1G – Education and Outreach
Implement educational programs to provide greater understanding of watersheds, and to raise awareness and increase the use of applicable agricultural management measures and practices where needed to control and prevent adverse impacts on surface and ground waters. Public education, outreach, and training programs should involve user groups and the community.
The purpose of this management measure is to implement educational programs to provide greater understanding of watersheds, and to raise awareness and increase the use of applicable agricultural standards and practices to control and prevent adverse impacts on surface and ground waters. Educational materials on agricultural NPS pollution and pollution prevention programs should be developed for the following:
- Activities that cause erosion and sediment loss and the practices that control erosion and sediment on agricultural lands.
- Activities that cause animal waste discharges from storage structures at confined animal facilities and appropriate application of nutrients to cropland.
- Activities that cause excess nutrient runoff into surface water or nutrient leaching into ground water and the measures that can control and prevent runoff.
- Prevention of pesticide runoff into surface water and pesticide leaching into ground water.
- Grazing activities that cause physical disturbance in sensitive areas and the discharge of sediment, animal waste, nutrients, and chemicals to surface and ground waters.
- Irrigation activities that cause NPS pollution of surface waters.
- Public education and outreach programs should be developed at the appropriate level for the stakeholder group or audience it is designed to reach, using the following methods to educate and disseminate information to the specified audience.
- Use training programs to teach proper application of agriculture management practices.
- Establish bulletin boards for environmental messages and idea sharing.
- Hand out fact sheets, flyers, and pamphlets on controlling agricultural NPS pollution.
- Develop a handbook for local or regional producers and growers with recommended practices and standards to meet the requirements of the management measures.
- Organize meetings with local stakeholders.
- Develop an "Ag Center" or "one-stop shop" for farmers, growers, and producers to obtain information on NPS pollution prevention techniques, technologies, information resources, and idea exchange.
- Make available a directory of farm advisors, crop advisors, and nutrient management planners for producers and growers to contact for technical advice.
- Work with the local extension service offices and USDA NRCS offices to establish certification and continuing education programs in comprehensive nutrient management planning, grazing, irrigation, and pesticide management.
- California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) works with California wine regional associations, vintners and growers to organize and carry out workshops in each winegrowing region in the state. These workshops can be hosted by regional associations and/or individual vintner and grower companies.
- Louisiana State University, Ag Center Master Farmer Program is an effort to demonstrate that agricultural producers can voluntarily reduce the impact that agricultural production has on Louisiana’s environment. The Master Farmer Program has three components: environmental stewardship, agricultural production, and farm management/marketing..
- UC Extension, Placer-Nevada County’s California Grazing Academy is a unique and exciting program emphasizing practical application of controlled grazing principles to improve the environment and increase ranch profit. This challenging course consists of a minimum of lecture and a maximum of hands-on experience and learning.
- University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program administers competitive grants for research on sustainable agriculture practices and systems, develop and distribute information through publications and on-farm demonstrations, and support long-term research in sustainable farming systems on University of California farmlands.
- Coalition for Urban/Rural Environmental Stewardship (CURES) was founded in 1997 to support educational efforts for agricultural and urban communities focusing on the proper and judicious use of pest control products. The publications available from the CURES Website include information on application stewardship, farm worker safety, ground application timing, and water quality protection.
- University of California Cooperative Extension Service offers information about food and nutrition, farming, pest control, natural resources, animal agriculture, gardening, and many other topics. Its publications page contains a variety of practical, research-based educational media such as publications, videos, slide presentations, interactive distance learning, audio recordings, and electronic multimedia. California Agriculture, the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources quarterly magazine, can also be accessed here.
- University of Wisconsin Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, Best Education Practices Project designed to help natural resource management and outreach professionals to choose appropriate education techniques and resources for their water management programs. The Best Education Practices project will work in collaboration with the federal agency clean and safe water partnership and other networks to develop and promote best education practices for water education and to improve access to education resources and strategies. Project activities reflect advice provided by federal agency clean and safe water partners and a national network of water education organizations created and supported by the work of several national organizations over the last decade. Projects have included a 2002 Study of Provider Needs, Model Education Technique, a literature search, Best Education Practices Pilot Web site, and other reference materials related to water outreach education.
- USEPA Watershed Academy Agricultural Management Practices for Water Quality Protection is a module specific to agricultural management practices. The module themes include introduction/overview, watershed ecology, watershed change, analysis and planning, management practices, and community/social/water law.