A webinar series on climate, water and agriculture

MSU Extension will be providing a series of five webinars on climate and water and their impact on current and future food, fiber and fuel production, starting in March

While access to fresh and abundant water is one of Michigan Agriculture’s greatest assets, increasing water use to meet the needs of Michigan residents, industry and agriculture have the potential to alter how we allocate our water resources. The additional impacts associated with climate variability and change have the potential to add further challenges to Michigan farmers’ production of food, fiber and fuel. In order to lead the discussion on these challenging issues Michigan State University specialists, researchers and Extension educators from throughout the university along with representatives from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Michigan Department of Environmental Qual

ity will present a series of webinars for farmers, agricultural professionals, state and national agency personnel and interested stakeholders, discussing the important role water plays in modern agriculture production the long term impacts of a variable and changing climate. The webinars will run from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM beginning on Friday, March 9, 2012 and continuing on the Friday afternoons listed below.

March 9: Farming in a changing environment
During this session Dr. Jeff Andresen, MSU Extension Metorologist, will discuss the current understanding of climate variability and change. Also presenting will be Dr. Julie Doll, Outreach and Education Coordinator with Kellogg Biological Station and Claire Layman, MSU Extension Public Policy Education Specialist who will discuss the results of seven farmer focus groups on climate variability and change they facilitated in early 2011.

March 16: Water – Michigan’s abundant resource
Dr. Lois Wolfson, Aquatic Ecologist with MSU’s Institute of Water Research will provide a background on Michigan’s abundant water supply. Current quality concerns related to Michigan’s water resources will be discussed by Dr. Joan Rose, MSU’s Homer Nowlin Endowed Chair of Water Research. Climate variability and change, the impact and uncertainty with water presented by Dr. Jeff Andresen will be the final presentation of this session.

March 23: World of water policy
Dr. Patricia Norris, MSU’s Guyer - Seevers Chair in Natural Resource Conservation and Frank Ruswick, from Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will discuss the legal aspects of water use and the laws that protect Michigan’s abundant water resources.

March 30: Social aspects of water
Water controversy can tear at the social fabric of our rural communities. Feelings are hurt and friends are lost when one’s own water use negatively impacts the surrounding community. Dr. Pat Norris and Dr. Dave Lusch, Senior Research Specialist with MSU’s Department of Geography, will discuss the social issues related to water use when laws and regulations fail to address the concern.

April 13: Too much water/not enough water - Adaptation strategies for agriculture
Dr. Pouyan Nejadhashemi, MSU Assistant Professor of Water Resources Engineering, will discuss the best management practices Michigan farmers may consider as they adapt to climate variability. Richard Weber and Kerry Robinson from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will discuss conservation practices for reducing and controlling runoff from ag land and the pressures uncontrolled runoff places on rural drainage systems. Dave Drullinger and Ralph Reznick from Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will discuss acceptable practices for reducing and controlling runoff from urban areas.

Participating in webinars is easy and accessible through most internet connections. If your computer lacks the needed software it will automatically be downloaded when you click on the webinar’s internet address. Or, you may test your computer and your internet connection and if needed the appropriate software will be downloaded. Preregistration for the webinars is not required but would be appreciated. Everyone who preregisters will receive a reminder email 24 hours prior to each webinar. Preregister for the webinars at: http://bit.ly/climatewaterwebinar . If you prefer to connect directly to the webinars the URL is http://connect.msu.edu/climateandwater . Questions and concerns on connecting to the webinars should be emailed to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) before and during each session. There is no fee for the webinar series.

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