ANKENY, Iowa — Today, the Soil and Water Conservation Society released results from the first ever Conservation Practitioner Poll (CPP). The poll surveyed conservation practitioners in the Upper Mississippi River Basin who provide technical assistance, implement programs, and work directly with farmers to realize natural resource conservation goals on the landscape.
Key findings from the report include:
- Nearly all conservation practitioners rated in-person work with farmers and landowners, whether in the office or in the field, as the most effective strategy for getting conservation on the ground, and 92% rated cost share programs as effective or highly effective tools to support conservation implementation.
- Conservation practitioners are limited in their ability to build relationships with farmers by the burden of paperwork and program administration, employee turnover, inconsistent program rules and policies, and lack of communication and training on new rules.
- State-level conservation programs were ranked highest for ease of administration, while the Conservation Stewardship Program, the nation’s largest conservation program, was rated most difficult to administer.
- Just 18% of conservation practitioners indicated discussion of climate change helps get conservation on the ground in the region, but 69% are interested in training and information about climate-smart agriculture.
The Conservation Practitioner Poll 2021 Summary Report can be found on the Soil and Water Conservation Society’s website, www.swcs.org/CPP.