Cooperative to use USDA conservation education grant


Cooperative to use USDA conservation education grant

A dairy group that received a Climate Smart Commodities grant from the USDA this summer plans to use a lot of the money for farmer education.

Brody Stapel

Brody Stapel is a dairy farmer and president of the Edge Dairy Farmers Cooperative. He says, “There are a lot of practices that are not necessarily climate smart.” Staple tells Brownfield that the co-op has meetings scheduled with the USDA about how best to use up to $50 million in grants when the funding arrives. “At the end of the day, when we start to see some of these funds, we’re really trying to continue to build on what we started here and we’ve seen grow in Wisconsin through the farmer-led watershed groups that really need it. information from the ground, from what the farmers are doing and puts it into public use and for public knowledge.”

Stapel says they will build on programs already in place, such as Wisconsin’s farmer-led watershed groups. He says they are also looking for more innovative on-farm practices that can be verified and duplicated. “Being able to come to our members’ farms with staff and measure because a lot of guys are training and, yes, I know it’s working, but how do we measure that and how do we translate that to the public.”

Stapel says that once the grant money comes in, he plans to bring in additional staff and also get dollars to farmers who take the high risk of trying new practices.

Stapel spoke with Brownfield during Trade Talk at the recent National Agricultural Broadcasting Association convention. Cooperative to use USDA conservation education grant

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