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
January 2022 

Network News

As much of the region faces bitter cold, the North Central Region Water Network team has been busy thinking of July! We are excited to be hosting the Climate Intersection Conference this coming July 12-14th in Duluth, Minnesota. While Lake Superior may be edged in ice today, we are planning our visit during the summer sunshine and are looking forward to enjoying a local craft beer on the lake shore in six-months time.
So, mark your calendars and plan to join us as we gather in-person to learn, share and explore research, programs, and solutions for resilient landscapes, clean water, and equitable, thriving communities!
-Rebecca Power, Network Director and Anne Nardi, Network Communications

P.S. Want your water questions answered by colleagues? Use the North Central Region Water Network listserv to get answers quickly. To subscribe, email
Winter manure application image - UW Discovery Farms
The Current Webinar Series
Winter Manure Application and Water Quality
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 at 2pm CT

While winter manure application can be beneficial for producers from a logistical, financial, and soil compaction standpoint, it has traditionally been discouraged due to concerns over runoff during spring thaws. Are there ways to spread manure in the winter months without jeopardizing water quality? Tune into the next edition of The Current Webinar Series as experts from across the region discuss their research on the water quality impacts and winter manure application. Register here

Photo credit: Eric Cooley, UW Discovery Farms
Water stressed corn in drought conditions

Network Spotlight

The North Central Climate Collabroative recieves USDA grant to expand climate-smart programming through partnership with the Midwest Climate Hub

The changing climate has had a great impact on our agricultural systems, affecting growing conditions and the overall profitability, especially on local and regional scales. Applying climate-smart agricultural practices can ensure our farming and food systems are able to adapt to these climate stressors but there are complex barriers to widespread adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices. Read on
Agricultural and Biological Engineering photo shoot, fall 2016. Keith Cherkauer is holding a small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) along the Wabash River.

Leadership Spotlight
Harnessing the power of customized hydrologic models to communicate critical informaiton about Indiana's water future

As a kid, Keith Cherkauer spent a lot of time out in nature exploring waterbodies near Lake Michigan with his dad. “My father is a hydrogeologist, so I spent a lot of time out with him monitoring water quality and measuring streamflow,” notes Keith. When it comes to his lifework, he chose a similar path to his father. Keith is a Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University where he works to quantifying how changes in land use and climate affect water availability, and how this in turn affects the reliability of food and fuel production. Read on

In The News

Upcoming Events

Cover crops and water quality

Wednesday, February 16, 2022, 9AM CT 
This is a multi-state webinar featuring the work of the Discovery Farms Programs focused on cover crops and water quality.  
Learn more

2022 Great Lakes Conference: Connecting Science and Management

Tuesday, March 8, 2022 9:30AM CT

Registration is now open for the 32nd Annual Great Lakes Conference. This is a virtual event that will feature presentations on Great Lakes ecology and Great Lakes water levels. Learn more

Multi-Regional Nitrate in Groundwater Workshop

Tuesday & Wednesday, March 8-9, 2022

This is a virtual workshop aimed to advance conservation practices that reduce groundwater nitrate concentrations. An invitation with registration information will be sent out in a few weeks.  Learn more 
Waste to Worth: Advancing Sustainability in Animal Agriculture
Monday-Saturday, April 18-23, 2022,

This conference is hosted by Ohio State Extension at the Maumee Bay State park Lodge & Conference Center in Oregon, OH. The conference will address water quality, air quality, soil health, manure storage and treatment systems, and more. Registration is due by April 15. 
Learn more
Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference
Wednesday & Thursday, April 27-28, 2022 

This conference will feature and in person and online hybrid format. The in person conference will be held at the I Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign, IL. Registration opens February 22! Learn more

Funding and Opportunities

Funding for Support of Conferences or Regional Educational Events - NCR-SARE

The NCR-SARE program has limited funds available to support conferences and regional education events related to sustainable agriculture. Applications are reviewed four times a year. Applications received by January 31 will be informaed by February 7. Applications recieved by April 30 will be imformed by May 7. Learn more

Gulf of Mexico Historically Underserved Farmer to Farmer Grant Program - EPA
The EPA Gulf of Mexico Division (GMD) announced request for applications to support projects within the Gulf of Mexico watershed and that will support the Gulf of Mexico Farmer to Farmer objectives. Closing date is February 4, 2022.
Learn more

Assistant Professor of Agroecology - Purdue University

The College of Agriculture is seeking an Asisstant Professor of Agroecology to join the Agronomy Department. This is a full-time, tenure-track position. The review process begins February 7, 2022. Learn more

Farm-Led Conservation & Watershed Protection Mini-Grant Program  - Mississippi State University
Funding is intended to expand farmer-led conservation demonstration efforts and associated farmer-led organizations. Closing date is February 15, 2022.
Learn more

ORISE Felllowship with the US EPA Hypoxia Team
The Nonpoint Source Management Branch of the US EPA is currently accepting acpplications for an ORISE Fellowship. The selected participant will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through analysis and research with the EPA Hypoxia Team, the Hypoxia Task Force and SERA-46 in the Watershed Restoration, Assessment and Protection Division, within the Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds. Applications are due April 15, 2022. 
Learn more


Ways to build social capital to help watershed managemnet projects succed -Human Capital Blog Series

In many ways, watershed management is relationship management. Strong connections and trust between watershed professionals, farmers, community members and groups, and local institutions are essential to implement the solutions for achieving the goals of a watershed plan.
Read on

Breakthrough agricultural loan rewards farmers for environmental stewarship - EDF

Quantifying the long-term financial benefits of conservation practices that build farm resilience and recognizing that value in the financing offered to farmers would be transformative for farms, lenders and the environment. That idea received a major boost when Farmers Business Network, a global farmer-to-farmer network and ag tech company, launched a new farm operating loan that includes a lower interest rate incentive for farmers who achieve climate and water quality benchmarks. Read on

USDA Offers Expanded Conservation Program Opportunities to Support Climate Smart Agriculture in 2022 - USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is announcing several new and expanded opportunities for climate smart agriculture in 2022. Updates include nationwide availability of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Conservation Incentive Contracts option, a new and streamlined EQIP Cover Crop Initiative, and added flexibilities for producers to easily re-enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Read on

U.S. aims to double cover crop planting to address climate change - Reuters

The United States aims to double the country's cover crop plantings to 30 million acres by 2030 under a new Department of Agriculture (USDA) conservation program launched on Monday. The agency's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will spend $38 million to help farmers in 11 states plant crops at a time fields are often left fallow, which can bolster soil health, limit soil erosion and capture and store carbon. Read on

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