Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Cutting-edge, scientific research will be used to overcome production constraints in regenerative production systems, validate the relative efficiency of these systems, and understand the underlying factors driving success. On-farm research will be partially conducted by the farmers, ranchers, and beekeepers themselves. To reinforce science-driven behavioral changes, we will create an innovative education curriculum to train the next generation of producers in regenerative agricultural practices. For example, our recent work shows that regional farmers that manage corn using cover crops and biodiversity can be more profitable than farmers using GM crops and seed treatments, while improving the sustainability of their operation.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Although this initiaive is nascent, we are already having a positive impact on food production. We had more than 4000 face-to-face contacts with end users in 2015, and Blue Dasher Farm initiative reached millions worldwide through social media outlets. Farmers that are adopting promoted strategies have demonstrated saving tens of thousands of dollars per operation. There are tangible metrics that we will measure over time in communities we target with our education programs. These include county-level changes in cover crop adoption, pesticide use, fertilizer use, no-till adoption, and GM crop planting rates. The economic benefits are easily quantified, and impact assessments will include species conservation and CO2 sequestration rates.Ultimately, through creating a paradigm shift in food production, this project will positively affect most segments of society and the environment.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
On-farm research will be partially conducted by the farmers, ranchers, and beekeepers themselves. This “citizen science” approach involves the producers in the research, encourages input and observation that will drive future projects, and results in a larger and more representative final dataset to validate research outcomes. Education plans include a crucial support network to early adopter farmers. These “champion farmers” are the mouthpieces for changing their their local communities. Field days (seeing is believing), webinars and podcasts will be used to extend our curriculum's reach.