Wisconsin Cover Crop and Conservation Conversations Webinar Series, 2021

A weekly conservation-oriented webinar series, “Wisconsin Cover Crop and Conservation Conversations,” organized and run by UW-Madison Nutrient and Pest Management’s Jamie Patton was offered over the lunch hour on three Fridays from March 19 through April 2, 2021.


The topic of the March 19 webinar was “Session I – Highlights from Farmer-led Projects Across Wisconsin” and featured lightning-style talks from Dan Smith, Mrill Ingram (CIAS), Chelsea Zegler, Amber O’Brien, Barry Bubolz (NRCS), Matt Brugger (Tilth Agronomy), and Dave Fogerty (farmer). One hundred sixty-one individuals registered for the event and 74 attended the webinar. Talks highlighted the innovative cover crop and conservation work of three DATCP producer-led watershed groups, Biological Farmer Friends, Calumet County Agriculture Stewardship Alliance, and Shell Lake-Yellow River Farmer-led Watershed Council, and two Demonstration Farm Networks, Door-Kewaunee and Upper Fox-Wolf Demonstration Farms. In addition, the results of a statewide citizen science project conducted by the Cover Crop Research and Outreach Project (CCROP) was reviewed. Of those registered for the event (n=161), approximately 35% identified as federal, state, tribal or local agency professionals, 17% as crop consultants or agribusiness professionals, 17% as farm owner/farm managers, 20% as University educators/researchers, and 11% as other or not specified.  The registrants represented eight US states and Canada.

 

 


The topic of the March 26 webinar was “Session II – Engaging Diverse Audiences in Cover Crops, Soil Health, and Conservation Education” and featured lightning-style talks from Dan Smith (NPM), Mrill Ingram (CIAS), Tara Wachowski and Cheyenne Behnke (Manitowoc County Soil and Water Conservation District), Whitney Prestby, Michelle Probst, Wade Moder (Upper Sugar River Watershed Association), Stephanie Egner (Washington County Land Resources Department), and Julie Peterson (Pheasants Forever). One hundred seventy-five individuals registered for the event and 82 attended the webinar.  Talks highlighted the innovative outreach practices of two DATCP producer-led watershed groups, Farmers of the Upper Sugar River Watershed and Cedar Creek Farmers, human dimension survey results from all DATCP producer-led watersheds, outreach lessons learned from the Lower Fox River and Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farm Networks, as well as outreach strategies by land conservation department and non-governmental organization partners. Additionally, the results of a statewide citizen science project conducted by the Cover Crop Research and Outreach Project (CCROP) was reviewed. Demographic information (n=40) was collected through the Zoom platform. Of those registered for the event (n=175), approximately 37% identified as federal, state, tribal or local agency professionals, 13% as crop consultants or agribusiness professionals, 18% as farm owner/farm managers, 21% as University educators/researchers, and 11% as other or not specified.  The registrants represented twelve US states and Canada.

 

 


The topic of the April 2 webinar was “Session III – Research Highlights on Cover Crops and Conservation from Across the State” and featured lightning-style talks from Nick Arneson, Jason Cavadini, Gregg Sandford and Kevin Shelley (UW-Madison), Kevin Fermanich (UW-Green Bay), Veronica Justen (UW-River Falls), and John Grabber (USDA Dairy Forage Research Center). One hundred ninety-three individuals registered for the event and 52 attended the webinar.