Ensuring Sustainable Agriculture in the Face of a Changing Climate

Project Overview

ENC11-127
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2011: $74,286.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Region: North Central
State: Michigan
Project Coordinator:
Dr. Tapan Pathak
University of Nebraska
Co-Coordinators:
Julie Doll
Michigan State University

Annual Reports

Information Products

Commodities

  • Agronomic: corn, soybeans, wheat

Practices

  • Education and Training: extension, focus group, mentoring, workshop

    Abstract:

    Sustainable agriculture in the North Central Region of the United States is vital to our nation’s economic and environmental security. It is well understood that climate change will greatly impact agriculture: changes in temperature, precipitation, cloud cover, and carbon dioxide levels affect plant growth, field practices, insect and weed pests, and plant diseases. Because of the complexity of climate change challenges, we believe a regional approach is needed to provide professional development on climate change. The objective of this project is to provide regionally tailored climate change and sustainable agriculture professional development for Extension and NRCS educators. We propose these activities: 1) creation of a Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture Resource Handbook and a curriculum and 2) two climate change and sustainable agriculture workshops. Each workshop will include regionally tailored scientific training, a farmer panel, a “fishbowl” activity, and a demonstration of the curriculum. Regional trainings will improve knowledge and awareness of educators on climate change interactions and foster collaboration among the educators. In the long-term, this program will result in educators and farmers making informed choices that lead to sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change. The NCR SARE State PDP Coordinators confirmed that this topic supports their regional initiative and that our program is on target with momentum in the region. With the vast experience and perspectives of the project PIs and partners we are uniquely poised to successfully execute this project. This project will help SARE fulfill its goal of a truly sustainable agricultural future.

    Project objectives:

    The objective of this project was to provide regionally tailored climate change and sustainable agriculture professional development for Extension educators. We wanted Educators to increase knowledge and confidence about communicating climate information and learn from farmers on the topic, leading to the development of effective programming on sustainable agriculture and climate change for farmers. The target audience for this project was NCR Extension educators and NRCS personnel who work with agricultural communities.

    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.