Building Capacity in Climate Adaptation Practices in Maine

Adapting to climate change is a new imperative for agriculture. Seventy-six percent of Maine agricultural service providers who responded to a 2021 survey felt that farmers need additional support to address climate change on their farms, and 79% said they are interested in helping farmers do so.

Practices that may help farmers adapt to changing weather patterns will require new knowledge and skills for both farmers and the agricultural service providers who support them. In particular, survey respondents reported feeling least confident in making recommendations related to implementing irrigation systems, managing excess water, changing breeds and varieties, and using weather-based decision tools.

Therefore, the goal of this three-year project, led by Maine's state SARE team, is to increase service provider knowledge, skills, and confidence in providing information and recommendations about agricultural practices that address the risks associated with climate change.

Each year, the project will focus on one climate adaptation practice, such as irrigation. The educational approach will combine on-farm learning, peer-to-peer learning, expert presentations, hands-on experiential learning, and individual learning to achieve the project's performance target.

Performance Target: Forty-four agricultural service providers who gain practical knowledge and skills in climate adaptation practices will work with at least two farmers each to develop a set of customized climate adaptation recommendations for their farms and reach an additional 10 farmers each through one-on-one consultations and educational programs.

Want more information? See the related SARE grant: