This page provides information from previous and upcoming Extension Agricultural Education Tour sponsored by the Extension Section of AAEA.
2016: Boston, MA
"America's Most Beloved Ballpark" is uniquely nestled in the city of Boston. The experienced tour guides will provide a thrilling, one hour, walking tour of Fenway Park.
Allendale Farm-An example of urban farming.
Allandale Farm is nestled on 130 acres of rolling hills, woodland, and farm fields. They cultivate 30 of those acres to grow over a hundred different varieties of vegetables, fruits, and cut flowers.
They are deeply committed to protecting the health and well-being of the land they farm, as well as all the communities and environments connected to the farm. They use traditional organic and sustainable farming practices. They rotate the crops, use green manures to protect the fields and add organic matter, and amend the fields and greenhouse plants with organic fertilizer.
Cranberry Research Station
Located in East Wareham, the Cranberry Experiment Station, a part of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Campus, is an outreach and research center charged with the mission of maintaining and enhancing the economic viability of the Massachusetts Cranberry Industry through research and outreach and serving the public welfare by supporting economic development and the protection of the environment.
Cranberry research and outreach programs have tremendous impacts on not only the more than 60,000 acres of land owned by the cranberry industry, but on all of the region. Land surrounding cranberry bogs accounts for much of the open space in the area. Water quality and preservation programs are of prime importance as cranberry growers own 22% of all surface water in Plymouth County. The continued viability of the cranberry industry, and other regional agricultural enterprises, is key to the economic vitality and non-urban character of this region.
The Cranberry Station programs are focused on the cranberry production system in the areas of systems ecology (including crop protection and sustainability) and the interaction of cranberry growing and the environment (abiotic factors and management). In their programs we emphasize efficiency, environmental protection, and profitability. Current projects include the use of alternative cultural practices, especially flooding, to control insect, weed, and disease pests in cranberry, a study of the impact of phosphorus use in cranberry production on surface water quality, and physiological factors that may be limiting production.
2015: San Francisco, CA
The tour bus picked up participants at 7:00 am. The tour of Sonoma County began in Sebastopol. Devoto Gardens is a 20 acre diversified family farm that was founded in 1976 by Susan and Stan Devoto. The farm started out as one of the North Bay's original micro-green growers, and slowly evolved in biodiversity. Together with their three daughters, the family grows over 50 varieties of heirloom apples, specialty cut flowers, and pinot noir grapes. The tour of the farm was followed by a tasting of their hard apple ciders.
The second stop was in Geyserville where participants met with l winegrape growers to talk about farming practices, wine production, marketing strategies and key challenges. Also, the Sonoma County Cooperative Extension viticulture advisor provided an overview of the county’s vineyard industry and answer questions. The discussion continued over wine and a box lunch.
The final stop was McEvoy Ranch in Petaluma beginning with a walk in the orchards and vineyards. This introduction to McEvoy Ranch provided an overview of its history, its commitment to environmental responsibility, its wine program and how they produce award-winning olive oil. Participants walked in the orchards and vineyards where they talked about the horticulture of their plantings. Next, they visited their state-of-the-art mill for an explanation of their unique process of extracting oil. To finish the tour, participants were lead through an oil tasting and sensory evaluation. Following the tour, they enjoyed a wine tasting featuring McEvoy Ranch's current releases. The bus returned to the hotel approximately 5:30 PM.
2014: Minneapolis, MN
The tour bus picked up participants at 7:00 am and traveled to Le Sueur and Montgomery, Minnesota to visit Green Giant (owned by General Mills). Guided tours in small groups were conducted of research and development, operations, and other facilities. Lunch was provided on the return trip. The bus returned to the hotel approximately 2:00pm.
2013: Washington, DC
Beginning at 8:00am, the tour bus picked participants at the 24th St. entrance of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. The bus headed to Chesapeake Bay where we boarded a working skipjack vessel at the Annapolis Maritime Museum and go for a 2-3 hour cruise to observe fishing activity on Chesapeake Bay. Skipjacks are traditional vessels that harvest oysters by dredging, and we will pull a sample dredge over oyster bottom. We learned about the innovative role that Extension plays in aquaculture and restoration activities helping the Chesapeake Bay seafood industry overcome challenges from pollution, over-harvesting, and disease outbreaks. After the skipjack cruise, participants had the opportunity to tour the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Lunch was provided. The bus returned to the hotel approximately 2:00pm.