Pilot Project - Conservation on Agricultural Lands: A Tradition of Innovation

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$4,999
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$13,570
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$40,970
Fund Source
Clean Water Fund
Recipient
The MDA contracted OmniMedia Group for exhibit design and the lesson plan was developed by Stefan Theimer
Recipient Type
For-Profit Business/Entity
Status
Completed
Start Date
March 2012
End Date
January 2015
Activity Type
Education/Outreach/Engagement
Counties Affected
Statewide
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2013, Chapter 137, Article 2, Sec. 3
Appropriation Language

(d) $1,500,000 the first year and $1,500,000 the second year are for research, pilot projects, and technical assistance on proper implementation of best management practices and more precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018. 

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$4,999
Administration costs
$0
Number of full time equivalents funded
0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

•Number of people (or groups) that view the display per year
•Number of teachers that use the lesson plan per year
•Summary of feedback on the exhibit (comment box) or summary of lessons learned (compiled from responses on pre-post activities- either from the students' or teachers' perspective)
•Number of new partnerships that evolve as a result of the exhibit or number of educational/outreach activities that become available as a result of the exhibit

The MDA began developing educational materials and identifying specific educational objectives in 2014. The lesson plan was tested with teachers in southeast Minnesota during 2015.

Description of Funds
No administrative cost associated with these contracts.
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, Chapter 6, Article 2, Sec. 3
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2011: (d) $775,000 the first year and $775,000 the second year are for research, pilot projects, and technical assistance on proper implementation of best management practices and more precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2016.

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$13,570
Administration costs
$0
Number of full time equivalents funded
0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Refer to 2015

Measurable Outcome(s)

Refer to 2015

Description of Funds
No administration costs associated with this project.
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, Chapter 6, Article 2, Sec. 3
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2011: (d) $775,000 the first year and $775,000 the second year are for research, pilot projects, and technical assistance on proper implementation of best management practices and more precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2016.

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$40,970
Administration costs
$0
Number of full time equivalents funded
0
Description of Funds
There were no administration costs associated with this project.
Project Overview

Theme of this exhibit: Farmers are combining current conservation practices with new technology to protect the environment. 

This interactive and educational exhibit (displayed at Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center in Rochester) will help the Minnesota Department of Agriculture engage more people in discussions about conservation on agricultural land. It will teach people about current conservation practices and hopefully spark an interest in agricultural issues. The goal is to educate the general public and stakeholders on real world, current issues dealing with protection of water resources and create a tool that will encourage and support dialogue on issues and their solutions.

This exhibit is geared towards 7th and 8th grade students, but is fun for all ages! 

Project Objectives:

  • Engage more people in discussions about conservation on agricultural land (support dialogue)
  • Increase awareness about existing agricultural conservation practices
  • Increase awareness about major areas of innovation within agriculture (as it relates to conservation) 

 

Project Deliverables:

  1. Interactive and educational exhibit highlighting conservation practices on agricultural lands in Minnesota (located at Cascade Meadow)
  2. Educational lesson plan that complements the exhibit
  3. Host at least two events that attract and educate visitors about agricultural conservation practices in the 21st century

 

The exhibit was installed in June 2013. The MDA and staff at Cascade Meadow are evaluating how visitors interact with it, specifically how long students play the educational games. Minor improvements may be made to improve visitor experience. 

An educational lesson plan was developed to complement the exhibit at Cascade Meadow. This lesson plans target student in the 7th and 8th grade level and are aligned with Minnesota Academic Standards for Science. Lesson plans include activities at Cascade Meadow as well as activities that could occur prior to and after visiting the exhibit. 

 

Project Details

The MDA  entered a contract with OmniMedia Group to develop the exhibit. The design team was indentified through a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The RFP, specifically the project priorities and scoring criteria, was developed by an advisory team. The advisory team included MDA staff (5) that work in the areas of best management practices, precision conservation, ag-education and environmental outreach.  The evaluation team, that selected the proposal, included individuals from the MDA as well as others including staff from producer groups and other agricultural organizations.

Project Manager
First Name
Margaret
Last Name
Wagner
Organization Name
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Street Address
625 Robert Street N.
City
St. Paul
State
MN
Zip Code
55155
Phone
(651) 201-6488
Email
margaret.wagner@state.mn.us