New program helps farmers learn, practice stewardship

Published 4:44 pm Thursday, January 6, 2022

By Susan Collins-Smith

MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. — A new online platform can help farmers learn about and implement management practices to improve profitability, soil health and land stewardship.

Created by a multistate team of university Extension professionals and farmers, One Good Idea provides farmers across the U.S. an online classroom to learn through videos and podcasts. Topics include cover crops, conservation tillage, rotational grazing and nutrient management.

“Interest in soil health and other farming practices that enhance resource stewardship is growing among producers, but a barrier to getting started can be a limited knowledge and resources to minimize the risk of trying a new practice,” said Beth Baker, an assistant Extension professor at Mississippi State University who leads the collaboration that produced One Good Idea.

“With this program, we want to reduce barriers by connecting farmers with a toolbox of firsthand experiences to help them have success, avoid pitfalls and realize they don’t have to go it alone,” she said.

The crowdsourced content is provided by a variety of Extension experts, researchers, farm advisors, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, farmer-led groups and individual farmers from across the Midwest and Midsouth. Before content is added to the site, it is reviewed and confirmed as evidence-based, either by research or practical, on-farm experience.

“Farmers often look to each other for information that can help them make decisions on how to improve or maintain their operations, and they want accurate, fact-based information,” said Jenny Seifert, watershed outreach specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, who led the creation of One Good Idea.

“Our vision is to keep One Good Idea growing with new content and make it a go-to place for producers who want to make good decisions to improve the resilience of their operations and protect farming legacies,” Seifert said.

Farmers, organizations, agricultural professionals and others can submit their content for consideration.

One Good Idea also includes a campaign to encourage farmers to share ideas on social media. Farmers and agricultural professionals, including Extension agents, farm advisors and conservation professionals, can participate on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #WhatsYourGoodIdea.

For more information about One Good Idea, to watch or listen to content, to subscribe to the email list and to learn how to contribute content, visit https://goodideafarm.org/.

One Good Idea is operated through a collaboration between MSU, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Kentucky, University of Arkansas and University of Illinois. It is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. One Good Idea will operate under the auspices of SERA-46, a committee made up of the partner land-grant universities and others in the Mississippi River Basin. SERA-46 is focused on research and Extension education to reduce nutrient and sediment transport.

from the Basin to the Gulf of Mexico.

MSU is an equal opportunity institution. For disability accommodation or other information, contact Baker at 662-325-7491 or beth.baker@.msstate.edu.