Odile Huchette

Odile Huchette, a lecturer in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design, won second place in the Early Career Competition at the annual meeting of the American Society for Horticultural Science.

The Early Career Competition allows new faculty and professionals to communicate the impact of their Extension, research, teaching and other scholarly activities. Twenty-one faculty submitted entries to the competition; six finalists were chosen to make presentations at the ASHS meeting, Sept. 19-22 in Waikoloa, Hawaii.

Huchette’s presentation, “Engaging Students in Agriculture Through the Development of an Urban Food Platform,” described the evolution of infrastructure to support experiential learning in the Urban and Community Horticulture program in the CAES. She described how she applied for and received a $150,00 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to create that infrastructure, which became known as the Urban Food Platform.

The Urban Food Platform includes 35 raised beds in two locations, a pergola, hydroponics and a greenhouse measuring 12 feet by 25 feet. In addition to the opportunities it provides for hands-on learning, it has also promoted community engagement and proven to be a valuable tool for recruitment and retention, according to Huchette.