The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded $19.5 million to support research, education and Extension activities associated with climate solutions in agriculture aimed at the impacts of climate variability and change on dairy and beef cattle. Two funding recipients, Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma, are members of the South Central Climate Science Center university consortium.
The University of Wisconsin (UW) in Madison, a member of the Northeast Climate Science Center consortium, received $9.9 million over five years to study the environmental impact of various dairy production systems and develop best management practices for producers to implement at the farm level. The project’s ultimate goal is to increase the resiliency of dairy production systems while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The team will also develop an agricultural education curriculum with an urban foods focus at Vincent High School in Milwaukee in an effort to educate future leaders and consumers about the contributions of the dairy industry to economic and environmental sustainability. Curricula at the high school and college levels will be developed related to mitigation and adaptation to climate change and agricultural sustainability.
Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater, Oklahoma, received $9.6 million over five years to better understand vulnerability and resilience of Southern Great Plains beef in an environment of increased climate variability, dynamic land-use and fluctuating markets. The team’s goal is to safeguard regional beef production while mitigating the environmental footprint of agriculture. The project also includes education and Extension components to train the next generation of producers and researchers in addressing the impact of climate on beef cattle. Using a community- and citizen-science approach, the project will train young students and citizens to use GPS-enabled digital cameras and smartphones and web data portals to participate in field data collection. The geospatial data will be integrated into a portal for community-based analysis and inventory and used to educate the general public on climate change related to range-based beef production.
The team is comprised of 32 scientists from OSU, Kansas State University, University of Oklahoma, Tarleton State University, the Samuel R. Noble Foundation, and two ARS laboratories.
Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma are both members of the South Central Climate Science Center.
Read the full news release, here