Read the latest water-related news and events!
Read the latest water-related news and events!
A monthly e-newsletter from the North Central Region Water Network
November 2023
River in the winter season

Network News

And just like that, we’re entering into the final month of 2023. It feels like the year has sped past but in looking back we realize that much has been accomplished and there is much to celebrate. As we enter the holiday season, we hope you’re able to pause and reflect on the good work you all have been a part of over the last year. While we may all have our own individual accomplishments, recognize that together we have also been successful in many endeavors. It’s been a pleasure to be part of a wonderful network of committed colleagues, professionals, and friends that have tackled challenges and problems head on to find solutions and advance our collective visions. 

We still do have a month of 2023 left and we're pleased to share several learning opportunities coming up in the next several weeks. We are also deep into planning for 2024 and look forward to kicking the year off with the fourth annual Harmful Algal Bloom Virtual Symposium. Join us as you can for these upcoming opportunities and we look forward to ending the year, and beginning the new year, on a high note!

The North Central Region Water Network Team

Lakeside in Wisconsin
The Current Webinar Series
Webinar Archive
The Current webinar series is taking a break for the month of December and will be returning in 2024. Don't forget to check out past The Current webinar sessions in our webinar archive. You can also find all North Central webinars on our YouTube page.
Farm advisor conversation

The bread-and-butter approach many Extension professionals take to outreach, particularly with agricultural producers, is relationship building – and for good reason. Relationships tend to play a strong role in motivating someone’s decisions, such as deciding to attend a field day or adopt a conservation practice. The challenge with relationships is it’s difficult to reach everyone everywhere you’d like. Limitations on time, geography, and other things will mean there are some people you just can’t or won’t reach. Read on
Photo: NRCS/SWCS photo by Lynn Betts

In The News

Upcoming Events
Algal Bloom Action Team: Monitoring Harmful Cyanobacterial Blooms and Their Public Impacts
December 6, 2023
This month we welcome Gina LaLiberte (Wisconsin DNR) and Dr. Anna Boegehold (Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research-CIGLR). Gina will focus on public perceptions, expectations, and realities around harmful cyanobacterial blooms while Dr. Boegehold will share 10+ years of western Lake Erie water quality monitoring data from NOAA GLERL and CIGLR. Register here
Managing Soil: Maximizing Profit Conference and Southeast Research Farm Annual Meeting
December 12, 2023

South Dakota State University Extension will host a Managing Soil: Maximizing Profit Conference and the Southeast Research Farm Annual Meeting, on December 12, from 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the Taopi Community Hall (102 E 3rd St, Colton, SD 57018). Participants have the option to attend this event in-person or online. Educational credits (CEU’s) will be available for Certified Crop Advisers. Register here

Life Hacks Over Lunch: A Meet-up Series for Water Professionals
December 15, 2023

This free, virtual meet-up series is a peer-learning opportunity for watershed professionals to share ideas and advice for solving real-life challenges of watershed projects. If you work with farmers and communities on watershed-scale projects to improve water quality and have ever found yourself thinking, “I don’t want to recreate the wheel,” this meet-up series is for you. Register here

Funding and Opportunities

Biowaste Outreach Specialist - University of Wisconsin Extension

Guidance and expertise are needed to address the biggest challenges related to biowaste in the agricultural industry. Here's your chance to make a difference by serving as the link from applied research to stakeholders, including producers, communities, regulators, and agribusiness professionals. We're looking for an outreach specialist who knows the science, wants to dig into the pressing problems, and work directly with industry stakeholders to create and develop resources that will improve sustainable management of manure and other agricultural waste streams in response to the needs of WI farms and all residents of the state. Learn more

Natural Resources Groundwater Educator - University of Wisconsin Extension
The Natural Resources Education Team works together to design, deliver, and evaluate research-based educational programming and services aligned with the position's programmatic focus. The team focuses heavily on integrating human dimensions perspectives into natural resources management decisions. Initial programming focus will include: providing education and outreach focused on water quality and conservation practices to fresh market growers, such as artisan farms or farmers market growers, and new farmers, addressing groundwater specific issues identified in social indicator surveys with producers, exploring groundwater/drinking water outreach, and more. Learn more
2024 Undergraduate Watershed Internship Program
Water resource management is complex and professionals in the field need an understanding of agriculture, natural resources, communication, social sciences and economics, public health, and planning and project management to be successful. The summer 2024 Watershed Management Research and Outreach Undergraduate Internship Program helps undergraduate students from all backgrounds gain valuable experience that will help them pursue future careers in watershed management. Learn more

Why Conservation Professionals Should Get to Know Their Local Agricultural Lenders
When it comes to talking farm finances, few conservation professionals are comfortable wading into those waters with producers. Limited knowledge on the topic and concern about staying in one’s lane are among the reasons many shy away from the topic. Given the weight of the financial implications of conservation practices in an average producer’s decision-making however, there might be a need to help conservation professionals feel more comfortable talking dollars and cents. One partner who can potentially be of help is another professional whom producers also look to when making decisions about their operations: agricultural lenders. Read more

Study Examines Factors Influencing Farmers’ Use of Nutrient Management Practices
A study of Iowa farmers’ use of 4R Plus nutrient management practices offers insights into social, economic, and ecological influences on adoption that operate at both an individual level and within a larger, county-level context. The 4R approach to agricultural nutrient management aims to ensure use of the “right source” of nutrients at the “right rate,” the “right time” and in the “right place” for efficient use of fertilizers to avoid nutrient loss and maximize farm income. While 4R refers to in-field nutrient management practices, “Plus” refers to in-field conservation practices, such as no-till and cover crops, and edge-of-field conservation practices, including bioreactors or saturated buffers. Read more
Conservation good for water quality and can improve bottom line
When considering adding a conservation practice, landowners and farmers may worry: It costs more to do than it directly benefits the financial performance of the farming enterprise. Of course, there are also more altruistic rationales — such as being good stewards of the land and leaving the world better than we found it — but in the end, it’s the bottom-line financial argument that often motivates decisions and can deter conservation progress. Read more  
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