- Education and Training: general education and training
The project sought to educate agricultural professionals in innovative conservation practices and the federal programs that support them, specifically the Conservation Security Program (CSP), by highlighting CSP farms with exemplary conservation practices.
Project objectives:div style="margin-left:1em;">
1) Educate Extension, conservation staff, farm leaders, farmers and other information providers about what constitute exemplary stewardship practices. This includes educating them about profitability and any new marketing opportunities that arise as a result of sustainable practices, as well as benefits for the environment;
2) Interest producers, especially mainstream farm group members, in applying to the CSP, its new list of “conservation enhancement practices”; also interesting them in applying to SARE;
3) Foster interagency collaboration on successful projects of mutual interest to both agencies, with the hope of identifying opportunities to work more closely on other projects in the future; and
4) Give voice to Tier 2 and Tier 3 producers who have used the CSP successfully about the role the program plays on their farms.
We will conduct 4 field days/farm tour events, mostly with CSP Tier 2 and 3 contract recipients. Three of them will be in Wisconsin, including a farm or farms in the Lower Chippewa River Watershed, the Crawfish River watershed, and the Kishwaukee River watershed, on the Illinois border. A fourth will be on the Illinois side of the Kishwaukee River watershed.
We will attract local and regional producers to attend the events, including mainstream producers.
With NRCS state staff, we will develop local planning teams to organize the events, made up of ourselves plus some combination of local Extension, conservation, and NRCS staff and local farm leaders.
We will develop multiple-use outreach materials that can be used in power point presentations, web site development and physical copies for media, consisting of a list of several CSP recipients in a watershed, including event hosts but also other producers, and including farm photos and brief descriptions as well as commentary from the farmers.
We will generate an average of at least 20 participants at each event, and no fewer than 15 at any event, including at least seven Extension, local conservation agents, farm leaders or other educators and at least 10 farmers, including more mainstream farmers.