Communities of learning and practice

Cornell Cooperative Extension Program Work Teams (PWT) are communities of learning and practice that focus on specific Extension areas and issues. PWTs bring Cornell faculty and staff, CCE educators, industry members and stakeholders together to collaborate and innovate.

Farm to School

Engaging young people in hands-on learning and empower school nutrition professionals to source and promote healthy, local food for school meal programs. 

Urban Agriculture

The Urban Agriculture Program Work Team comprises experts and enthusiasts from across the state.


Agritourism focuses on activities that attract customers to the farm which will lead to farm product sales.

Browse Work Teams by Topic Area

Agriculture and Climate Change

The Agriculture and Climate Change PWT has the goal of connecting CCE educators, Cornell staff, and external stakeholders to collaborate on opportunities for advancing climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency across agricultural, forested, and managed lands in New York State.

Co-Chair(s): el684 [at] (Emily Lindback), kao32 [at] (Kitty O'Neil), and ss2655 [at] (Savanna Shelnutt)

Cut Flowers 

The cut flower industry has taken off over the last couple of years and limited educational opportunities have been available for growers. The intent of this PWT is to develop educational programming and identify areas of research that will support existing and potential NYS cut flower growers.  This PWT will address production and marketing challenges and enhance our cut flower growers’ ability to provide NYS cut flowers to consumers in our state.

Co-Chair(s): ceh27 [at] (Carla Crim), eml38 [at] (Elizabeth Lamb) , and lep67 [at] (Lindsey Pashow) 

Regional & Local Food Systems

The Regional & Local Food Systems PWT focuses on food systems work occurring across the state. Stakeholders include Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University, NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, and other non-profits such as GrowNYC, CADE, and others.

Co-Chair(s): lw257 [at] (Laura Biasillo), vlg4 [at] (Vicki Giarratano), rgh26 [at] (Robert Hadad), mjt255 [at] (Myron Thurston), and pt385 [at] (Precious Tshabalala)

Aquaculture Development in NY

The Aquaculture Development in New York Program Work Team is focused on realizing the potential of sustainable aquaculture in New York.

Co-Chair(s):  bu25 [at] (Barry Udelson )and Eugene Won

Farm to School

The Farm to School PWT plans to create better cohesion of farm to school programming across NYS for more efficient/effective farm to school program delivery. As part of a PWT, farm to school coordinators can greatly augment their efforts through resource sharing, thus strengthening the overall farm to school program in NYS.

Co-Chair(s): cbt32 [at] (Cheryl Bilinski), Becky O'Connor, and mmt65 [at] (Moria Tidball)


To serve as a forum for Cornell faculty and technical staff, CCE Educators and Specialists, and industry representatives and consultants, to confer on matters related to the New York tree fruit and berry industry, including production matters, business management, pest management, and other issues related to NY's fruit industry.

Co-Chairs: JFWE [at] (Jim Eve), jpl275 [at] (Jason Londo), aew232 [at] (Anna Wallis), and jev67 [at] (Janet van Zoeren)

Greenhouse Horticulture

The Greenhouse Horticulture PWT provides Cornell extension programming that addresses critical issues to producers of greenhouse bedding plants, flower crops, and greenhouse vegetable crops across New York. There are 615 wholesale floriculture producers in NYS producing $171 million a year in wholesale value. These operations support more than 7,000 employees. 

Co-Chair(s): nsm47 [at] (Neil Mattson) andjy578 [at] ( Jingjing Yin)

Hard Cider

Outreach: support Cornell related outreach efforts related to hard cider across the entire supply chain from apple nurseries to orchards to cider producers to marketing.

Co-Chair(s): mrb254 [at] (Mike Basedow)cjg9 [at] (Chris Gerling)cjk37 [at] (Craig Kahlke)lep67 [at] (Lindsay Pashow)gmp32 [at] (Gregory Peck)scott [at] (Scott Ramsey)

Integrated Field Crop, Soil, and Pest Management

To assess the needs of stakeholders, prioritize opportunities, and to promote and facilitate applied research and extension programs on integrated field crop, soil, and pest management that increases the productivity and profitability of New York agriculture and related industries while protecting the environment for the benefit of all citizens of New York.

Recent Research & Outreach: statewide planning and applied research priorities and sponsored activities

Co-Chair(s): vk364 [at] (Vipan Kumar), ll928 [at] (Louis Longchamps)

Integrated Nutrient Management

This PWT consists of Cornell faculty and staff and Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators, further advised by a statewide external advisory committee that includes representatives of state agencies (NRCS, NYSDEC, NYSDAM), as well as Farm Bureau, NEDPA, SWCDs, consulting firms, industry representatives, and farmers. The goal is to partner in the development of effective and practical solutions for enhanced agriculture and environmental management. 

Co-Chair(s): drd4 [at] (Dale Dewing)qmk2 [at] (Quirine Ketterings)

Integrated Pest Management

The need for pest management is universal, as are its risks. We help address pest management needs on the farm, at work or in schools, in homes, or in the community.

Research, demonstrations, education, and outreach are part of a comprehensive plan to make IPM the safe, effective pest management solution for all New Yorkers. We look for solutions that help protect the health,  economic well-being, and environment of New York State.

Co-Chair(s): aac273 [at] (Alejandro Calixto)eml38 [at] (Elizabeth Lamb)


The purpose is to develop collaborations, share resources, and support the work of livestock educators across the state. We are currently in the team development phase. 

Co-Chair(s): lao3 [at] (Lynn Bliven), nig3 [at] (Nancy Glazier), and aej48 [at] (Abigail Jantzi)

Managing Wastes: Composting and Land Application

The Managing Wastes PWT provides a mechanism through which faculty and extension educators connect with stakeholders in identifying issues, studying needs, creating education materials, and designing learning experiences that address solid waste issues and needs.

Recent Activity: Held a PWT meeting with tours, demonstrations, and networking with professionals.

Co-Chair(s): jb29 [at] (Jean Bonhotal)

Organic Production and Marketing

To support organic producers in New York by developing and strengthening relationships among Cornell researchers, students, and extension staff and stakeholders including producers, consultants, input suppliers, and NGOs.

Recent Outreach: full-day Organic Research Symposium to showcase research projects 

Co-Chair(s): cls263 [at] (Crystal Courtens)bai1 [at] (Betsy Leonard)gmp32 [at] (Greg Peck); mrr232 [at] (Matthew Ryan), and ajs32 [at] (Abby Seaman) 

Small Farms

The Cornell Small Farms Program Work Team envisions a future where diverse and vibrant urban and rural farms build human capacity, revitalize communities, supply regional food systems, and foster ecological resilience in a changing world. We do this by helping farmers get expert assistance to facilitate all phases of small farm business development, from initial growth to optimization to maturity.

Co-Chair(s):  ar47 [at] (Anusuya Rangarajan) and vws7 [at] (Violet Stone)

Urban Agriculture 

The Urban Agriculture Program Work Team was established in 2021 to:

  • Build connections by identifying existing meeting structures and familiarizing members with other extension associates working in this field.
  • Offer professional development including tours of other UA projects across the State, bringing in industry and diversity, equity, and inclusion speakers
  • Conduct a statewide needs assessment with growers and other stakeholders.

Co-Chairs: yg88 [at] (Yolanda Gonzalez) and Sam Anderson

Vegetable Crops

Recent Outreach: offset staff travel costs for a professional development tour of farms and research in the Riverhead, Long Island, NY area in September of 2018

Co-Chair(s): emb273 [at] (Elizabeth Buck), mel296 [at] (Margie Lund), ms3573 [at] (Maryellen Sheehan), and mez4 [at] (Marion Zuefle)

Viticulture and Enology

The Viticulture and Enology (VIEN) Program Work Team exists to support the profitable production of grapes, wine, and grape products in New York State.

The group is diverse, encompassing 20 Cornell faculty research and extension programs, 4 associated USDA-ARS research scientists, and 10 Extension Educators representing four regional grape programs.  Industry input is channeled through program advisory committees for the respective extension programs.

Co-Chair(s): cjg9 [at] (Christopher Gerling) and jjr268 [at] (Jennifer Phillips Russo)

All-Hazard Preparedness & Response Education Program

  • Safeguarding agriculture in the event of weather, biological or chemical incidents.
  • Prepare citizens for personal wellness and resilience in the face of increasing frequency, intensity, and severity of weather events.
  • Provide evidence-based resources to assist communities with all-hazard preparedness and response.

Co-Chair(s): dh576 [at] (Danialle Hill) and kgt2 [at] (Keith Tidball)

CCE Veterans & Military Families

Increase community capacity to support military families, increase workforce development opportunities, and expand family, childcare, and youth development programs.

Co-Chair(s): dh576 [at] (Danielle Hill) and kgt2 [at] (Keith Tidball)

Community and Public Health

The Community and Public Health PWT aims to build capacity at the local level related to improving health outcomes and addressing health disparities.

Co-Chair(s): ath66 [at] (Adam Hughes), chj7 [at] (Chris Kai-Jones), ljp9 [at] (Lara Parrilla)

Sustainable Landscapes - Horticulture

Coordinate the Cornell Cooperative Extension's county network of commercial and community horticulture educators and Master Gardener Volunteers to connect with New York State green Industry professionals, 7 million gardening households, and children and youth-serving agencies to build economic vitality and advance environmental and scientific literacy while promoting human well-being and opportunities for successful gardening experiences.

Co-Chair(s): jjs95 [at] (Jennifer Lerner)alm443 [at] (Ashley Miller Helmholdt), and has34 [at] (Hannah Shayler)

Agroforestry in NYS

The PWT would elevate the status of agroforestry and legitimize its application in New York by identifying current practices and creating resources to expand them.

CCE staff across the state are already engaged in this work but it is often extra-curricular. This PWT will identify funding and support to enable more dedicated staff time to agroforestry either through campus of by working collectively to identify and apply for grants.

Co-Chair(s): gs695 [at] (Steve Gabriel), tet35 [at] (Tracey Testo), and czy2 [at] (Connor Youngerman) 

Climate Change and Communities

The Climate Change & Communities PWT was formed in 2010 and includes Cornell faculty, staff, and Extension educators from around New York State. The PWT provides a mechanism through which faculty and Extension educators connect with stakeholders to identify the needs surrounding climate change impacts and opportunities, develop educational materials and decision tools, and provide training opportunities and engagement around climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Co-Chair(s): whb65 [at] (Ave Bauder)amc256 [at] (Allison Chatrchyan)

Community and Energy

Educate regarding local and community roles and choices in energy consumption, conservation, production, and distribution in NYS.

Co-Chair(s): dlk2 [at] (David Kay)gm52 [at] (Guillermo Metz)

Community-Based Biodiversity and Habitat Conservation

Co-Chair(s): kls20 [at] (Kristi Sullivan)

Invasive Species

Exchange information about invasive species programs and grants; build connections between CCE county associations and campus faculty.

Recent Activity: hosted an on-campus meeting between educators and Cornell faculty

Co-Chair(s): sin2 [at] (Sharon Bachman) and cam369 [at] (Caroline  Marschner)

Recycling Agricultural Plastics Program

To assist farmers in recycling agricultural plastics and keeping the waste out of the landfills and into new products.  This also keeps farms cleaner and more pleasing to the public.

Recent Research & Outreach: Developed collection strategies, market reviews, and educated on recycling agriculture plastics in the Hudson Valley and Western NY.

Co-Chair(s): jb29 [at] (Jean Bonhotal)

Watershed-Based Management of Water Resources

The Water PWT works to increase interdisciplinary collaborations on current issues related to the enhancement and protection of water resources.

Co-Chair(s): jb2559 [at] (Jared) jb2559 [at] (Buono)bgr4 [at] (Brian Rahm)

Poverty and Economic Hardship

Committee had an active year in several counties: Tompkins, Hamilton, Genesee, and Chemung. The committee met monthly by conference call and discussed its work in each of these areas. In addition, a proposal for funding was submitted to the Emerson Foundation (not successful).

Co-Chair(s): agf1 [at] (Andrew Fagan)tah4 [at] (Thomas Hirschl)

Youth Healthy Eating and Active Living

Recent Activity: funds to support capacity building and program integration of mindfulness activities in support of youth and adult mental health.

Co-Chair(s): mc2794 [at] (Mingla Charoemuang) and ker99 [at] (Kathryn Ripstein)


4-H Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Recent Activity: 4-H STEM educator professional development events, sponsored activities for 4-H youth, 4-H STEM/New York State Library Summer Reading Program collaboration, National 4-H STEM Challenge kits and training

Co-Chair(s): kmf83 [at] (Kandis Freer)sbh1 [at] (Susan Hoskins), and ask37 [at] (Alexa Maille)

Civic Engagement

Recent Activity: Host a conference; Building Sustainable Communities through Youth/Adult Partnerships Conference

Co-Chair(s): jws62 [at] (Jamila Simon)

Family Economics and Resource Management

FERM is a statewide effort by Cornell Cooperative Extension to help individuals and families to adopt management behaviors which lead to more secure financial situations and affordable use of resources through education and practice.

Recent Activity: Inservice, newsletter publication, meeting in Ithaca

Co-Chair(s): bmh13 [at] (Barbara Henza)tah4 [at] (Thomas Hirschl), and mmayhew1 [at] (Theresa Mayhew)

Parenting Education

The purpose of the Parenting Education Program Work Team (PWT) is to foster communication among Cornell Cooperative Extension parenting educators as well as provide support and resources to educators throughout New York State. 

Recent Activity: Host a training for PWT members on how to incorporate the two-generational (2Gen) approach to supporting parents and children

Co-Chair(s): jc2933 [at] (Julia Chapman) and ams69 [at] (Anna Steinkraus)

Risk and Thriving in Adolescence

The Program Work Team Risk and Thriving in Adolescence seeks to identify and develop resources to support and build the capacity of youth work professionals in 4-H and other community agencies working with young people. The PWT has developed several educational toolkits and training material focused on adolescent development, positive youth development, social and emotional learning, and creating inclusive program environments for youth.

Co-Chair(s): rrw33 [at] (Rachel Williams )and haw48 [at] (Heather Wynkoop Beach)

Youth, Nature & the Outdoor Environment (YNOE)

The YNOE helps to promote and enhance the needs of 4-H Natural Resources in identifying Cornell and land-grant university curriculum, outreach, and research efforts that can be applied to everyday environmental education programs.  YNOE conducts several teleconferences and in-person PD meetings to help identify issues.  The program offers professional development opportunities, project/resource sharing sessions, and also events for youth to learn in.  

Co-Chair(s): elc97 [at] (Erica Clark), sam555 [at] (Sarah McCormick), and kgt2 [at] (Keith Tidball)

4-H Food Systems

The 4-H Food Systems Program Work Team is a collaborative workspace that addresses food systems holistically in terms of health, environmental, social, and economic aspects to help 4-H Educators engage youth in activities and conversations surrounding our food system. The purpose is for youth to recognize connections within the bigger picture, analyze the consequences of the food system, and engage in social issues, which will lead to an understanding of sustainability while becoming more responsible consumers and citizens. 

Co-Chair(s): mc2794 [at] (Mingla Charoenmuang) and mf628 [at] (Michael Fiorentino)

Membership benefits