The North Central Climate Collaborative (NC3) was formed in 2017 as an internal network of Extension Educators and Specialists with an interest in climate change and agriculture programming. Since that time, the team has held conferences and webinars to increase other educator and partner agency expertise in basic climate change issues and their effects on agriculture. With representation in all 12 states in the North Central Region, the team now finds that deeper knowledge is needed amongst its membership to more adequately address educator questions and establish themselves as regional content experts.
The Project will be completed in three parts. The members of the NC3 will complete an in-depth questionnaire to assess comfortability and knowledge in climate change and agriculture programming. Based on results, needs will be identified within the community and an agenda for a three day conference held in a central location within the North Central Region will be held. Speakers and activities at this conference will target knowledge gaps and present new research and findings within the field. Attendees will return to their states with greater knowledge as well as hands-on resources and/or lesson plans for programs to present around the region. Standard evaluations will also be disseminated for use with clientele, to be returned and aggregated region-wide. After six to nine months of leaving the conference, medium-term impact on knowledge gained, programs provided, and use of resources provided will be assessed using surveys of attendees.
Project objectives from proposal:
As a result of this activity, we will have at least 24 Extension Educators or Specialists educated, two from each state in the North Central Region.
Extension Program Leaders in each state will recognize attending educators or specialists as having a specialty in climate change and agriculture programming via certification.
Those educators will be expected to program within their states, anticipating at least 50 producers per state to be educated before the conclusion of the project. This total reach in post-event surveys collected should number no less than 600, and likely many more.
The collaboration with the USDA Climate Hubs will result in a long-term strengthening of the relationship.
Wherein the initial survey/assessment identifies needs, educational materials and hands-on technologies will be shared with participants.
Updates will be made to the Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture Resource Handbook (Doll and Pathak, 2015a), as well as the Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture PowerPoint Curriculum (Doll and Pathak, 2015b).