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Outreach Strategies and Effectiveness on the Awareness and Adoption of Conservation Practices by Farmers in the Mackinaw River Watershed, Illinois

wetland outreach

Aired: August 7, 2013 from noon to 1pm Eastern

Increased awareness of the contributions of nonpoint source runoff to the degradation of water quality in the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico emphasizes the need to increase conservation practices that reduce nutrient export from agricultural lands.  To achieve long-term conservation goals in agricultural landscapes, it is important to understand farmers’ perspectives on what practices are effective, practical, and economically attainable.  We con­ducted a series of surveys with farmers in two agricultural subwatersheds of the Mackinaw River in central Illinois in an attempt to better understand how outreach influenced their views on and adoption of conservation practices.  


Maria Lemke

Meet the Presenter:

Maria Lemke, Aquatic Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy

Maria is The Nature Conservancy in Illinois’ aquatic ecologist, and she has coordinated 10 years of research along the Mackinaw River at an experimental project site and at the Conservancy’s Research and Demonstration Farm, owned by the Franklin family in Lexington, IL. The focus of this research includes gaining a better understanding of why local farmers implement conservation practices; how best to reach them and influence their conservation decisions; and measuring the effectiveness of these practices at mitigating agricultural impacts on freshwater streams and rivers.


Presentation slides (in pdf)

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Demonstration Farm Report 2010-2011


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