We begin 2019 with the formal kick-off of engagement activities that will form the backbone of community-based activities and research. To date, four out of our five sites (two each in Nebraska and Pennsylvania) have established their leadership teams. These leadership teams will be the focal point of our coordination, assistance, informational and research efforts. Our Arizona site (Verde Valley) will be initiating their effort within a month.
Each team (comprised of a diverse set of stakeholders including farmers and farm organization, scientists, technical service providers and other organizations and decision makers) is now embarking on a 12-18 month strategic planning process. These processes are designed to assist them identify and prioritize the challenges, information needs, resources and strategies required to address the water and agriculture issues that matter most to them. You can find out more about each site and their initial activities on our Project Sites tab.
Last month also saw the start of our external webinar series designed to encourage sharing of scholarship and practitioners’ experience with community-based stakeholder engagement in natural resources. We began this series with a look at the Voluntary Stewardship program presented by Dr. Michael Kern, Director of the William D. Ruckelhaus Center and Associate Professor of Extension at Washington State University. You can find the slides and recording of Dr. Kern’s presentation here.