When it comes to climate change resilience in agriculture, the question is generally not why agricultural operations should be prepared, but which preparations will be effective? Through a $1.5 million grant funded by AFRI’s Foundational and Applied Science Program, a national team led by WSU’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources aims to build Extension and USDA Climate Hub professionals’ capacity to answer the “which” within specialty crop systems, and move the bar forward in climate change resilience. Team members represent Washington State University, the University of Florida, the University of Minnesota, and the Ag and Food Systems Institute and are partnering with the Northwest, Midwest, Northeast, California, Southern Plains, and Southeast USDA Climate Hubs.
The Climate Analogs Academy aims to empower US Extension professionals to lead regional climate change adaptation in specialty crops. Our strategy to overcome some common pitfalls of climate change education is to focus on building dialogue around technical information and building strategic relationships. We will use the Climate Analogs Tool to pair you with an Academy participant working with some of the same crops but in a county with your future climate conditions. This is your climate analog. A small cohort of 10 extension professionals will engage in peer-to-peer dialog, a workshop series, and develop projects with regional USDA Climate Hubs. You will also host and get to visit your climate analog partner and attend a national conference with travel costs covered.
We are recruiting now for the 2024 Academy starting in January. The priority deadline for applications is December 1st, 2023. For more information and application, visit the Climate Analog Academy webpage.