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
May 2022 
Duluth Minnesota Skyline

Network News

Happy early Memorial Day! At the Network, we have been going through a few changes as of late. Our long beloved Network Director, Rebecca Power, recently left for a new opportunity at the Walton Family Foundation. We wish Rebecca well on her new adventure and are glad she will continue her leadership on water quality issues in the Mississippi River Basin. We also thank her for her 9 years of service and everything she has done for the North Central Region Water Network and water!
While this change is certainly bittersweet, it isn't slowing us down! We are gearing up for a summer full of activities and events, starting with the Climate Intersections Conference in beautiful Duluth July 12-14th. We have arranged a walking tour of downtown Duluth, a welcome reception on the shores of Lake Superior, and a great line up of inspirational and technical presenters. You won't want to miss it. Be sure to register before June 11th when prices will increase!
We also hope you will join us in Waseca, Minnesota August 9-10th for a Regional Soil Health In-Servce, hosted by the University of Minnesota Extension and the Soil Health Nexus. You'll get hands-on training, networking, and maybe even gain some new video skills! Registration is now open.
-Anne Nardi, Network Communications
Edge-of-Field Monitoring
The Current Webinar Series
Soil Health's Link to Water Quality
Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at 2pm CT

The agronomic benefits of improving soil health are well known, but when it comes to the specific impacts on water quality off field, many questions remain. Tune in to this edition of The Current webinar series to hear three researchers share their research on how on-field soil health practices affect water quality off field. Register here

Photo Credit: USDA NRCS New York
Hand holding soil

Network Spotlight
Introducing the Soil Health Matrix Decision Tool: A New Free Tool for Producers

The Soil Health Matrix Decision Tool is a free tool that was recently developed by the Soil Health Nexus and a regional advisory team with support from North Central SARE. It is designed as a 101 tool to assess the effects of current and future management practices on soil health.

Producers who are looking to implement a new soil health practice on their operation can use this comparative tool to get an overall feel for practices that benefit soil health and which management decisions may be the best fit for their operation. Read on
Adnan Akyuz teaching about climate science

Leadership Spotlight
North Dakota Climatologist works with Extension Educators to Helps Communities Through Drought

Becoming a climatologist was a natural fit for Adnan Akyuz because. Adnan was always intrigued by the weather and climate and climate science was a particular interest because of its intersection with statistics and the way it allowed him to play with the numbers. Adnan took his first job as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Missouri-Columbia in contract with the USGS Missouri Field Station to investigate the weather impacts on endangered plant species. The fact that the work involved rock climbing and repelling the sides of riverine bluffs to install weather stations that collected air temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure had him sold – climate science was his passion. Read on

In The News

Upcoming Events

Strategies for Land Stewardship Summit

Tuesday and Wednesday, June 21-22, 2022

This is a free event in southern Wisconsin for farmers, farm advisors, conservation professionals, agency and university representatives. The summit will include two farmer-led tours, presentations, and the opportunity to connect and share ideas. Learn more

Climate Intersections Conference
Tuesday-Thursday, July 12-14, 2022

The Climate Intersections Conference will feature emergent research and key programming that can facilitate solutions for resilient and equitable agricultural systems, communities, and watersheds throughout the North Central Region and beyond. Learn more

Agronomy/Soils Field Day

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 

This Field Day will take place at the UW-Madison's Arlington Agricultural Research Station. More information to come. Learn more

Funding and Opportunities

Foundational Agrivoltaic Research for Megawatt Scale (FARMS) - Solar Energy Technologies Office
FARMS funding is intended for projects studying the integration of agriculture and energy production, such as crop production, livestock grazing, and pollinator habitat that are underneath and/or in between rows of solar panels. The first submission deadline is June 1, 2022. Learn more

Midwest Solar Survey - American Farmland Trust

The American Farmland Trust is seeking input from farmers and landowners in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin as a part of the 2022 guide to Smart Solar Siting. This survey is anonymous. Submissions due before June 30, 2022. Learn more

2022 Cover Crop Cost-Share - Practical Farmers of Iowa
The program provides financial incentives and technical support to help farmers and landowners implement resilient farming practices. Learn more


Hypoxia Task Force Report to Congress - EPA

The Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force 2019/2021 Report to Congress is now available. Read on

New Soil Health Institute Study Provides Insights Into the Role Soil Organic Carbon Can Play in Improving Soil Health and Reducing Drought - CSR Wire

A new peer-reviewed research report published by the Soil Health Institute provides fresh insights into the vital role that soil organic carbon levels can play in preventing drought, reducing flooding and improving the health and water retention of the soils used to grow crops.
Read on

U.S. Agriculture Department To Invest $420 Million In Rural Water Infrastructure - Successful Farming

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will put $420 million of funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law toward rehabilitating dams, preventing floods, and restoring watersheds in 31 states, the agency announced Thursday. The funding is part of a broader, multi-agency effort to provide more technical and financial assistance to rural communities that are facing the increasingly unpredictable and severe effects of climate change with outdated infrastructure. Read on

Country Crock Now Has Its Own 'Buttery Smooth' Whiskey - Food & Wine

Back before the term "plant-based" was on-trend, dairy-free margarine brands like Country Crock had already snatched up a sizable share of the butter market. But now, with a public that's more aware of all things plant-based, Country Crock has been doubling down on its non-dairy cred — and to hammer home their commitment to farmers, the brand has teamed up on another oft-overlooked "plant-based" product… whiskey. Cover Crop Whiskey is the only spirit with Country Crock's official seal of approval, and named to bring awareness to the use of cover crops as a sustainable farming practice. Read on

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