Green Lands Blue Waters and its partners rely on regional networks of people in order to advance the use of Continuous Living Cover. We work primarily through two approaches: 1) expert Working Groups, each focused on a cropping strategy for continuous living cover; and 2) rural development programs that integrate many forms of continuous living cover into cropping systems on farms and across landscapes.
The working groups serve as hubs for research, linking research with extension and promotion of farm adoption of the most viable and promising continuous living cover systems. While Green Lands Blue Waters is focused on applications in the Upper Midwest, the working groups incorporate specialists from outside the region, bringing their expertise to the region and sharing our results and outputs across the U.S. and globally. Each working group is unique, but our goal is for them to share the following attributes:
- Participation of researchers, extension, farmers/ranchers, agricultural advisors, government agency staff, and business leaders.
- Promote breeding programs for improvement of plant materials.
- Promote research and testing of agronomic methods to determine best sowing rates and conditions, optimal use of agrochemicals, cultivation requirements, and harvest methods.
- Promote large-scale production and the businesses that support new production, provide inputs, and bring to market the resulting new products and services.
- Support education programs to inform policymakers and the public about the new products and services and the associated economic and environmental benefits.
- Identify indicators and participate in programs to measure and monitor economic, social, biophysical, and environmental impacts of farming with Continuous Living Cover.
In order to achieve even more significant environmental and economic improvements, Green Lands Blue Waters supports broad-based rural development initiatives that systematically implement Continuous Living Cover cropping systems that are integrated on the land and across the landscape at scales that are economically meaningful and ecologically sound.
Our partners provide training and resources to farmers who are implementing Continuous Living Cover; support businesses and entrepreneurs to create or strengthen businesses that provide farm inputs and bring the new outputs to market; and promote the environmental benefits achieved at the watershed or landscape scale.