The Northeastern Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors gave its 2018 Award for Excellence in Multistate Research to the technical committee of NE1335 for the project, “Resource Management in Commercial Greenhouse Production,” a USDA-funded research initiative that focuses on supporting commercial plant production in controlled environments such as greenhouses, high tunnels and indoor production facilities that only use electric lighting.
Leading the team was A.J. Both, extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Sciences, in collaboration with Robin Brumfield, extension specialist in the Department of Agriculture Food and Resources Economics.
Project members include economists, plant scientists and engineers who are affiliated with agricultural experiment stations located in participating states (currently 14). A modest amount of funding is provided in 5-year cycles and it is used for collaborative research focused on a set of well-defined objectives like crop irrigation, plant nutrition, sensors, and control strategies.
The funding also provides for travel allowances so project members can get together once a year, usually at the experiment station of one of the members.
This project, including its prior iterations and focus areas, has been in existence for over 40 years and has witnessed the replacement of an entire generation of scientists with the next. Project members have long been keen on involving their students and this has contributed substantially to the longevity of the project.
Communication of research findings and recommended practices has been another important activity undertaken by the project members.
“The collaborative efforts that are undertaken as part of this project and the annual meetings that allow for face-to-face discussions and sharing of ideas has been tremendously beneficial to the participating researchers and the green industry that benefits from the research results and recommendations,” said Both.
“Over the years, the research focus and personal connections among the project members have led to many novel externally-funded research projects that have further benefited the green industry. The award serves as a reminder that all our efforts are valued and appreciated.”
Read more about the winning NE1335 Project: Resource Management in Commercial Greenhouse Production.