The extension system was designed for researchers at land-grant universities to share information from their studies with their state and communities. The PSA extension team is leading the effort to share relevant and robust information with growers about how they can incorporate cover crops. This is done through field days, pamphlets, and other articles that are distributed to growers that introduce growers to the decision support tools (DSTs) that are being developed by PSA.
The PSA extension team also works with the cover crops councils from the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West to communicate project and grower needs with one another. This collaboration encourages the councils to work with one another and helps to get information out to a broader audience, exposing researchers and growers to different cover crop management strategies from across the country. With coordination across all PSA partners our PSA extension team can better create robust products and tools to more effectively deliver to growers the information they need.
The impact of extension efforts is evaluated in a variety of ways. The reach and usefulness of websites and online tools can be tracked using Google Analytics and random surveys of users who visit the site. The DSTs include a link to provide feedback. Workshops and trainings are typically evaluated using pre- and post- questionnaires to identify changes in knowledge and plans to implement learned materials. Conferences, such as the annual cover crop council meetings, include event surveys.