Developing Public-Private Partnerships to Target Elevated Phosphorus Fields to Increase Water Quality & Availability

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has funded seven grants for research that will provide solutions to critical water problems across the United States. These awards were made through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area. AFRI’s Water for Food Production Systems program focuses on developing new technologies and strategic management tools that solve water quantity and quality, sustainable use and reuse, and farming practices to conserve water. OSU researchers will measure phosphorus runoff rates from participating fields and identify effective management practices that can limit nutrient runoff while maintaining crop yields. Through collaborations with agricultural organizations, researchers will identify fields and producers willing to adopt relevant management practices. This information will support the development of an Extension program promoting knowledge and management of fields with elevated soil phosphorus.  Our evaluators employ an empowerment evaluation approach to evaluate this project. A range of qualitative and quantitative methods, along with community problem-solving skills, are used to evaluate the project and support the development of program improvements. 

Funded by National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Project Contact Dr. Dave Julian

Dr. Jay Martin
Dr. Jay Martin, Professor of Ecological Engineering
The Ohio State University

I’ve really enjoyed working with faculty and personnel at CETE  [Center on Education and Training for Employment] to not only meet the federal requirement of an external evaluator but to actually improve and look at the internal organization of our grants and deliverables so it’s not only benefiting the funder, it’s benefiting us as a research team.

I was surprised by how customized the evaluation and review process are to our grant. The CETE team understands what our grant is all about and the external evaluation is coming together in a way that will improve the research process. A great example of this is from our recent meeting when we looked at how we could actually use the evaluation to lead to some research publications.”