Plant Food Project Creates a Win-Win-Win Situation

Article excerpt

There are all sorts of winners in the Rochester Plant Food Project, says Bo Yerxa, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County. "First of all, we think what we're doing is a real plus for the broader extension system," he says. "We're excited because the applied research that's being carried out is specifically applicable to our context in the Genesee Valley, and they will help us learn what's needed to improve our nutritional education programming. It also demonstrates that county extension can be a viable partner with the university in applied research."

But the extension system is not the only winner in the project. Yerxa points out that the data on food choices that are being collected can also stimulate the area's economy.

"We hope the data will identify some micromarkets for specialty foods that will open new markets for growers," he says.

Mary Jeanette Ebenhack, who serves as community liaison for the project, agrees with Yerxa's prediction.

"Agriculture is a big business in this area. If this project can help local growers and merchants economically, it will be very well received," she says. …