An important part of OUTPACE outside of its practical training in the lab is its commitment to community involvement and improvement. OUTPACE is partnered with the UAB Community Gardens to allow students to learn real world applications of plant pathology. Students meet the growers in the UAB Gardens–a mixture of faculty and students–and learn about agricultural strategies, organic vs traditional farming, crop rotation, and pest and disease management. Weekly trips to the gardens provide opportunities to see the development and payoff of farming strategies and how disease can arise and spread. OUTPACE hopes to provide knowledge to the students as well as the growers about improving successful farming practices and managing the appearance and spread of pathogens.

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