UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Water for Agriculture, a Penn State-led interdisciplinary research project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute on Food and Agriculture, has announced the launching of its website. The project aims to address the water and agriculture issues that matter most to communities through effective stakeholder engagement.
“Our purpose is to transform the way scientists, the cooperative extension system, technical services providers, agency officials, engagement practitioners, and communities can collaboratively approach critical water and agricultural issues,” said Kathy Brasier, professor of rural sociology in the College of Agricultural Sciences and the project’s principal investigator. “The website is one tool that we plan to use to share information and build our network of collaborators.”
The website provides information and background on the project as well as an events calendar for each of the communities. It also houses a library of webinars, a news and update section and a community engagement toolbox, which provides a practical guide to the major concepts, tools and strategies for implementing effective community engagement processes.
Water for Agriculture brings together social and biophysical researchers and practitioners. These interdisciplinary teams are working in five communities in Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Arizona.
“The purpose of Water for Agriculture is to better understand the processes by which a broad range of stakeholders can come together to improve how water and agricultural issues are addressed in differing agricultural contexts,” said Walt Whitmer, a Penn State senior extension associate and project facilitator.
The Water for Agriculture project is supported by an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant from USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. In addition to Penn State, there are researchers and support from Arizona State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the USDA's Agricultural Research Service.
This article was originally published April 18, 2019, by Penn State University.