The Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate project was formed to build capacity among Extension professionals and other livestock advisors to address climate change issues. We offer a case study of how a small team can build national capacity for new topics. We used a coordinated multiregional approach to leverage national efforts applied to locally relevant climatology, production systems, and climate issues. Key insights on overcoming challenges centered on (a) engaging audiences with local, historical trends and agricultural impacts, (b) beginning with adaptation, rather than mitigation of climate change, and (c) providing strategies for effectively communicating science during controversy. Program participants found the project valuable and substantially increased their ability and motivation to apply climate science.
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Powers, C., Stowell, R., Heemstra, J., Whitefield, E., Harrison, J., Schmidt, D., Jacobson, L., Smith, D., Mukhtar, S., Knox, P., Risse, M., Hawkins, G., Pronto, J., & Gooch, C. (2018). Building Capacity within Extension to Address Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate. Journal of Extension, 56(1), Article 16. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/joe/vol56/iss1/16