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Engaging dairy farmers to improve targeting and adaptation of agricultural conservation practices

Despite millions of dollar of incentive are available every year for implementation of agricultural conservation practices, many farmers choose not to participate due to lack of involvement of farmers in decision making process. Therefore, the water quality in different waterbodies has not improved that way we planned not only in any individual state but also throughout the United States (U.S). Consequently, engaging with farmers in our locality is the way forward through one-on-one interview about existing conservation practices in their farms as well as their interest in the future conservation efforts. Selection of array of conservation practices for interview which are prevalent in the local watersheds is the key to improve the status quo of water quality. Farmers’ opinion should be incorporated into conservation practice optimization process using different techniques in computer modeling framework. Additionally, follow-up interviews with farmers are required  to transfer targeted recommendations and determine their reaction and intentions to adopt conservation practices. The hypothesis is that farmers will view the interview process and presentation of modeling outcomes in positive direction which will build the trust between researchers and farmers leading to a high likelihood of adaptation of conservation practices.