case studies

USDA-NRCS: Measuring Outreach Effectiveness

USDA-NRCS: Measuring Outreach Effectiveness for Voluntary Conservation in Southwest TN

Client:

USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Jackson Area Office

Project:

Outreach Effectiveness

CAESER is leading a four-part survey project that aims to identify barriers in implementing voluntary conservation practices on farms in six counties in southwest Tennessee and to understand which USDA-NRCS educational materials best convey the importance and effectiveness of conservation practices.

Conservation practices are vital to the sustainability of Tennessee working lands. These practices support healthy soils, improve water quality, increase habitat for wildlife, reduce the impacts of flooding, and increase productivity of farmed land. Benefits have been demonstrated both on- and off-farm.

It has been observed that producers will discontinue conservation practices after funding from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) ends. The Jackson Area Office does not have a way to determine if this is true, nor why conservation practices may be discontinued.

Under the directive of the 2018 Farm Bill, this project takes a particular focus on farms owned and/or operated by historically underserved producers, defined by USDA. Analysis of survey results will include appropriate statistical methods that will also serve as a means of project evaluation.

The first survey began distribution in January 2021 and aims to gauge producers’ experience with conservation practices. If you have received funding for conservation practices through the USDA-NRCS EQIP program, we would appreciate your completion of this brief survey! It takes approximately 10 minutes.

Are you a producer in Shelby, Hardeman, Fayette, Tipton, Haywood or Lauderdale County? 

Please reach out to get involved today: Sarah Houston at s.houston@memphis.edu or 901.678.5110