Connect to Our Work

Read on below for more about how we work and our current activities and projects. If your work intersects with ours now or could in the future, please email us at glbw@umn.edu and describe what you would like to explore together.

The GLBW Theory of Change is that through thoughtfully-designed, highly-engaged collaborations with agricultural practitioners across the region and across sectors – new, creative channels of policy, program, and market support can empower farmers to shift more acres to CLC farming systems in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. GLBW and partners lead, communicate, and convene and target leverage points on the landscape, among farmers, in the policy environment, and in the marketplace.

We…

  • Serve as a vision holder for partners working on CLC in the Upper Midwest and strategically drive collaborations that allow our partners to tackle more together than they could alone.
  • Communicate via research-based resource creation and dissemination.
  • Convene –
    • practitioner-to-practitioner to network and share resources, tools, and lessons learned;
    • strategic actors in high-level, invite-only targeted gatherings to address complex, cross-sector, systems-level opportunities and gaps;
    • supply chain players to promote new crops and ingredients by stitching together early supply chains with committed, vocal partners and early-adopter champions at all steps of the supply chain (farm to market).

We are currently applying this approach to these goals and activities.

Leverage our partner network by convening high-level collaboratives to target five important and timely pathways to CLC.

Target: Adoption of Conservation Practices – Non-Operator Landowners and New Farmers

  • Design and host researcher-practitioner workshops on social, policy, and financial drivers for conservation practices and behaviors of non-operator landowners and in generational transfer scenarios.
  • Identify what is working and what’s not in terms of resulting practice change on the ground.
  • Co-develop priorities for new research and programmatic changes to improve outcomes.

Target: Strategically-Placed Plantings – Source Water Protection

  • Develop and deliver educational materials on current Minnesota source water protection projects using perennials and share information on current status and lessons learned.
  • Inform and assist partners developing pilot projects.

Target: Livestock

  • Host the Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group.
  • Work with partners to create a grazing exchange in Iowa or Illinois.
  • Support technical assistance providers in developing new educational and outreach materials.

Target: Policy – NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives and Conservation Stewardship Programs

  • Launch an Upper Midwest CLC cohort to develop an advocacy agenda for including CLC farming practices in NRCS cost-share programs at state and federal levels.
  • Prepare case studies documenting successes of NRCS conservation programs that use CLC farming.
  • Disseminate to NRCS, state agencies, and congressional delegations from the region and work with members of the Farm Bill Conservation Coalition to more broadly share information.
  • Document cohort experiences to outline a “how to” guide on approaching, engaging, and participating in NRCS state technical committees and subcommittees.

Target: Supply Chains – Kernza®

  • Continue as an agent for regional Kernza® commercialization, working closely with The Land Institute and Forever Green on next steps to increase private sector involvement and well-organized scale-up.
  • Coordinate development a Kernza® Growers Guide and growers networks focusing on peer-to-peer and grower-to-researcher communication.
  • Launch a Kernza® brewer cohort.

Be the Go-To for CLC networking opportunities and research-based and experiential CLC informational products

  • Host the 2019 Green Lands Blue Waters Continuous Living Cover Conference, bringing together hundreds of CLC champions from the Upper Mississippi River Basin.
  • Continue to regularly communicate with our partner network (~1,000 and growing).
  • Develop basic CLC literacy training modules and easy-to-access/use communication products to increase the number of agricultural/environmental advisors who understand the CLC vision and potential and are committed to incorporating it into their own work and outreach.

Join Our List

You are able to join our network simply by adding your contact information to our list. This will connect you via our e-newsletters and other occasional info-blasts.