Education in Sustainable Agriculture and Insect Conservation
Blue Dasher Farm represents a farmer-driven education initiative intended to deploy of knowledge and practical skills that advance regenerative agriculture. A steering committee of some of the top scientists, farmers, ranchers, and beekeepers in North America ensures the quality and pertinence of information provided by our education programs, as well as serving as educators. An important component of this initiative is that it gives a physical presence to the regenerative agriculture movement that is currently lacking, as well as a source of leadership for coordinating information and strategizing future developments in soil health. Ultimately, it is our vision to link the Blue Dasher Farm with several current and developing research and demonstration farms throughout the country to form a dynamic network that is well adapted to regional production patterns and constraints. A series of educational formats is used to promote soil health and the conservation of biodiversity.
1) Workshops and Short Courses. The goal of these workshops is to pair cutting edge information with hands-on applications for maximum information retention. World leaders in specific practices or topics are brought in to host specific education modules, giving students of all walks of life direct contacts with experts (as well as their student peers) as they return to their farms or institutions. Courses are hosted at facilities owned and operated by Blue Dasher Farm, and courses on agroecology, ecologically-based pest management, risk assessment, and soil health are focused on farmers and end users. An educational curriculum of university-level short courses targets graduate students and biological technicians to train the next generation of scientists in specialized skill sets currently not offered in a hands-on context.
2) Presentations at Stakeholder Meetings. There are a growing number of soil health, no-till, cover cropping, and innovative agriculture meetings targeting producers and extension/NRCS staff, and collaborators contribute to these existing meeting contents. Furthermore, as pertinent topics require education opportunities, Blue Dasher farm is well situated to organize meetings for farmers, ranchers, and agricultural professionals.
3) Web Site and Social Media. We seek to be a clearing house of factual and practical information and science that can serve as a resource for beginners and seasoned practitioners of ecologically based agriculture. To accomplish this, Blue Dasher Farm will have a strong web presence, and ensure it remains on the cutting edge of social media trends to disseminate knowledge about regenerative agriculture. A monthly newsletter is in development.