Month: August 2023

Zwick Center Reports on CT Farming Labor Shortage

farmer in field with cows

Zwick Center produces report prepared by ARE's Professor Rigoberto Lopez, Christopher Laughton, director of knowledge at Farm Credit East, Luis Seoane, a Ph.D. student in ARE and Joan Nichols, director of the Connecticut Farm Bureau. The report shows a clear lack of labor availability for Connecticut's green industry and predicts a move towards mechanized and smart agriculture. Industry vacancies include both low-skill and higher-skill managerial positions leading the report to recommend a more proactive approach to workforce development by establishing programs in high schools and colleges.

Lopez is now working with his colleagues Assistant Professor Cristina Connolly and Assistant Professor in Residence Emma Bojinova to complete a needs assessment evaluation to further understand the problems and priorities of Connecticut farmers.

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ARE welcomes UConn Extension’s Marketing Intern

abigail wilbur

Abigail Wilber ‘23 (CAHNR) is learning and implementing marketing strategies, practices, and tools to help advance UConn Extension’s digital presence to ensure their content resonates and reaches as many of Connecticut’s residents as possible. Using Salesforce, Wilber helps Extension complete vital activities like email marketing, transcripts for accessibility, and records management.

Wilber recently completed her associate of applied science degree in animal science, a program offered through the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture. She is transferring into the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in the fall with a concentration in business management and marketing, thanks in part to her experience with UConn Extension this summer.

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ARE undergrad studies importance of local food procurement

Karina Cangas

Karina Cangas, Zwick Center Student Intern and ARE Undergraduate student, works with Professor Cristina Connolly and Zwick researcher and PhD student Alyssa McDonnell on an initiative led by New England Feeding New England. The program’s goal is to have 30% of food in New England procured locally by the year 2030. As part of this effort, the organization is engaging a team of researchers in each state to gather data. Cangas and Connolly are part of the Connecticut branch of this regional study.

Cangas has been working with UConn’s Zwick Center since January and has supported other studies on topics including composting programs in major U.S. cities and the status of Farm to School programs in Connecticut. The Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy was established in 2010 after a generous gift from alumnus Charles J. Zwick.

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