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December 19, 2003   Email to Friend 

Jamie Creamer
334 844-4877
December 19, 2003

AUBURN, Ala. -- Alabama residents will have the opportunity to offer their input on the future direction of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station (AAES), the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) and six regional agricultural research and extension centers located across the state during an upcoming series of public meetings.

The meetings will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and are scheduled for Jan. 26 at the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center in Headland; Jan. 27 at the Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center in Fairhope; Jan. 28 at the Tennessee Valley Research and Extension Center in Belle Mina; Jan. 29 at the Tom Bevill Enrichment Center in Rainsville, regarding the Sand Mountain Research and Extension Center in Crossville; Feb. 3 at Alabama Power Company in Clanton, regarding the Chilton Area Research and Extension Center in Clanton; and Feb. 4 at the Black Belt Research and Extension Center in Marion Junction.

The AAES is in the process of developing a long-range strategic plan that includes establishing research priorities for these six centers. Interim AAES Director John Jensen said the regional public meetings are critical to that process.

"Our goal is to make these centers most relevant to the regions they serve, and stakeholder input on current and future issues and on opportunities that exist in their areas of the state is essential if we are to achieve that goal," Jensen said.

Draft proposals call for future AAES research and ACES education activities at the centers to focus on: •economic growth through agriculture in west Alabama (Black Belt center);
• emerging agricultural enterprises in the rural-urban interface (Gulf Coast center);
• adapting Wiregrass agriculture to a new peanut program (Wiregrass center);
• sustainable production and marketing of family farm foods (Chilton area center);
• environmental and nutrient management systems (Sand Mountain center);
• enhancing production with precision agriculture and other new technologies (Tennessee Valley center).

The regional meetings will give AAES and ACES stakeholders and the general public the opportunity to offer insight and input on these proposed initiatives as well as on other matters.

For more information about the regional sessions, contact Jim Bannon at (334) 844-5611 or bannojs@auburn.edu.

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