Agricultural Adaptation for Climate Resilience: Challenges and Opportunities for Technical Advisors

Agricultural Adaptation for Climate Resilience: Challenges and Opportunities for Technical Advisors

Julie Doll
Michigan State University
Time Slot: 
Working Groups and Trainings 1
Session Type: 
Working Group

Farmers and ranchers have managed weather risk for thousands of years, but new risks associated with climate change necessitate more proactive, directed adaptation efforts.

Agricultural adaptation offers unique opportunities and barriers to effective climate change adaptation. Despite the growing awareness of the potential for agriculture to deliver climate solutions, adoption of conservation practices to realize this potential remains low. Research points to a number of barriers to adaptation: perceptions of climate change, advisors’ lack of confidence communicating about climate change and effective adaptation options, few opportunities for collaborative adaptation programming, and insufficient return on agricultural resilience investments.

Farmer advisors--including extension, agency, and private sector consultants--are uniquely positioned to help crop and livestock producers reduce risks and capture new opportunities through ecosystem-based, climate-resilient adaptation strategies. As trusted sources of information, advisors can help farmers identify new weather-related challenges, plan adaptive responses, and advocate for increased public and private investments in agricultural climate solutions.

This workshop brings together technical advisors working with crop and livestock producers to explore barriers and opportunities for reducing climate risk and enhancing climate resilience for their clientele.

Framed by an overview of adaptation resources that reduce climate risk and enhance the resilience of agricultural businesses, panelists will facilitate discussions on three topics: 1) effective outreach and coaching strategies; 2) useful agricultural adaptation resources; and 3) gaps in resources, programming, and networks.

The insights gained through this working group will be published as an article in a journal in order to inform agricultural extension and outreach more broadly.


Jeffrey Andresen, Michigan State University
Tim Boring, Michigan Agri-Business Association
Adam Dowling, NRCS-USDA
Laura Edwards, South Dakota State University Extension
Monica Jean, Michigan State University Extension
Laura Lengnick, Cultivating Resilience, LLC.
Hans Schmitz, Purdue Extension
Marilyn Thelen, Michigan State University Extension