• Working from the Ground Up:  A Blueprint for Organizing Effective Programs to Increase Adoption of Innovations in Agriculture

In farming, change is a constant: seasons change in a regular, if somewhat, disconcerting pattern; weather changes sometimes several times in the same day; crops grow through stages, as do the insects and pests that live on them. Added, in recent years, to the familiar changes in the natural world, have been the press of external forces — global markets, international trade agreements, environmental impacts, and regulatory actions — that have dramatically altered the larger environment in which farmers must raise their crops. These external forces exert a profound effect on farmers and their operations to which they must respond rapidly and on a broad scale. Now, more than ever, agriculture needs to embrace and adopt change as a strategy for survival.

For those interested in the future of agriculture and its place in the environment, the question is not whether changes are necessary but how changes can be made most effectively, comprehensively, and expeditiously. The Center for Agricultural Partnerships' blueprint, Working from the Ground Up, was created as an answer to the question of how to most effectively organize and support change in agriculture. It is intended as a guide for those who would design and operate programs to help farmers implement new practices — policy-makers, program managers, funders, and agricultural leaders. The purpose of the blueprint is to describe and generate interest in the use of a systematic process for creating and supporting change in agriculture.

Starting in 2007, CAP worked with the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network, using the blueprint methodology to identify and organize collaborative projects in important Bay watersheds. To see a description of these projects, click here.

In 2005, CAP put the blueprint to work in identifying and organizing five field implementation projects to reduce pesticide risks in a wide variety of settings across the country. To see a description of those efforts, click here.

CLICK HERE for a copy of Working from the Ground Up (PDF -992K).

These projects WERE supported through a cooperative agreement with the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs.

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