Building Capacity for Climate Extension

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2012: $65,934.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2015
Region: North Central
State: Iowa
Project Coordinator:
Dr. Lois Wright Morton
Iowa State University

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: corn, rye, soybeans, wheat


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, workshop
  • Natural Resources/Environment: carbon sequestration
  • Pest Management: integrated pest management
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil quality/health

    Proposal abstract:

    This project will build the capacity of 20 Extension Educators representing 10 institutions across nine states in the upper Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin) 1) to learn about regional long term weather patterns, climate change and agricultural relationships and 2) to engage farmers in learning opportunities that build farmers’ knowledge and capacities to implement risk management strategies that address climate change mitigation and adaptation. This request complements the USDA-NIFA Climate Change, Mitigation, and Adaptation In Corn-Based Cropping Systems Coordinated Agriculture Project (CSCAP) which focuses on risks to and sustainability of the corn-soybean rotation and expands the project capacity to provide travel funding and professional development training 20 extension educators. Our request to SARE is travel dollars for the extension educators to attend a yearly three-day convening with the CSCAP scientists, technical staff, and graduate students and learn from training, field day tour of research plots and formal and informal interactions with each other.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The overall objective of this proposal is to increase the quantity and quality of professional development opportunities for extension educators in support of climate adaptation research and farm-watershed level applications. Specifically;

    1. Convene the Climate Extension Educator team yearly to learn from the multidisciplinary team of agronomists, agricultural engineers, climate scientists, economists, sociologists, and entomologists, in the 9 state region.
    2. Create sessions at the Climate CSCAP annual meeting for extension educators to build relationships with other climate educators.
    3. Work as a team to refine and improve extension curricula that increase farmer implementation of climate risk management strategies.

    Short term outcomes

    Extension Educators will:
    1.Gain awareness of recent climate science research, implications for agricultural systems and resources to better develop learning opportunities for farmers and other extension stakeholders in each of their states.
    2.Build stronger networks and increase communication among faculty and staff involved in the Climate CAP project through attendance at the annual conference.

    Intermediate outcomes

    Extension Educators will:
    1.Strengthen existing farmer interactions through the exchange of new climate knowledge and risk management strategies.
    2.Create new and enhance existing priority extension and outreach programs featuring climate information and agriculture education at each of their institutions.
    3.Develop a professional support group network of educators through peer to peer exchanges among the 9 states that will continually improve climate extension programming.

    Long term outcomes

    The long term outcome of this project will be that the Upper Midwest LGU Extension system has the capacity to deliver science-based, educational intervention learning opportunities to agricultural sector stakeholders on risk management and adaptation and mitigation strategies under changing climate conditions.

    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.