King Conservation District (KCD) and its partners have successfully hosted a Land and Water Stewardship Workshop series (LWSW) for over 20 years, educating nearly 900 landowners in livestock and farm best management practices (BMPs). Each year, KCD holds two workshop series consisting of four classes each, focusing on the topics of riparian buffer management, mud management, manure management, and pasture health management. Each series is enhanced with special topic events where private land managers host peer-to-peer educational farm tours demonstrating KCD-prescribed BMPs. Despite the legacy of success of the LWSW program, KCD has had little opportunity to incorporate recent research into the series and the LWSW curriculum has not had a comprehensive update since 1999.
The purpose of this grant proposal is to update the LWSW curricula with current research. The process will engage KCD education staff, past farm tour hosts (private landowners and livestock producers), and technical staff from partner agencies. KCD will utilize resources from the NW Pasture Management Calendar (EW17-021) and Composted Horse Manure and Stall Bedding Pilot Project (OW11-315) to inform curriculum updates.
The curricula created through this process could be broadly shared with other Washington conservation districts, broadening the impacts of the project and supporting conservation on private lands throughout the state.
Project objectives from proposal:
To re-imagine the LWSW series, KCD proposes convening a multi-disciplinary panel of conservation education staff, agency partners, and private landowners to review current research, identify key learning objectives related to livestock management, and incorporate the objectives into the curriculum materials. Committee members will review two classes over a one-year period. This process will be repeated the following year so that all four classes are reviewed and restructured from July 2019 to July 2021. By fall of 2021, KCD will implement the new workshops in their entirety. The workshop content and resources will be made available to other Puget Sound Conservation Districts for implementation. For a more detailed outline of the tasks associated with each month, please see the project timeline sheet.
July 2019 to July 2020 – Convene a committee to review current research and re-design pasture and mud management workshops from LWSW. Design evaluation metrics for receiving participant input.
Fall 2020 – Implement LWSW with new pasture and mud management workshops. Hold concurrent farm tours with landowners engaged in the redesign process and highlight relevant research from local Washington State University (WSU) and WSU Extension.
July 2020 to July 2021 – Convene a committee to review and re-design manure management and riparian buffer workshops from LWSW. Assess alignment of pasture and mud management workshops with learning objectives outlined in 2020.
June 2021 – Perform review of all workshop materials and review evaluations from 2020 LWSW cycle to inform necessary updates to all four classes.
Fall 2021 – Implement fully redesigned LWSW workshop.