ARAP team members are involved in multiple projects surrounding food safety of fruits and vegetables. Two such grant from the USDA National Integrated Food Safety Initiative focuses on identifying and optimizing farm practices to reduce contamination from bacteria and viruses, farm to fork, while also striving to understand the beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions underlying behaviors on the farm, at the retail location, and in the home through mental model study. By looking at both the science of contamination and the human dimension, the team works to protect the food supply from all angles.
Further efforts towards Good Agricultural Practice promotion and risk reduction is through the OSU Fruit and Vegetable Safety Team that has a project funded by the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant program. The FVSTeam iss working on risk communication to the farmer. The grant provides a subsidy to aid local growers in affording the registration costs for the developed program (developed under the 2 NIFSI projects as well as this grant).
Organic Agriculture Research & Extension Initiative
OAREI Organic Weed Project: This project is focused on discovering and overcoming barriers that may prevent organic farmers from accessing or using the latest scientific information about managing risks from weeds. It is suspected that many organic farmers have not embraced proven approaches to weed control, reducing their ability to significantly reduce risks posed by weeds. This project aims at improving risk communication between the scientific community and the organic community through the use of mental models to help develop a deeper understanding of organic farmer preferred learning styles, beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes about weed management practices and the experts who propose these methods. It is hoped that this new information will help better communicate management techniques to those who can benefit from them. Participants of the study are from New England, Midwest, California and the Netherlands. The research team is composed of biologists, extension educators, private crop advisors, and social scientists all working internationally and interdisiplinarily to improve risk management of weeds for the organic farming community.
Watershed Network, Maumee River Basin
The agricultural community deals with the risks associated with nutrient loss on a regular basis, including direct risks to productivity, and the potential secondary risks to human and environmental health. A changing climate, where increased spring temperatures and precipitation are becoming the norm, poses yet another risk to farmers as it may increase the nutrients lost through surface runoff. Our project aims to assess how farmers think about the risks associated with nutrient loss, and how their attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions influence their nutrient management decisions. Ultimately, the goal is to provide farmers with the knowledge to minimize the risks posed by nutrient loss, while helping them adapt to a changing climate and the new challenges that it poses in the agroecosystem.
2,4-D and dicamba-tolerant row crops and risk for drift
Team members have submitted a grant proposal to research the upcoming 2,4-D and dicamba herbicide-tolerant row crops and the potential for increased spraying of these herbicides could damage sensitive specialty crops due to drift.