31-Mar-09 07:46 | Eric Stafne

I won’t be able to post for the next couple days because I will be attending a meeting in OKC.  This meeting is the National Viticulture and Enology Extension Leadership Conference.  In previous years it has been held in San Antonio, Nashville, Albuquerque, and now OKC.  I am acting as the host for the meeting this year.  Viticulture Extension Specialists from Texas, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, Connecticut, California, Washington, New York, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and Ontario, Canada will be there to discuss their programs, to learn from how others deliver viticulture and enology programs, and to provide leadership in a national way by creating guidelines for extension and outreach education through the National Grape and Wine Initiative (NGWI, http://www.ngwi.org/).  As a part of this effort, I, along with Dr. Ed Hellman and Dr. Keith Striegler, are spearheading an effort to create a Grape Community of Practice (GCoP) through the eXtension system.  The GCoP is a group of professionals interested in delivering and creating educational materials to a community of interest (COI — which tend to be grape growers, wine makers, etc.)  I am writing a grant proposal to the USDA-CSREES SCRI (you know it’s federal with all those acronyms) program for funding.  The process is quite involved and not very fun, but hopefully something good will come of it.  The idea is to get all the grape information from all the different states in one place on the web so that anyone can have immediate, easy to find access to whatever information they want without needing to search endlessly for it.  There are other elements involved as well, but I don’t want to give away everything right now.  I’ll keep you updated on the progress of this initiative.