Article by Stacey Stearns Contact Donna Ellis, Senior Cooperative Extension Educator, Dept. of Plant Science, Storrs, CT 860-486-6448 “Educating farmers in sustainable, profitable and environmentally-sound food production practices benefits every man, woman and child in the country directly, on a daily basis, by help- ing to maintain a safe and secure food source. Knowledge of effective IPM practices helps prevent excess application of pesticides by oth- erwise frustrated growers,” Jude Boucher says. The name Jude Boucher is synonymous with vegetable production in Connecticut. Jude joined UConn Extension in 1986 as the Extension Educator for vegetable crops in the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program. Jude provided cutting-edge solutions to growers on pest management and crop production problems, keeping them competitive on the local, regional, and national level. A multi-faceted approach is used in vegetable IPM that reaches a vast number of grow- ers, not only in Connecticut, but; throughout the Northeast. During the growing season, Jude worked with numerous farms to improve their business and address crop issues as they arose. From conventional to organic farms, new farmers to experienced farm- ers; Jude worked with everyone and improved their economic viability and production. Diversifying a Traditional Farm Jude assisted Fair Weather Acres in Rocky Hill in diversifying and building resiliency to the challenges Mother Nature provided. The farm is over 800 acres along the Connecticut River. Jude advised Billy and Michele Collins on ways to diversify their marketing efforts and the number of crops they grow, after flood- ing from Hurricane Irene in 2011 washed away much of the crops, and left the farm in debt. Originally, the farm received IPM training on three crops: beans, sweet corn, and peppers. With diversifi- cation, Billy began producing 55 different varieties of vegetables. Jude taught him pest management for his new crops, and the Collins hired an Extension-trained private consultant to help monitor and scout pests and implement new pest management techniques. Helping Connectiut Farms Succeed A Collaborative Journey 30 2017 HIGHLIGHTS OF EXTENSION