Packaging, Testing, and Disseminating a Set of Indicators for Ecological, Financial, and Social Monitoring on Farms

Final Report for LNC96-109

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 1996: $88,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1999
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $69,000.00
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Coordinator:
George Boody
Land Stewardship Project
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Project Information

Summary:

The Monitoring Team included 25 people from the disciplines of ecology, rural sociology, hydrogeology, soil science, fish and wildlife biology and agricultural economics. It combined the perspectives of farmers, agency officials, researchers, consultants and non-profit staff. Our overriding goal for this project was to foster on-farm observation and interaction that brought together farmers and other professionals to monitor ecosystem health and economic and social well-being of the farm family. The project conducted three years of baseline monitoring on farms in transition to Management Intensive Rotational Grazing (MIRG) and evaluated the viability of various on-farm indicators. The Team also developed the Monitoring Tool Box, the video Close to the Ground, the newsletter Close to the Ground, as well as other publications tool to assist on-farm observation and monitoring team building.

The Team is nearing completion of two additional publications that will be released in 1999. One will describe the Team’s recommendations for team process to conduct whole-farm research and on-farm monitoring. The second publication will present monitoring data on the impacts of MIRG on the ecology of the farms included in the study.

Positive impacts of the project fall into three broad categories:
(1) documentation and observation of MIRG benefits to the environment;
(2) documentation and observation of MIRG benefits to farm family quality-of-life; and
(3) documentation of the project team process.

Environmental Benefits from adopting MIRG include:
1. Increased soil structural integrity (as measured by soil aggregate stability), improved infiltration, and greatly increased surface cover for MIRG when compared to row crop production, suggesting greatly reduced soil erosion under MIRG.
2. Improved stream physical, biological, and water quality characteristics in stream reaches adjacent to MIRG pastures when compared to stream reaches along conventionally-grazed pastures.
3. Improved grassland bird habitat within grazing systems from the use of extended rest periods.
4. Development of simple, inexpensive monitoring methods that improve awareness and understanding of ecosystem function.
5. Decreased veterinary costs without negative impacts to production or herd health.

Quality of Life Benefits from adopting MIRG include:
1. Lower-stress lifestyle and personal empowerment for farmers.
2. Construction of an accepting and supportive network of sustainable agriculture/MIRG practitioners who shares ideas and experiences.
3. Development of techniques that surface underlying feelings or attitudes about farm goals and quality of life.
4. Identification that some quality of life factors, such as spirituality, cannot be adequately described or measured through survey instruments.

Team Process Benefits include:
1. Bridging the gap between farmers, university researchers, and agency staff.
2. Empowerment of farmers by giving equal weight to their knowledge and observations.
3. Development of a powerful model for future dialogue about our land, water and human resources.
4. Clarification of the terms profit and profitability in relation to farm economics at large.

Introduction:

The Monitoring Team included 25 people from ecology, rural sociology, hydrogeology, soil science, fish and wildlife and agricultural economics. It combined the perspectives of farmers, agency officials, researchers, consultants and non-profit staff. The project focused on farms in transition to Management Intensive Rotational Grazing (MIRG).

In 1997, the Team prepared materials for dissemination and conducted educational activities. The team developed a prototype version of the Monitoring Tool Box, a set of indicators that farmers can use to see if they are making progress toward their goals.

The prototype Tool Box was reviewed by farmers and other professionals. The Team established working relationships with four interdisciplinary groups to help promote the use of a team process for on-farm monitoring:
(1) Chippewa River Stewardship Partnership--four farms including a 1300 acre crow crop operation with an 80 acre wetland restoration project.
(2) Coalition for Holistic Agricultural and Resource Management in northeastern Iowa--five mixed crop and livestock farms.
(3) Blue Earth River Basin Initiative--five farms with mostly row crops.
(4) A group of four farmers in south central Minnesota with mixed crop and livestock enterprises. Mentors from our Team assisted these groups. Eighteen farmers who were part of these groups reviewed the Tool Box.

After further editing, The Monitoring Tool Box was released in a first edition in June 1998. It is a practical, easy-to-use 115-page guide for those interested in monitoring the impact of management decisions on their land, finances and family. The Team also produced a video called Close to the Ground, which shows team interaction and makes suggestions for how to form teams to monitor on farms. As of January 1999, 300 copies of the Tool Box and 300 copies of the video have been sold or distributed.

In addition, Team members gave more than 55 formal presentations reaching in-state and national audiences. We held a total of 12 workshops or field days reaching local, state, regional and national audiences totaling 560 people. The publication Monitoring Sustainable Agriculture With Conventional Financial Data, by Dick Levins, was distributed to 700 people. Alison Meare’s article on quality of life was published in the Winter 1997 issue of Rural Sociology. Laurie Sovell produced a Masters Thesis entitled Impacts of Rotational Grazing and Riparian Buffer Strip on the Physiochemical Characteristics and Biological Communities of Southeastern Minnesota Streams. In addition, articles about the project appeared in Successful Farming, Sierra, The Minnesota Volunteer, as well as a variety of newspapers.

Project Objectives:

A. Foster the use of on-farm monitoring and an interdisciplinary, farmer-driven team process by farmers and agency and university staff.

B. Produce a package or "tool box" of indicators that helps farmers and agricultural professionals evaluate the sustainability of management practices.

C. Field test the monitoring tool box on at least 10 farms that employ a variety of farming systems.

D. Disseminate the tool box to at least 500 individuals through 10 workshops or field days and through partner organizations, other agencies and farm groups.

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • George Boody
  • Helene Murray

Research

Materials and methods:

The Monitoring Team developed materials to disseminate information about monitoring ecological, financial and family quality-of-life parameters on farms. We have also conducted tours and given presentations on the Team, the project and on the impacts of adopting Management Intensive Rotational Grazing (MIRG).

Information generated by Team activities has been shared through the following three avenues: (1) field days and workshops specifically designed to highlight Monitoring Team activities, (2) formal and informal presentations and interactions by Team members with neighbors, co-workers, community members, and policy makers at work, conferences, field days, pasture walks, etc.(see Publications/Outreach Section below).

After prototype testing and further editing the first edition of the Monitoring Tool Box was released in June 1998. The video Close to the Ground and the newsletter Close to the Ground were also released.

We initiated discussions with the several groups from around the country to encourage the use of the team process and the Monitoring Tool Box. LSP continues to participate on the steering committee of the Great Lakes Farm Planning Network. We have exchanged information about the Monitoring Tools with those groups.

We are currently preparing a publication that will describe the results of our three years of baseline monitoring of the impacts of MIRG on the ecosystem. A publication also will outline the results of our Team process and what we have learned about whole systems participatory research.

Research results and discussion:

A) Foster the use of on-farm monitoring and an interdisciplinary, farmer-driven team process by farmers and agency and university staff.

The Monitoring Tool box is forming the basis of an effort to increase on-farm monitoring in three regions of Minnesota: southwestern MN, the Chippewa River Basin in western Minnesota and the Sand Creek Watershed in southern Minnesota (this involves perhaps 20 farmers and a like number of researchers at this stage of the project).

Staff member Jodi Dansingburg made two trips to New York and spoke at the South Central New York Resource and Conservation District "Farm Diversification" conference. She also met with a Cornell University faculty member involved in watershed-based project in New York. It is likely that the Monitoring Tool Box will be used in a New York watershed project.

Members of the Monitoring Team have made presentations about this process to many of their colleagues. For example Cornelia Butler Flora made 37 presentations in 1998, which included lessons learned from the Monitoring Project, to a variety of professional audiences.

Both the Wisconsin and Minnesota Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative committees and 22 major participants including farmers, agency staff, researchers and nonprofit staff coalesced to form a project on "Training on Grazing and Monitoring Riparian Corridors in Minnesota and Wisconsin." This new project will synthesize knowledge from recent SARE-funded research on riparian grazing into a new publication. It will offer training at an introductory level through dissemination of new and existing publications and presentations. At an intermediate level, the project will hold two on-farm training field days in each state for 120 agency staff in actual techniques, approaches for grazing and monitoring riparian corridors.

Within the Monitoring Team itself, researchers and agency staff participants reported changes in the way they approach their work as a result of participating on this team. One agency staff person said, “Amy, monitoring skills have increased in the area of team member participation, comfort, commitment, buy-in etc. I am better able to read people. It makes me better at my work." Another said, "I am more aware of the complexity of the issues farmers and rural communities face on a daily basis."

One scientist said: "My professional goals have become more sensitive to quality of life issues and developing a sense of community." Another researcher changed the types of projects he chooses to do, saying, “The Monitoring Team provided me with the opportunity to examine land/stream interactions in a more systematic fashion; now most of my projects examine land use/stream quality issues."

B) Produce a package or "tool box" of indicators that helps farmers and agricultural professionals evaluate the sustainability of management practices.

The team produced a prototype edition of the Monitoring Tool Box in late spring of 1997 (appended). About 100 copies were distributed. After reviews we engaged in what became a substantial editing job to make it clear and easy to use (which also led to a significant overrun in consulting costs).

The First Edition of the Monitoring Tool Box was released in June of 1998. So far about 300 copies have been distributed or sold and the interest remains strong. Each section contains a component called "Further Resources for Monitoring." We have included in the publication a tape of common Minnesota Frog Calls. The contents of the first edition of the Monitoring Tool Box include:
Introduction
- Making the Most of Your Tool Box
- General Tools for Monitoring

Monitoring Sections
A. Quality of Life
B. Farm Sustainability with Financial Data
C. Birds
D. Frogs and Toads
E. Soil
F. Streams

We are still writing two additional sections that will include the following chapters. We had anticipated these would be available by late fall 1998. However, delays prevented us from keeping up with that schedule. The new chapters will be:

Monitoring Pasture Vegetation (this section awaits further review from faculty at the West Central Experiment Station and final editing).

Monitoring Pests and Pesticide Usage (this is being written by a Minnesota Department of Agriculture staff member with expertise in Integrated Pest Management. Due to adjustments in the outline and time availability, it is not yet done. An early draft of a chapter still in need of revision to fit the format of the Tool Box is appended. We are committed to completing this section and the one on pasture vegetation during 1999. It will be mailed to Tool Box users at no extra charge.

In the interim, The July-Aug 1998 Land Stewardship Letter featured two major articles on pesticide usage, impacts and reduction. Information gathered during an internship with LSP by a student from Macalester College contributed to one of the articles.

C) Field test the monitoring tool box on at least 10 farms that employ a variety of farming systems.

The Tool Box was field tested with at least 18 farmers from four resource management groups including:
- Chippewa River Stewardship Partnership (four farms including a 1300 acre crow crop operation with an 80 acre wetland restoration project and a 40 acre direct marketing operation).
- Coalition for Holistic Agricultural and Resource Management in northeastern Iowa (five mixed crop and livestock farms).
- Blue Earth River Basin Initiative (five farms with mostly row crops).
- A group of four farmers in south central Minnesota with mixed crop and livestock enterprises.

In addition, the Nerstrand Woods State Park purchased an operating dairy farm that will be managed as a grass-based dairy farm for several years into the future. LSP volunteers, the Nature Conservancy, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and others are cooperating on the project. They have agreed to utilize the Tool Box as part of their efforts.

The Tool Box was also reviewed by other professionals from a variety of settings. Comments from all the reviewers will be integrated into the next edition of the Tool Box.

The comments and suggestions from these groups were utilized to edit the Tool Box into its current form.

Reviewing the Tool Box, farmer Lyle Wolle of Truman, said: "Monitoring is not a word I commonly use in my life and its application to the whole life of the farm took me off guard. At first I felt the Monitoring Tool Box was a little too general for the above average size farms located on the plains of Minnesota. I do not have any creeks or pasture. I had to study and understand what "monitor" really meant to me.

As I began to understand more of the monitoring concepts, I got more excited. This subject actually hits very close to home. I need to reevaluate my farming enterprise and I was only really using the financial approach. The Tool Box started raising my consciousness about my quality of life and how it is affected by all the other subjects monitored. Are we all business or a family too? Aren't we also socially intertwined with the land? I feel we are but that we deny most of those feelings. God always provides opportunities. Is this one of them?"

Research conclusions:

A full accounting of the positive benefits from the Monitoring Project will be included in an upcoming publication. In the meantime, we will repeat the benefits we described in an earlier report.

Positive impacts to-date fall into three broad categories:
(1) documentation and observation of MIRG benefits to the environment;
(2) documentation and observation of MIRG benefits to farm family quality-of-life; and
(3) documentation and implementation of the project team process. More specifically, benefits identified for MIRG, based on three seasons of data collection, are:

Environmental Benefits
1. Increased soil biological activity, as measured by earthworm populations and soil microbial biomass C, under MIRG compared to row crop production.
2. Increased soil structural integrity (as measured by soil aggregate stability), improved infiltration, and greatly increased surface cover for MIRG when compared to row crop production suggesting greatly reduced soil erosion under MIRG.
3. Improved stream physical, biological, and water quality characteristics in stream reaches adjacent to MIRG pastures when compared to stream reaches along conventionally-grazed pastures.
4. Improved grassland bird species habitat under MIRG compared to conventional management.
5. Improved grassland bird habitat within grazing systems by using extended rest periods.
6. Development of simple, inexpensive monitoring methods that improve awareness and understanding of ecosystem function.
7. Decreased veterinary costs without negative impacts to production or herd health.

Quality of Life Benefits
1. Lower-stress lifestyle and personal empowerment for farmers.
2. Construction of an accepting and supportive network of sustainable agriculture/MIRG practitioners that shares ideas and experiences.
3. Development of techniques that surface underlying feelings or attitudes about farm goals and quality of life.
4. Identification that some quality of life factors, such as spirituality, cannot be adequately described or measured through survey instruments.

Team Process Benefits
1. Bridging the gap between farmers, university researchers, and agency staff.
2. Empowerment of farmers by giving equal weight to their knowledge and observations.
3. Development of a powerful model for future dialogue about our land, water and human resources.
4. Demonstration of a practical, multidirectional, hands-on educational process that is highlighting the true potential of holistic, adaptive management.
5. Clarification of the terms profit and profitability, which should benefit the discussion of farm economics at large.

Although it is hard to estimate specific impacts on the relationship between farmers and agency staff, the following quotes from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources staff Larry Gates and farmer Dan French hint at the potential:

Larry Gates:
"I used to get involved in an awful lot of contentious resource issues filled with polarized arguments--a lot of we-they, you-them. And I was good at it.

But as far as good stuff getting accomplished, that was rare. I knew we had to do something about that in order to address big issues. The people on this team are generous, talking with one another, considering any idea, welcoming anybody to come in and discuss it. You see agreement on describing a kind of future. Speaking for the participating agencies, we embrace the opportunity to work directly with farmers again. This is a powerful way to act."

Dan French:
"I felt like I could trust Larry because when we talked about improving the stream, he was willing to work in a way that would be profitable. We were both challenged by this. What has occurred amongst this team is a breakdown in barriers between farmers and agencies, as well as an openness to using new management tools."

Monitoring Project activities are corroborating basic research on soil quality and MIRG impacts on soils, streams, wildlife and people. A new project has begun through Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture to test the hypothesis that improving soil quality will also improve water quality. This two-year project was funded by the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources for $560,000 and is being recommended for continued funding for two additional years, beginning July 1999.

Farmer Adoption

This section must begin with a qualifier: the direct impacts (and adoption) by project members may be as significant as adoption of new practices by farmers. It is true that the sharing of knowledge and perspectives has expanded the farmers' scope and understanding of farm and ecosystem processes. However, the experiences, pragmatism and "real-world" perspective of project farmers has lent credibility and context to academic and agency efforts.

Due, in large part, to practicing the ideals of Holistic Management, the project farmers solicit information from specialists and other sources, test changes against their quality of life and landscape goals, and then adapt practices to their management system. Though the preliminary findings listed may provide useful information for land users and resource professionals, we hope that the holistic, goal-based approaches to management employed by project farmers will become an integral process for all team participants in personal, professional, and educational endeavors. This approach can serve as a model for other farmers as they assess the impact of their management decisions on their families, communities, and ecosystem.

Additional information on some of the management changes seen through the project will be included in the upcoming publication. For example, during the course of this project at least 24 farms started observation, monitoring and record keeping. At least five farms began a practice of utilizing rest paddocks through mid-summer for grassland bird breeding.

Although all the farmers were using farming methods considered sustainable prior to their participation in the Monitoring Project, most of them reported growing and learning as a result of their participation in the project. One noted that the project, “Has improved my monitoring. I am more aware of indicators of the whole ecosystem. It has caused me to do my own research and be more and more careful of agribusiness and university research." Another farmer noted: "I feel I've vastly improved my monitoring skills on my farm. I've grown more aware of all the interactions of the flora and fauna in my pasture (not to exclude grasses and cows) and the effects of the elements (climate) on them."

The project provided a baseline of information and access to new people and resources. "I have a good new overall awareness of where we are today (a baseline) including quality of life, and improvements in financial, birds, vegetation, soils, time. I am better equipped because I have new resources and information and people to help in whatever area issues may apply."

Several farmers also reported personal changes in work style, work approach or spiritual connections to the earth: "I have become more aware of whole life aspect in my thinking and working. Our decisions are based on notions of the whole lives of our whole family." That theme was seconded by another farmer who said, "We now have a clearer view of goals/purpose, meaning for our existence in this world, also realized how blessed we are."

Another noted that, "It was more fun to be working on our farm (after watching things more). To me it was both an insight into how all creation is linked together and it made me more spiritually aware of who I was. I grew because I was involved."

Involvement of Other Audiences

We have involved several audiences in this project.

Chippewa River Basin:
The Monitoring Tool Box is being utilized in the Chippewa River Basin with the Chippewa Whole Farm Planning and Monitoring Team. This is a joint effort with farm families, the Land Stewardship Project, the West Central Experiment Station and local agricultural service agency officials. Teamwork has broken down barriers that have developed between the groups over the years (see appended Chippewa Current for a further description).

This effort is also linked with the Chippewa River Watershed Project. The latter is an official joint-powers board between several counties and includes citizen members. They are organizing a citizens’ monitoring effort, focusing on water quality. A study is being done through the year 2000 followed by implementation.

With these two groups working in tandem, the introduction of monitoring and ultimately reduction of toxic chemicals and other forms of pollution is likely. As we bring the pest and pesticide usage chapter of the tool box on-line, we will be include pest and pesticide usage monitoring and reduction as well.

Other groups from around the country:
In 1997 the information from this project was shared with project directors from the Kellogg Integrated Farming Systems Initiative (with no direct costs to this project). It was also shared as part of a national dialogue convened by the Keystone Center in Minnesota on industrialized agriculture (with no direct costs born by this project).

The Darby Creek Project from Ohio included the Dan French farm as a stop on their August 1997 bus tour. We were able to share information about the Monitoring Project during that stop. About 30 farm families were part of the tour. The costs for this event were minimal because their costs were covered as part of the tour.

The project was featured as part of the December 1997 meeting at Milwaukee of the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Society. Considerable interest was expressed in the project. As a result we will be conducting a joint training program with Natural Resources Conservation Service from Minnesota and Wisconsin beginning in September 1999. The Monitoring Tool Box will be a key part of this, and the pesticide chapter or materials on pest and pesticide monitoring will be made available as part of this effort.

The Monitoring Project was included as one of the poster sessions at the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program 10th Anniversary Meeting in Texas in March 1998. George Boody and others from the Monitoring Project also presented information on the project at a session on the Kellogg Integrated Farming Systems Initiative. It was well received by participants.

Staff member Jodi Dansingburg made two trips to New York, one in 1998 and one in 1999. She spoke at the South Central New York Resource and Conservation District "Farm Diversification" conference. She also met with a Cornell University faculty member involved in watershed-based project in New York. It is likely that the Monitoring Tool Box will be used in a New York watershed project.

A national meeting was convened by Land Stewardship Project in Wisconsin in June 1998, focusing on agroecological restoration. The Monitoring Tool Box and the Monitoring Project were featured as a basis for showing how agriculture can be part of reducing toxic chemical use and moreover how farmers can be stewards of the wild while farming. The intention is to prepare a book on the subject of agroecological restoration.

George Boody met with representatives of the California Alliance for Family Farms in August 1998 in California to present information about the Monitoring Tool Box and discuss how to better link efforts. We agreed that there were areas of mutual interest and that it would be fruitful to continue to exchange information and explore possible connections. He also provided a Monitoring Tool Box to staff at Bio-Integral Research Center.

We are continuing to exchange information with the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial and the Michael Fields Agriculture Institute.

LSP continues to participate on the steering committee of the Great Lakes Farm Planning Network. We will be exchanging information about the Monitoring Tools with those groups and will be working with the Northeast chapter of the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota to test the Monitoring Tools in their area.

Several of Dick Levins' presentations were for extension conferences, including the Farming Systems Meeting in Wisconsin at Platteville in September. He also presented at the Chesapeake farms project, reaching audiences in eastern Shore including high level officials in agriculture businesses.

Other professionals are adopting our financial analysis system. Mike Duffy, extension economist in Iowa, and John Ikerd, extension economist in Missouri, have drawn upon our results. A group of agricultural economists in Kansas State University is using our system to take a new look at records they have kept on over 2,000 farms. The indicators also have been written up in other publications such as the Center for Rural Affairs Newsletter and the Minnesota Extension Service Sustainable Agriculture Newsletter.

All of the people involved will receive the newsletter Close to the Ground. We hope to make this publication an interactive one designed to pique the interest of farmers and other professionals in monitoring.

Participation Summary

Educational & Outreach Activities

Participation Summary:

Education/outreach description:

Objective D) Disseminate the tool box to at least 500 individuals through 10 workshops or field days and through partner organizations, other agencies and farm groups.

The Monitoring Project has been very active in dissemination activities. Team members gave more than 55 formal presentations reaching in-state and national audiences. We held a total of 12 workshops or field days reaching local, state, regional and national audiences totaling 560 people. The publication Monitoring Sustainable Agriculture With Conventional Financial Data, by Dick Levins, was distributed to 700 people. Alison Meare’s article on quality of life was published in the Winter 1997 issue of Rural Sociology. Laurie Sovell produced a Masters Thesis entitled Impacts of Rotational Grazing and Riparian Buffer Strip on the Physiochemical Characteristics and Biological Communities of Southeastern Minnesota Streams.

The Monitoring Project video, Close to the Ground, was completed in 1997. It gives an overview of the Project purpose and goals, and features Team members sharing their insights about the Project. More than 300 copies have been distributed to date. The Monitoring Tool Box offers farmers and other resource professionals a hands-on, user friendly collection of on-farm monitoring tools. We distributed 100 copies of the prototype tool box and 300 of the first edition of the Monitoring Tool Box. We will shortly be having a second printing run. These tools can be used to monitor the impact of on farm management decisions on ecosystem health, farm finances, and farm family quality of life. They help the farm family see whether or not they are making progress toward their goals and objectives for their farm and for their lives.

The newsletter Close to the Ground was published in its first edition in winter 1999. Prior to publication of this newsletter Monitoring was featured in several articles in the Land Stewardship Letter. Those are appended.

The Rupprecht farm and the Monitoring Project were covered in an October issue of Successful Farming. Also note that the project was also covered in January-February, 1996 issue of The Minnesota Volunteer, in a story called "The Diversity of Life on the Farm" and the Nov-Dec 98 issue in a story called "The Stream Team." Additionally, the Project was featured in other news stories (see Publicity Appendix).

Upcoming Reports:

The Monitoring Data Report:
Specific information about of the Monitoring Project's actual research and monitoring focus on the biological, social and financial impacts of Management Intensive Rotational Grazing is detailed in the full project report.

The Recommendations Report:
This report will focus on the Monitoring Project Team's recommendations to those interested in furthering the development and use of the whole farm participatory research process. These recommendations evolved out of the Team's collective reflections on its experiences, both its successes and its shortfalls.

A whole farm participatory research project will have five relatively distinct phases:
(1) the project development phase,
(2) the team development phase,
(3) the research phase,
(4) the integration phase, and
(5) the evaluation phase.
For clarity, the recommendations in this report are grouped and numbered according to these phases. And, even though the recommendations are presented in this sequential fashion, in reality many of them represent considerations that will need to be taken into account throughout the course of a project, especially during its planning and development.

The information in this report will be augmented by numerous sidebars that offer "snapshots" of the Monitoring Project. These sidebars highlight specific details about the Project as well as Team members' reflections on their participation in it. This recommendations report also features several helpful appendices, including an annotated resource list.

Project Outcomes

Recommendations:

Areas needing additional study

Further documentation is needed to clarify the link between improved soil quality and improved water quality. We also need further research to describe the different ways in which researchers and farmers sense the environment, view and describe the world, and make decisions.

Information Products

  • The Monitoring Tool Box (Manual/Guide)
  • Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.