Industry involvement is a critical aspect of the Specialty Crops Research Initiative (SCRI). Both a mandate for need and funding are necessary from industry to develop a successful SCRI project. The National Grape and Wine Initiative (NGWI), a nationwide coalition representing all segments of the grape (Vitis sp.) industry including raisin, juice, fresh grape and wine interests, identified extension education as a critical need and charged its extension/outreach committee to concentrate on ensuring industry members are aware of and have access to findings from grape and grape products research. To achieve this goal, the committee decided that a comprehensive online information and educational resource would play an important role. In 2009, the eXtension Grape Community of Practice (GCoP) was funded by the SCRI. The NGWI was active in soliciting letters of endorsement and buy-in from the industry for the project. The Missouri Wine and Grape Board (MWGB) also contributed $20,000 per year for three years to help offset the matching requirement. Research-based grape proposals in subsequent rounds of the SCRI in 2010 and 2011 wishing to have the approval of NGWI have been strongly encouraged to include the GCoP as a portion of their extension component. For the 2011 round of SCRI proposals, this led to the GCoP being included in three projects, two of which were funded. Exploration of future avenues for funding will include subcontracts from other grant awards, NGWI, industry sponsorships, and other creative methods.
- Cooperative Extension Service
- National Grape and Wine Initiative
- Specialty Crops Research Initiative