and IICA fall 2011. A total of 45 students throughout Latin America enrolled, 2) Lead author on Advancing Education in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at NCSU Aug 2011, 3) Enhanced course reading packet and lab manual for CS 430, 4) Coordinated the CEFS Sustainable Agriculture Internship Program (CS 492). 5. Conference Presentations: 12 total: 1) Sustainable Agriculture and Lessons from Cuba, Resourceful Communities Conference, 2) The Sustainable Agriculture Revolution: Panacea for the "Special Period" in Cuba, NCSU Entomology Seminar 3) Reflections on excellence in teaching and learning. NCSU, Caldwell Fellows Program, 4) Student Efforts in Sustainable Agriculture Education through a Campus Farmers Market, SAEA Conference, 5) Redefining the Student Farm Model, SAEA Conference, 6) How Agroecology Programs Interact with Traditional Agricultural Programs. SAEA Conference, 7) Building and Sustaining Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Education Programs at CEFS, SAEA Conference, 8) Diverse Strategies to Develop and Assess Student Impacts From Community Garden Service Learning Experiences, SAEA Conference, 9) Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Coming of Age, SAEA Conference, 10) An Innovative Study abroad Curriculum for Enhancing Global Sustainability SAEA Conference, 11) An Interdisciplinary Team Approach to Building International Collaboration in Organic Agriculture, USDA/NIFA International Science Education Project Director's Conference, PARTICIPANTS: Co-Pis on USDA/NIFA/AFRI grant- Susan Clark (VTech), Stephen Hodges (VTech). Kim Niewolny (VTech), Cheryl Brown (UWV) Co-Pi on USDA/SARE grant- Julie Grossman (Soil Science) and Sarah Bowen (Sociology) Co-Pis on SARE project- Gina Fernandez (Horticultural Science) and Nancy Creamer (Horticultural Science) Co-Pis on EPA project- Tara Greaver (EPA project director), Shuijin Hu (Plant Pathology) and Tom Rufty (Crop Science) Co-Pis on USDA International Science Education Extension grant- Paul Mueller (Crop Science), Gary Bullen (Agricultural Resources and Economics), Nancy Creamer (Horticultural Science), Jean-Marie Luginbuhl (Animal Science/Crop Science) and Sophia Kathariou (Food Science) TARGET AUDIENCES: There are 6 main target audiences for the accumulation of this work. In the USDA/NIFA funded project, the main audience is to engage community members in enhancing their food system in the Appalachian regions across North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. In the SARE/USDA funded project the main audiences are educating farmers, extension agents and researchers about alternative soil and pest management strategies of using cover crops and mycorrhizal fungi in sustainable strawberry production for the SE US. In the EPA funded project, the two man audiences are to inform other researchers but more importantly EPA professionals responsible for policy efforts in managing nitrogen deposition. This study is one a few that is examining plant and below ground mycorrhizal fungi responses to realistic current and future rates of nitrogen deposition. In all of these research projects, students are also an important target audience, exposing both undergraduate and graduate students to sustainable agriculture research PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
1. As methyl bromide fumigation will eventually be phased for strawberry production, many growers are looking for alternative strategies to maintain productivity and reduce environmental impacts. A 2-year (2007-2010) field experiment was conducted to examine the effects of 8 cover crop treatments combined with two arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculants on strawberry yields. Grass-based cover crop treatments, particularly pearl millet, produced greater aboveground biomass and all cover crops significantly reduced summer weed biomass compared to the no cover crop control. Cover crop treatments had no effect on strawberry growth or yields in either year. Mycorrhizal treatments did not differ in their effects on overall strawberry yields or growth. Results from this first 2-year study prompted a follow-up study consisting of a 2-year field study (2009-2011) and phytotron study further examining the integrated use of composts, selective summer cover crops with enhanced seeding rates, and beneficial vermicompost and mycorrhizal inoculants. A phytotron experiment was conducted to examine the beneficial inoculants effects on strawberry yields, growth and nutrient uptake when infected by a native Pythium sp. common to NC producers. We are currently analyzing the results from this second follow-up study and this is the focus of my graduate student's (John Beck) MS thesis. We have published results from the first study in HortScience journal, which was my previous graduate student's (Ben Garland) first chapter of his master's thesis defended in Jan 2010. In June 2011 and August 2011, I additionally published the highlights of these findings in the SARE national online press and in the NC Strawberry Growers newsletter, respectively to reach a broader producer audience. 2. Continue to advertise, recruit and develop our new undergraduate Agroecology Concentration in the Plant and Soil Sciences Major. There are currently 7 students in the Agroecology Concentration and related multidisciplinary Sustainable Food Systems degree and approximately 20 students in the Agroecology Minor. 3. I am chair of an interdisciplinary CALS Agroecology Education Steering Committee that assessed the agroecology and sustainable agriculture graduate and undergraduate education at NCSU. We published are assessment and recommendations for moving these programs forward in the publication "Advancing Education in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at North Carolina State University". 4. Continue to develop the site plan for the Agroecology Educational Farm (AEF) at the Lake Wheeler Field Research Station. The AEF Steering Committee comprised of faulty, staff and students has developed the mission statement, goals, and development plan. This year I worked closely with Dr. Reid Evans (UFL Research Stations) and Progress Energy to install belowground electrical lines and we will finish drip irrigation spring 2012. To date, we still have not received the NCSU Kellogg Endowment commitment of a farm manager for the Agroecology Education Farm.

Publications

  • Schroeder-Moreno, M.S. 2010. Enhancing active and interactive learning online - Lessons learned from an online introductory agroecology course. North American College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA). 54(1):21-30.
  • Media publications: Conventional and Organic Strawberry Production, Strawberry Grower Newsletter by the North Carolina Strawberry Association, July-August 2011, Vol 18, No 6. Cover crops a sustainable method of soil management in strawberries, USDA/Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Online Press Release, June 2011, (http://www.southernsare.org/News-and-Media/Press-Releases/Cover-Crop s-a-Sustainable-Method-of-Soil-Management-in-Strawberries)
  • Schroeder-Moreno, M.S, T.L. Greaver, *S. Wang, S. Hu, T.W. Rufty. Mycorrhizal-mediated nitrogen acquisition in switchgrass under elevated temperatures and nitrogen enrichment. 2011. Accepted for publication to Global Change Biology Bioenergy. In press, early view online http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1757-1707.2011.01128.x/p df (*S. Wang is an undergraduate and this was part of her undergraduate research project)
  • Garland*, B., M. Schroeder-Moreno, G. Fernandez, N. Creamer. 2010. Influence of summer cover crops and mycorrhizal fungi on strawberry production in the Southeastern United States. HortScience. 46(7):985-992. (*Garland was a MS graduate student that finished with me Jan 2010)
  • Drake, W.L., D.L. Jordan, M.S. Schroeder-Moreno, P.D. Johnson, J.L. Heitman, Y.J. Cardoza, Y.L. Brandenburg, B.B. Shew, T. Corbett, C.R. Bogle, W. Ye, D. Hardy. 2010. Crop Response Following Tall Fescue Sod and Agronomic Crops. Agronomy Journal. 102:1692-1699.


Progress 10/01/09 to 09/30/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Activities. 1. Teaching- I taught the Introduction to Agroecology course (3 credits) CS 230-001 in fall 2009 (44 students) and fall 2010 (42 students), the Advanced Agroecology course and laboratory (4 credits) CS 430/590 in spring 2010 (15 students), the Introduction to Agroecology DE Online course (3 credits) CS 230-601 in spring 2010 (20 students) and co-taught a new graduate course, Critical Issues in Sustainable Agriculture (3 credits) CS/SSC 620 in spring 2010 (13 students). Taught the summer study abroad course in Costa Rica, Sustainability of Tropical Agroecosystems, with 5 NCSU students and additional students from UGA, MSU, UF, Rutgers. 2. Extension- I met colleagues at UDE in Montevideo, Uruguay to plan a Spanish online agroecology course offered through UDE and the InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) for extension agents throughout Latin America. 2. Mentoring -I mentored 4 undergraduates in research projects, 3 of which received undergraduate research awards and 1 received the Undergraduate Research Symposium award. I continue to advise for the NCSU Campus Farmers Market and co-advise for the Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority. I advised 3 graduate students, Ben Garland (M.S), John Beck (M.S), and Stephen Ratasky (MCS) and I served on the graduate committees of 2 students in Crop Science. 3. Two of my funded projects ended -EPA "Interactions among Elevated CO2, Elevated N Deposition and Mycorrhizal Mediated N Uptake by Vegetation") and SARE "Selecting cover crops for diverse functions: an integrated soil management approach for organic strawberry production in North Carolina". I am working to write up the EPA project results for publication. We have published the major findings from the organic strawberry project funded by SARE in HortScience and I have given two conference talks to disseminate these results at the SE Strawberry Expo in Nov 2009 and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association in Dec 2009. We are still working on finding an appropriate journal for publication of the results for the on-farm research. We have begin another strawberry field research trial at CEFS to examine an integrated approach of using summer cover crops with compost additions, vermicomposts and beneficial mycorrhizal inoculations for organic strawberry production this past spring 2010. 4. Products. 1). Developed a new Agroecology education brochure. 2). Continue to improve Agroecology program website (http://www.cropsci.ncsu.edu/agroecology/ ), 3). Enhanced course reading packet and lab manual for CS 430 course. 4) Coordinated the Sustainable Agriculture summer Internship Program at CEFS, 5) Developed graduate level "Critical Issues in Sustainable Agriculture" CS/SSC 620/820 course and materials. 5. Conference Presentations:1) Cover crop management for strawberry production in the Southeast, Nov 2009, SE Strawberry Expo, 2) Organic Strawberry Production, Dec 2009, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Sustainable Agriculture conference, Black Mountain, NC,. 3) Assessing student learning gains in community gardening service-learning initiative, Nov 2010. National Outreach Scholarship Conference, Raleigh, NC. PARTICIPANTS: Co-Pis on SARE project- Gina Fernandez (Horticultural Science) and Nancy Creamer (Horticultural Science), NGO- NC Strawberry Association Co-Pis on EPA project- Tara Greaver (EPA project director), Shuijin Hu (Plant Pathology) and Tom Rufty (Crop Science) Co-Pis on USDA International Science Education Extension grant- Paul Mueller (Crop Science), Gary Bullen (Agricultural Resources and Economics), Nancy Creamer (Horticultural Science), Jean-Marie Luginbuhl (Animal Science/Crop Science) and Sophia Kathariou (Food Science) TARGET AUDIENCES: There are 5 main target audiences for the accumulation of this work. In the EPA funded project, the two man audiences are to inform other researchers but more importantly EPA professionals responsible for policy efforts in managing nitrogen deposition. This study is one a few that is examining plant and below ground mycorrhizal fungi responses to realistic current and future rates of nitrogen deposition. In the SARE/USDA funded project the main audiences are educating farmers, extension agents and researchers about alternative soil and pest management strategies of using cover crops and mycorrhizal fungi in sustainable strawberry production for the SE US. In both these research projects, students are also an important target audience, exposing both undergraduate and graduate students to sustainable agriculture research. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: For the SARE/USDA funded project, we requested a no-cost extension (through December 2010) that would allow us to finish examining the mycorrhizal fungal diversity and community structure through improved greenhouse and laboratory analyses.

Impacts
1. As methyl bromide fumigation will eventually be phased for strawberry production, many growers are looking for alternative strategies to maintain productivity and reduce environmental impacts. A 2-year (2007-2010) field experiment was conducted to examine the effects of 8 cover crop treatments combined with two arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculants on strawberry yields. Grass-based cover crop treatments, particularly pearl millet, produced greater aboveground biomass and all cover crops significantly reduced summer weed biomass compared to the no cover crop control. Cover crop treatments had no effect on strawberry growth or yields in either year. Mycorrhizal treatments did not differ in their effects on overall strawberry yields or growth. A one-year study was also conducted on 3 participating farms (located in Apex, Calabash and Burlington) to investigate the perceived benefits and barriers to the adoption of cover crops in strawberries. Results showed that cover crop treatments significantly reduced weed biomass at two of the farms but cover crop treatments did not affect strawberry yields. Interviews with the 3 producers revealed barriers to adoption of cover crops are: 1) lack of information about how to integrate cover crops in a strawberry production schedule; 2) absence of practical guidance on how to increase cover crop biomass responses through enhanced seeding rates and other integrated organic amendments, 3) need to evaluate cover crop benefits in strawberries over a longer time period, not just one season; and 4) an insufficient understanding of the interactions of beneficial soil inoculants. Graduate student, Ben Garland, defended his master's thesis in Jan 2010 and his first chapter on the field part of the study had been accepted for publication in HortScience journal. In November 2009, Gina Fernandez, the 3 producers and myself presented this research at the SE Strawberry Expo in Durham, NC. I also presented this study at the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Sustainable Agriculture Conference Dec 7 2009 in Black Mountain, North Carolina. 2. Development of a new undergraduate Agroecology Concentration in the Plant and Soil Sciences Major. There are currently 5 students in the Agroecology Concentration and approximately 20 students in the Agroecology Minor. 3. I am chair of an interdisciplinary Agroecology Education Steering Committee that is assessing the agroecology and sustainable agriculture graduate and undergraduate education at NCSU and making recommendations for moving these programs forward. 4. Development of the Agroecology Educational Farm (AEF) site at the Lake Wheeler Field Research Station. The AEF Steering Committee comprised of faulty, staff and students has developed the mission statement, goals, and development plan. In 2009 a well was dug, an aboveground tank and storage facility was purchased. I am working with Dr. Reid Evans (UFL Research Stations) and Progress Energy to install belowground electrical lines and drip irrigation. To date, we still have not received the NCSU Kellogg Endowment commitment of a farm manager for the Agroecology Education Farm.

Publications

  • Benjamin Garland MS. Thesis Department of Crop Science, Jan 2010. Enhancing Strawberry Production in the Southeastern U.S. through Summer Cover Crops, Beneficial Mycorrhizal Fungi, and On-Farm Participatory Research. Major advisor: M. Schroeder-Moreno
  • Garland, BC, Schroeder-Moreno, MS, Fernandez, G, Creamer, NG. Influence of Summer Cover Crops and Mycorrhizal Fungi on Strawberry Production in the Southeastern United States. HortScience, Accepted for Publication. (*Garland was MS student that ended with me Jan 2010)
  • Schroeder-Moreno, M.S. 2010. Enhancing Active and Interactive Learning Online - Lessons Learned from an Online Introductory Agroecology Course. North American College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA). 54:21-30


Progress 10/01/08 to 09/30/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Activities. 1. Teaching- I taught the Introduction to Agroecology course (3 credits) CS 230-601 DE Online section in fall 2008 (17 students total) and spring 2009 (17 students total), the Advanced Agroecology course and laboratory (4 credits) CS 430/590 in spring 2009 (15 students total) and the Introduction to Agroecology course (3 credits) CS 230-001 (face-to-face) in fall 2009 (44 students total). 2. Extension- Gave a extension youth gardening workshop May 2009 "Vegetable Stories and Worm Majic" at the Yates Mill Historic Park with 25 participants.. 2. Mentoring -I mentored 4 undergraduates in research projects, two of which received undergraduate research awards. I am the faculty advisor for the new NCSU Campus Farmers Market and a co-advisor for the Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority. I advise two graduate students, Ben Garland (M.S. Crop Science), and John Beck (M.S. Crop Science), and I serve on the graduate committees of 2 M.S. students and 1 Ph.D. student in Crop Science. 3. One of my two funded projects ended (EPA funded contract, "Interactions among Elevated CO2, Elevated N Deposition and Mycorrhizal Mediated N Uptake by Vegetation") and I am working to finish the analyses and write this up for publication. I am still working on collecting and analyzing soil and mycorrhizal fungi data in the lab from the organic strawberry project funded by SARE /USDA, although the field observations have ended. 4. Products. 1). Developed a new brochure to advertise the Agroecology concentration curriculum within the Plant and Soil Sciences undergraduate major. I continue to advertise and advise for the Agroecology Minor and concentration and courses. 2). Continue to manage and improve the Agroecology program website (http://www.cropsci.ncsu.edu/agroecology/ ), 3). Developed Sustainability of Global Food Systems website (http://honduras.tx.ad.ncsu.edu/sustainablefood/). This website will enhance student learning and communications about sustainability in our food systems from an international perspective. 4). Developed and enhanced the course reading packet required for CS430 course. 5). Developed and enhanced the laboratory manual required for CS430 PARTICIPANTS: Co-Pis on SARE project- Gina Fernandez (Horticultural Science) and Nancy Creamer (Horticultural Science) Co-Pis on EPA project- Tara Greaver (EPA project director), Shuijin Hu (Plant Pathology) and Tom Rufty (Crop Science) Co-Pis on USDA International Science Education Extension grant- Paul Mueller (Crop Science), Gary Bullen (Agricultural Resources and Economics), Nancy Creamer (Horticultural Science), Jean-Marie Luginbuhl (Animal Science/Crop Science) and Sophia Kathariou (Food Science) TARGET AUDIENCES: There are 5 main target audiences for the accumulation of this work. In the EPA funded project, the two main audiences are to inform other researchers but more importantly EPA professionals responsible for policy efforts in managing nitrogen deposition. This study is one a few that is examining plant and below ground mycorrhizal fungi responses to realistic current and future rates of nitrogen deposition. In the SARE/USDA funded project the main audiences are educating farmers, extension agents, students and researchers about alternative soil and pest management strategies of using cover crops and mycorrhizal fungi in sustainable strawberry production for the SE US. In both these research projects, students are also an important target audience, exposing both undergraduate and graduate students to sustainable agriculture research. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: One of the major project modifications for the EPA funded project was to completely redo the experimental design. Because we were detecting Nitrogen diffusion among all treatments, we redid the experiment completely and built new split-box design that separates the elevated nitrogen residue from the switchgrass roots with two mesh membranes that create a air gap, thereby preventing nitrogen diffusion. In our preliminary experiments with this new design, we demonstrated that mycorrhizal fungi can grow past this air gap and membranes and we are now examining if mycorrhizal fungi can have significant effects to increasing nitrogen acquisition to switchgrass roots. Also for the SARE/USDA funded project, we requested a no-costs extension that would allow us to finish examining the mycorrhizal fungal diversity and community structure through improved greenhouse and laboratory analyses.

Impacts
1. As methyl bromide fumigation will eventually be phased for strawberry production, many growers are looking for alternative strategies to maintain productivity and reduce environmental impacts. A two-year (2007-2009) field experiment was conducted to examine the effects of eight cover crop treatments combined with two arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculants on strawberry yields. Cover crop treatments included two grasses, two legumes, two grass/legume combinations, a non-mycorrhizal host, and no cover crop. Grass-based cover crop treatments, particularly pearl millet, produced greater aboveground biomass and all cover crops significantly reduced summer weed biomass compared to the no cover crop control. Cover crop treatments had no effect on the subsequent strawberry plant growth or yields in either year. Mycorrhizal treatments did not differ in their effects on overall strawberry yields or growth. A one-year study was also conducted on 3 participating farms (located in Apex, Calabash and Burlington) to determine the effects of cover crops on strawberry yields, weed biomass and to investigate the perceived benefits and barriers to the adoption of cover crops in strawberries. Results showed that cover crop treatments significantly reduced weed biomass at two of the farms but cover crop treatments did not affect strawberry yields. Interviews with the 3 producers showed the prominent barriers to adoption of cover crops are: 1) lack of information about how to integrate cover crops in a strawberry production schedule; 2) absence of practical guidance on how to increase cover crop biomass responses through enhanced seeding rates and other integrated organic amendments, 3) need to evaluate cover crop benefits in strawberries over a longer time period, not just one season; and 4) an insufficient understanding of the interactions of beneficial soil inoculants. We have finished collecting all the field data and analysis and my graduate student, Ben Garland, defended his master's thesis in Dec 2009 from the SARE grant project. We are now working on finishing up analyzing the last responses variable (mycorrhizal fungi diversity) and will be submitting this for publication soon. In November 2009, Co-pi Gina Fernandez, the 3 producers and myself presented this study and research at the SE Strawberry Conference in Durham, NC. 2. Development of a new undergraduate Agroecology Concentration within the Plant and Soil Sciences Major. This was first offered in fall 2008 and we anticipate increasing student interest in this program and courses. 3. Development of the site design and development plan Agroecology Educational Farm at the Lake Wheeler Field Research Station. I have developed a steering committee comprised of faulty, staff and students and we have developed the mission statement, goals, and development plan. In 2009 a well was dug, an aboveground tank and storage facility was purchased. I have plans to install belowground electrical lines and both drip and overhead irrigation, although there is a $6000 deficit to finish this and I have no operating budget to develop this into the premier facility it can be.

Publications

  • Schroeder-Moreno, M.S. 2010. Enhancing Active and Interactive Learning Online -Lessons Learned from an Online Introductory Agroecology Course. North American College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA). In press/Accepted for publication.
  • Creamer, N.G., J.P. Mueller, C. Reberg-Horton, M. Schroeder-Moreno, S. Washburn, and J. O'Sullivan. 2009. Center for Environmental Farming Systems: Designing and Institutionalizing an Integrated Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program. In: Organic Farming: The Ecological System; Francis, C (ed.), Agronomy Monograph 54, American Society of Agronomy (ASA)


Progress 10/01/07 to 09/30/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Activities. 1. Teaching- I taught CS 230 (Introduction to Agroecology, 3 crds) fall 2007, CS 230 DE (online) spring 2007, CS 430 (Advanced Agroecology, 4 crds) spring 2008, a study abroad course in Costa Rica CS 495 (Sustainability of Tropical Agroecosystems, 3 crds), and CS 230DE (online) fall 2008. 2. Mentoring -I mentored 3 undergraduates in research projects, two of which received research awards. I also mentored 1 student from UDE University (Uruguay) May-Aug 2008. I am the co-advisor for the Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority. I co-advise 1 graduate student, Ben Garland (Crop Science), M.S. with Gina Fernandez (Horticulture) and I serve on the graduate committees of 2 M.S. students and 1 Ph.D. student all n Crop Science. 3. I am continuing to collect and analyze data for the 2funded projects- 1) Interactions among Elevated CO2, Elevated N Deposition and Mycorrhizal Mediated N Uptake by Vegetation funded by the EPA and 2) Selecting cover crops for diverse functions: an integrated soil management approach for organic strawberry production funded by SARE /USDA. Presentations:1. Schroeder-Moreno, Creamer and Mueller. "Developing Integrated Research, Education, and Outreach Programs in Sustainable Agriculture at NCSU : A Model for Land Grant Universities" . Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) conference, Nov 2008. 2. Schroeder-Moreno, M. "The Dirt on Composting and Worms". Activity for children. CEFS Seasons of Sustainable Agriculture Community Workshop. Goldsboro Public Library, June 2008. 3.Schroeder-Moreno, M. "Creating a New Vision for Agriculture: Sustainable Agriculture Research, Extension and Education at NC State University". Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Parent and New Student Orientation. Feb 2008. 4. Schroeder-Moreno, M. "Creating a New Vision for Agriculture: Sustainable Agriculture Education". The National College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Ambassador's Conference. Jan 2008. 5.Schroeder-Moreno, M. "Monitoring and Assessing Agricultural Sustainability". (in English and Spanish). International Organic Agriculture Training Course, Montevideo, Uruguay, Dec 2007. 6.Schroeder-Moreno, M. "Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Education at NCSU". Poster presentation. Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Conference. Nov 2007. 7.Schroeder-Moreno, M. "Sustainability Efforts at NCSU". Weiss Urban Livability Graduate Fellowship Program. UNC, Chapel Hill. Sept 2007. 8.Schroeder-Moreno, M. "Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Education at NCSU. Poster presentation. CEFS Fall Festival, Sept 2007. Products. 1. Developed the Agroecology concentration curriculum for the new Plant and Soil Sciences undergraduate major, 125 credits, offered for the first time fall semester 2008. 2. Developed Sustainability of Global Food Systems website (http://honduras.tx.ad.ncsu.edu/sustainablefood/). This website will enhance student learning and communications about sustainability in our food systems from an international perspective. 3. Developed and enhanced the course packet required for CS430 course. 4. Developed and enhanced the laboratory manual required for CS430. PARTICIPANTS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. TARGET AUDIENCES: There are 5 main target audiences for the accumulation of this work. In the EPA funded project, the two man audiences are to inform other researchers but more importantly EPA professionals responsible for policy efforts in managing nitrogen deposition. This study is one a few that is examining plant and below ground mycorrhizal fungi responses to realistic current and future rates of nitrogen deposition. In the SARE/USDA funded project the main audiences are educating farmers, extension agents and researchers about alternative soil and pest management strategies of using cover crops and mycorrhizal fungi in sustainable strawberry production for the SE US. In both these research projects, students are also an important target audience, exposing both undergraduate and graduate students to sustainable agriculture research. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: One of the major project modifications for the EPA funded project was to completely redo the experimental design. Because we were detecting Nitrogen diffusion among all treatments, we redid the experiment completely and built new split-box design that separates the elevated nitrogen residue from the switchgrass roots with two mesh membranes that create a air gap, thereby preventing nitrogen diffusion. In our preliminary experiments with this new design, we demonstrated that mycorrhizal fungi can grow past this air gap and membranes and we are now examining if mycorrhizal fungi can have significant effects to increasing nitrogen acquisition to switchgrass roots.

Impacts
1. With the SARE funded grant project, we have finished our first field season of examining strawberry yields in response to new practices of cover crop rotations and beneficial mycorrhizal fungi inoculations at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems. Strawberries, variety Chandler, were grown under organic production practices (without methyl bromide) and treatments including seven different cover crop combinations and commercially available and native species of mycorrhizal fungi were implemented. Although we still have one more field season to perform before conclusive results can be obtained, the strawberry yields were very good and comparable to non-organically production of the same variety and there was no incidence of any root pathogens. This is a very important finding and demonstrates some potential alternatives to methyl bromide based systems as an integrated pest and soil management approach with cover crops and mycorrhizal fungi. Co-investigator Gina Fernandez conducted a extension workshop on beery production at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and brought workshop participants to see our field study. For this project, we also began working with three individual strawberry producers in Apex, Calabash and Burlington to examine cover crop treatments and mycorrhizal fungi diversity in on-farm research. Soil and mycorrhizal fungi were sampled, cover crops treatments were established and strawberries were planted this year and we will be monitoring strawberry yields next year on all these farms. We will also be surveying the farmers for their perceptions and potential production challenges with these cover crops that will serve as future information for extension agents and other strawberry producers in NC. 2. Development of a new undergraduate Agroecology Concentration within the Plant and Soil Sciences Major. This was first offered in fall 2008 and we anticipate increasing student interest in this program as they become aware. 3. Development of the Agroecology Educational Garden facility at the Lake Wheeler Field Research Station. I have developed a steering committee comprised of faulty, staff and students for this facility and we have developed the mission statement, goals, 5 year startup budget and are working on the design of this area. I also received $40,000 ($10,000 each from CALS Research, Academic programs and Extension and the Department of Crop Science) to develop an irrigation system for this area. The irrigation system is designed to be not only functional but educational for the differences in drip irrigation and overhead. I am working with Lake Wheeler staff and an irrigation specialist to implement this currently.

Publications

  • Schroeder-Moreno, M.S. and D.P. Janos. 2008. Intra- and interspecific density affects plant growth responses to arbuscular mycorrhizas. Botany. 86:1180-1193. Schroeder-Moreno, M.S. and R. Cooper. 2007. Online Students Perform Similarly to Students in a Traditional Classroom-Based Section of an Introductory Turfgrass Management Course. North American College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA). 51(4):46-51.


Progress 10/01/06 to 09/30/07

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Invited presentations that contributed to the program goals. 1. Agroecology Education at NCSU, presentation at CFSA Conference, Oct 2006. 2.Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Education and Research at NCSU, invited talk presented at EPA in RTP, Durham, NC, Jan 2007. 3. Integrating Research, Education, and Outreach at the CEFS: a Model for Meeting the Need for Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Agriculture at Land Grant Universities, Authors: N. Creamer, J. P. Mueller, M.S. Schroeder, and H.M. Linker, invited talk at the ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Meeting Nov 2006. 4.Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Tropical Agriculture, Tropical Plant Pathology Course at NCSU, Feb 2007. 5. An Agroecology Perspective on the Impact of New Technology in Agriculture, presented to the Emerging Issues in Technology (PP 590) NCSU course, March 2007. 6. Educacion Agroecologia en la Universidad Estatal de Carolina del Norte (NCSU), presenation in Spanish in Uruguay for representatives from the Universidad de las Empresas, BioUruguay, INIA (Agricultural Research Institute of Uruguay), March 2007. 7. Agroecology Educational Farm at NCSU, poster presented at the Yates Mill Park Anniversary event, May 2007. This was followed up by a presentation at the Yates Mill Associates Board Meeting. 8. Invited to conference, Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur (NOx/SOx) Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards Workshop, EPA, July 2007. 9. Retrospect of an Agroecology Minor Program and Future Steps for an Agroecology Major, poster presented at the Sustainable Agriculture Education Conference at Cornell University, July 2007. 10. Soil Ecology and Sustainable Soil Management, lecture and field activity for Vocational Agriculture Training at CEFS, Goldsboro, NC, July 2007. 11. Soil Ecology field activity for Discover Agriculture program at CEFS, July 2007. 12. Organized children's agricultural education activities at the CEFS Fall Festival, Sept 2007. Over 1000 people attended. Grants funded. 1. Schroeder, MS, G. Fernandez, and N.G. Creamer. Selecting Cover Crops for Diverse Functions: An Integrated Soil and Pest Management Approach for Organic Strawberry Production in NC, $200,000, funded by SARE/USDA, 2007-2010. 2. Schroeder, MS, S. Hu, and T. Rufty. Combined Effects of Elevated N Deposition and Elevated Carbon Dioxide on Mycorrhizal Mediation of N Acquisition and Cycling by Vegetation, $35,214 (indirect costs of $11,095), funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Research and Development, National Center for Environmental Assessment, Research Triangle Park, NC. 2007-2008. 3. Mueller, JP, NG Creamer, MS Schroeder, S. Kathariou, G. Bullen, An Interdisciplinary Team Approach to Building International Collaboration in Organic Agriculture, USDA CSREES International Science and Education Grants Program, $100,000. 2007-2010. 4. Creamer, NG, A Ammerman, MS Schroeder, S Ashe. Developing a model Community-Based Food System in Wayne County, North Carolina, $10,000. University Extension, Engagement and Economic Development Grant, NCSU PARTICIPANTS: G Fernandez(Horticulture), NG Creamer (Horticulture), JP Mueller (Crop Sceince), SC Reberg-Horton (Crop Science), S Hu (Plant Pathology), T Rufty (Crop science), S. Kathariou (Food Science), G. Bullen (Ag Resource and Economics), Alice Ammerman (UNC Chaphel Hill, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention), the Center for Environemental Farming in Goldsboro, NC, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association TARGET AUDIENCES: Target auidiences: undergraduate and graduate students, faculty at NCSU and other institutions, international students and resarchers, children and general community members

Impacts
1. With the SARE funded grant on cover crops and mycorrhizal fungi utilization in strawberry production systems in North Carolina, we have began examining seven different summer cover crops at CEFS that can be easily integrated into both organic or conventional strawberry production systems. This although with investigating the use of beneficial mycorrhizal fungi will be important sustainable alternatives to methyl bromide dependent strawberry systems. In addition to the field research study at CEFS, we have commitments from three strawberry farmers spread around North Carolina to work with on farm trials of the evaluation of these cover crops. We will begin the on farm work the summer of 20008 and plan to develop extension workshops and publications describing the different summer cover crops for strawberry production systems for NC and the SE US in collaboration with the NC Strawberry Association. 2. With the EPA funded grant project, we have begun to initiate a long-standing research collaboration and relationship with EPA interests and sustainable agriculture production and research. Although this particular project is focused on N deposition and CO2 effects on switchgrass response to mycorrhizal fungi, we anticipate further projects to initiate from examining sustainable bioethanol production and understanding of mycorrhizal fungi effects on capturing N from agroecosystems and thereby reducing N leaching.

Publications

  • 1. Schroeder, M.S., N.G. Creamer, H.M Linker, J.P. Mueller, and P. Rzewnicki. 2006. Interdisciplinary and multi-level approach to organic and sustainable agriculture education at North Carolina State University. HortTechnology. 16(3):418-426.
  • 2. Schroeder-Moreno, M.S. and R. Cooper. (In Press). Online Students Perform Similarly to Students in a Traditional Classroom-Based Section of an Introductory Turfgrass Management Course. North American College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA). Accepted August 2007.
  • 3. N. Creamer, JP Mueller, MS Schroeder, and HM Linker Integrating Research, Education, and Outreach at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems: a Model for Meeting the Need for Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Agriculture at Land Grant Universities, printed abstract and presentation at the Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Meeting Nov 12-16 2006 in Indianapolis.