Agriculture in South Florida is unique in many ways, from our subtropical climate and challenging limestone soils to the diverse cultural preferences served by growers here. With climate change, sea level rise, and changing preferences and economic realities, agriculture can be expected to change dramatically in South Florida in the coming years.
To help train a new generation of agriculturalists, Fairchild has joined in the Florida-Caribbean Consortium for Agricultural Education, a USDA funded partnership that includes St Thomas University, Miami-Dade College, Universidad Interamerican in Puerto Rico, the USDA, and is led out of Florida International University. This program provides scholarships to 50 college students in agricultural fields, with a particular emphasis on South Florida and the Caribbean.
Fairchid's particpation in this program ties together two strengths at the garden: educational outreach and research. Students from the Fairchild Challenge are strongly encouraged to consider the scholarship and training opportunities in agriculture, ecology, nutrition and related fields at local universities.
Fairchild has a rich history of agricultural research, and remains active, with current projects in areas such as development of new fruit varieities suited to our climate and soils, the examination of consequences of domestication in garbanzo beans and pigeonpea, and the study of diversity of plant-associated benefical soil microbes in South Florida soils. College students in the fccage program have the opportunity to participate in Fairchild's research and educational outreach programs as research assistants and interns.
Please contact Dr Eric von Wettberg for more details.