The Sustainable Agriculture Case Studies project is a partnership among several organizations and numerous individuals. The project reflects the partners’ understanding that farmers learn best from each other and that strong connections across the landscape will result in wider adoption of effective practices. In 2016, the Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (SWRSDP) natural resources working group discussed the economic and soil health benefits that cover crops and other sustainability practices were providing to farmers. In an effort to encourage a greater number of farmers to adopt soil health practices and experience the economic and environmental benefits, the working group decided to develop case studies of farmers who had been successful in practicing sustainable agriculture and soil health, including the use of cover crops. The Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management (CINRAM) at the University of Minnesota participates in the SWRSDP natural resources working group. The Center enlisted a University student researcher in summer 2016 to begin gathering farmer case studies. In 2018, those case studies were updated and more farmers’ stories were added with the help of the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota (SFA) and Kathy Dooley, Research Assistant through the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Rural Affairs (CURA). The case studies herein are the basis of this farmer-to-farmer networking tool, adapted to a variety of outreach platforms so interested farmers can connect with and receive advice from those with soil health experience. The ability to talk to a peer about benefits, successes, challenges and costs on issues related to soil health is a powerful motivator for adoption and provides a source of continued support.
Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, University of Minnesota Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) Community Assistantship Program (CAP), Sustainable Farming Association, University of Minnesota Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management (CINRAM)
Soil Health Case Studies.
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