Goals: Our goal is to increase Midwest adoption of regionally-scalable climate smart activities including enhanced adaptation of working lands, better carbon management and net-zero emissions agriculture, and youth engagement by improving shared understanding of climate-change related needs of diverse stakeholders across the Midwest, developing Theories of Change for livestock and cropping systems, elevating the perspectives and voices of underserved audiences, and strengthening climate science/education infrastructure through a re-imagined Extension-Midwest Climate Hub (MCH) partnership.Objective 1: Assess the current application of and need for climate-informed agriculture strategies and develop Regional Theories of Change for how the Extension-MCH model can increase the adoption of climate-informed best management practicesCreate road maps for the project team and stakeholders that will help us understand 1) the challenges and opportunities in increasing climate-smart agriculture in the MCH region, 2) the changes that are necessary to make substantive progress, and 3) how those changes are expected to happen.Utilize existing frameworks to inform the assessment of the current application and need for climate-informed agriculture strategies within the focal areas of row crops, integrated livestock in row crops, and specialty crops.Objective 2: Build a formal partnership between Extension and the Midwest Climate Hub that will leverage resources to create effective communication between local and regional stakeholders and enhance dissemination of climate-informed strategiesEstablish an Extension Liaison to the MCH for the duration of the project: Strongly connect activities in the eastern portion of the Midwest to the Hub centered in Ames, Iowa and increasing the ability for this partnership to leverage resources more efficiently for widespread engagement.Establish a Science Engagement Board (SEB) to oversee the incorporation of accurate, translatable, and scalable science between Extension and the MCHUtilize outcomes from Objective 1 to establish a Stakeholder Advisory Team that will advise how our Extension-MCH partnership should operate including beyond the life of this projectObjective 3: Utilize the Theory of Change and Extension-MCH partnership to demonstrate enhanced climate training for Extension professionals related to adaptation of working lands, carbon management and carbon sequestration, and youth programming.Objective 3A: Expand and amplify Climate Ready Farms to enhance training and engagement with local stakeholders on the adaptation to climate change of working landsEnhance Climate Ready Farm tools and improve access and training of Extension professionals into professional development opportunities to increase their use, elevating the capacity for Extension personnel to assist producers who are interested in climate resilience practices.Objective 3B: Develop and pilot training opportunities to Extension professionals for climate informed carbon management and sequestration and their application toward net-zero emissions agriculture.Develop curriculum on climate-informed carbon sequestration and agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse emissions guided by the needs identified by the Theory of Change Workshops and a local advisory group consisting of farmers, commodity group representatives, natural resources agency representatives (Natural Resources Conservation Service and Soil and Water Conservation Districts), Non-governmental environmental organizations, innovative livestock grazers and grazing organizations, and forestry agency personnel.Objective 3C. Develop and pilot training opportunities to Extension professionals for climate informed youth-engagement on climate change and carbon cycling curriculaConduct local needs assessments, review existing curriculum, and identify relevant literature related to the climate change and smart agriculture.
ACCELERATING THE TRANSITION TO CLIMATE-SMART STRATEGIES BY BOLSTERING THE EXTENSION TO MIDWEST CLIMATE HUB CONNECTION
Wilson, A. B.; Power, Re, L.; Todey, De, Pa.; Doamekpor, Pr, Ke.; Folck, Al, .; Robinson, Pa, .; Andresen, Je, A..; Hall, Pe, .; Estadt, Mi, .; Pratsch, Sa, .; Schmitz, Ha, .
Agricultural Technical Institute