Sustainability of Environmental Management – The Role of Technical Assistance as an Educational Program
Public programs aimed at reducing the environmental impact of agriculture traditionally rely on positive or negative sanctions for producers to implement the expert prescriptions of technical specialists. A performance-based management approach offers the option of rewarding producers for environmental outcomes through the use of quantitative and qualitative indicators of water and soil quality impact. Extension agronomy specialists can engage watershed cooperators in participatory education, using producers’ technical and economic questions as entry points to also educate about environmental impacts in the context of their individual operations and interests. When producers’ science-based knowledge of water quality outcomes is increased, they will adopt and adapt self-selected practices by a systems approach that can lead to continuous improvement.
KeywordsCover Crop Incentive Program Extension Specialist Agricultural Nonpoint Source Watershed Group
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