December 1, 2010
Adaptive Management Symposia for Professionals
Sheila Hebenstreit, an On-Farm Network® group leader, commercial crop advisor, and a director on the Iowa Soybean Association board, presented "Benefits of Interactive Meetings with Farmers" at a symposium on adaptive management at the annual SSSA in Longbeach in early November. Jorge Delgado, USDA-ARS, presided over the symposium entitled "Adaptive Management: A How-to Guide and the USDA NRCS Code 590 Standard". Other speakers included Dr. Tracy Blackmer and Dr. Peter Kyveryga, Iowa Soybean Association, Christoph Gross, USDA-NRCS, Dr. Harold Van Es, Cornell University, and Dr. Alexandra Bell, University of Connecticut. Delgado also presided when the same symposium, with the same speaker lineup, was presented earlier this year during the 2010 SWCS conference in St. Louis.
The intent of this symposium was to provide scientists, NRCS staff, extension educators, policymakers, and other interested individuals with:
- Hands-on experience implementing techniques for learning by adults, and
- Knowledge of how assessments of nutrient practices are critical for learning, for improvement of nutrient practices, and for accountability of nutrient management planning.
Audience at this symposium was primarily academic and extension personnel. While one focus was on the need for adaptive management, multiple points were made beyond data collection. Another major focus was on how growers learn and how to involve and engage them. The term "participatory learning" was not only included in the lecture portion of the symposium, but was also shown by having the audience engage in activities that demonstrated the points.
The collection of grower specific feedback, the working in groups, and the resulting discussions are key elements in what the On-Farm Network® is doing. Inclusion of some of the participatory learning components in nutrient management will be beneficial to both growers and institutions alike.
View a complete agenda for the symposium, as well as links to a synopsis of each session.