Trick or Treat! Its time for your monthly water news
Trick or Treat! Its time for your monthly water news
A monthly e-newsletter from the North Central Region Water Network
October 2021
Missouri River in Fall

Network News

Trick or Treat! Before heading out to celebrate Halloween, explore the latest water-related treats in this month's newsletter. 

We have had webinars galore this past month, two on carbon markets and soil carbon storage in agricultural fields, one on the IPCC’s 2021 Physical Science Basis Report, and one coming up this coming Monday on the complexities of predicting harmful algal blooms. We are also partnering with Grassland 2.0, a project working to increase grassland acres, on a Digital Dialogue series  this fall. Lots of opportunities to learn and expand your knowledge, so don't miss out!

And one final treat – we are hiring an Extension Grassland and Perennial Agriculture Outreach Specialist! If you know of someone that is scary-good at working with people to expand grazing and perennial agriculture by brining practical experience and the best research to the table, then send them our way! Applications are due November 3.

-Rebecca Power and Anne Nardi, for the North Central Region Water Network team

P.S. Want your water questions answered by colleagues? Use the North Central Region Water Network listserv to get answers quickly. To subscribe, email
Soil Health Field Day

The Current Webinar Series
Building Human Capital in Conservation and Watershed Work 
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at 2pm CT

People are the ultimate driver of change. This is no exception in achieving clean water and conservation goals in the Midwest. It is the skills, decisions, and networks of people that will determine whether land management decisions collectively move the needle in reducing nutrient loads, mitigating harmful algal blooms, and reducing the size of the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Human capital, or an individual’s skills and confidence to perform their job, is a critical ingredient of the power of people. Yet, in watershed management, it is a limiting and often overlooked resource.
Tune into this edition of The Current Webinar Series as we discuss new research and programming aiming at building human capital in conservation and watershed work. Register here
Foot in farm field

Network Spotlight
The Soil Health Nexus debuts catalog of resources on carbon markets to help educators effectively address client questions

Lately, it seems we have all been hearing about the potential of carbon markets in the agricultural community as a way to address climate change and put additional dollars in farmers pockets, but there is still a lot we don’t know, and extension educators are getting a lot of questions.  To help educators effectively answer the wave of questions coming in, the Network’s soil health team, the Soil Health Nexus, has created a new catlog in their Soil Health Toolbox full of resources on carbon credits and carbon agreements. Read more
Example of a farm pond with algae. Photo by Robin Salverson

Leadership Spotlight

Severe drought in South Dakota brings livestock water quality issues across the Missouri River

This year, Robin Salverson has collected and analyzed over 200 water samples from farms across South Dakota. Robin is a Cow/Calf Field Specialist with South Dakota State University Extension and coordinator of the Livestock Water Quality Program and according to her – this year was one of the busiest she has faced in 20 years. “Water quality season for us is from April or May until about October when cattle are typically out on rangeland. This year, I was probably making 10 calls to farmers and ranchers a week about livestock water quality. It was a busy summer for sure,” notes Salverson. Read on

In The News

Upcoming Events

Complexities in Predicting Harmful Algal Blooms
Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 11AM CT 

Predicting when and where conditions are ripe for harmful algal blooms would ideally reduce the bloom's impact on water quality and mitigation costs. So, why is harmful algal bloom prediction so complex? The Algal Bloom Action Team will be joined by Justin Chaffin, Senior Researcher and Research Coordinator at Stone Laboratory at The Ohio State University, and Katie Foreman, Physical Scientist at the US EPA as they discuss this prediction puzzle. Learn more

Manure Management and Utilization Technologies - Applications and Safety Thursday, November 4, 2021, 9:30AM-12:30PM EST

Purdue Extension is hosting this online workshop that will include talks on anaerobic digestion for manure management, in-house broiler litter windrowing, lagoon solids removal, and safety risks and prevention measure regarding manure storage, handling, and transportation. Learn more

An Introduction to Carbon Farm Planning 
Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 10AM-12PM CT 

Carbon is important in building healthy, resilient soils, and mitigating the effects of a changing climate. Wisconsin Land and Water is launching a carbon farm planning series, which will serve as an introduction to an upcoming three-week workshop to be held in early 2022. They will be joined by their partners from the Carbon Cycle institute to share their experience and expertise about carbon on the landscape. Learn more

Funding and Opportunities

Grassland and Perennial Agriculture Outreach Specialist with UW-Madison Division of Extension

The North Central Region Water Network is on the Grassland 2.0 team and together we are working to develop pathways for producers to achieve increased profitability, production stability, and nutrient and water efficiency, while improving water quality, soil health, biodiversity, and climate resiliency through grassland-based agriculture. Currently, the team is seeking a grassland and perennial agriculture outreach specialist. Applications are due by November 3, 2021. Learn more

Manure Expo Mini Grant and Seed Funding - The North American Expo Board

The North American Manure Expo board is now requesting proposals for the 2021 Manure Expo Mini Grant and Seed Funding. Funding is intended to advance the manure industry through education or research. Projects can include, but are not limited to, demonstrations, development of a new or unique technology, and educational strategies related to manure management. Submission deadline is November 15, 2021. Learn more
Extension Educator in Soil Health Management with the University of Nebraska Extension
This is a statewide position nested within the Water and Integrated Cropping Systems (WICS) Team. The incumbent will develop and deliver extension programming focused on soil health management, as well as collaborate with state and federal agencies, industry representatives, and crop producers to deliver agriculture strategies.  Applications are due by November 19, 2021. Learn more

Watershed Specialist Training Program with the University of Minnesota Extension

Applications for the Spring 2022 session of the Watershed Specialist Training Program are now available. This is an online, 14-week course that includes 7 modules. Participants will gain practical skills in problem-solving, monitoring and evaluation, and integrate knowledge from across disciplines to address water resource challenges. Application deadline is January 3, 2022. Learn more

New podcast from the University of Minnesota Extension tells the story of how Nitrogen shapes life in fields and streams, soil and seas
Greg Klinger and Shane Bugeja of the University of Minnesota Extension spent the last several months interviewing experts in agronomy, biology, nutrient management and ecology trying to understand the story of Nitrogen in the hopes of explaining the phenomena we see out in fields, woods and water.
Learn more

Intensively managed grazing can increase profits, improve environment - South Dakota State News
What is good for the environment can also be profitable for livestock producers “By intensively managing grazing, producers can make money converting marginally productive cropland back to grassland, while at the same time reducing agriculture’s impact on the environment,” said South Dakota State University associate professor Tong Wang. “Grasses prevent soil erosion and their root systems penetrate the ground, increasing water infiltration and decreasing runoff and water pollution.” In addition, wildlife populations benefit from grassland habitat. Read on

Prioritizing peatland research - UMD News

Let’s be clear: A wetland is not necessarily a swamp. But a swamp is a wetland. Got it?
Swamps are one type of wetland – one that is forested. There are also shrub wetlands, marshes and peatlands (which includes fens and bogs), among others. Each type is a different ecosystem at work. But by any name, wetlands are important. They filter and clean water, hold water to control flooding and provide habitat for many unique species of flora and fauna. Wetlands, especially peatlands, also store carbon, helping to moderate climate change. Read on
Algae blooms a problem but not a trend - University of Wisconsin-Madison News       
As Earth’s average temperature rises, climate change impacts grow around the globe. Hurricanes and wildfires are bigger and more destructive. Extreme rain events are more common. Droughts last longer. But, surprisingly, one problem isn’t getting universally worse. According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, there isn’t a widespread upswing of harmful algae blooms in North American lakes. 
Read on
River Network's State Policy Hub - River Network
The State Policy Hub currently highlights policies, resolutions, and plans related to drinking water focus areas: Access, Affordability, Lead, PFAS, Regionalization & Consolidation, and Water Data Access & Availability. Drinking water is just the beginning! Read on
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