Saturday, 15 July 2006

Using the Logic Model to Build Partnerships for Abating Ammonia Emissions from Dairy Farms.

J. Mark Powell1, Ellen Taylor-Powell2, Richard Klemme2, Timm Johnson3, Larry Bruss4, and Tom Misselbrook5. (1) USDA-ARS, US Dairy Forage Research Center, 1925 Linden Drive West, Madison, WI 53706, (2) Univ of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, Lake Street, Madison, WI 53706, (3) Wisconsin Dept Ag. Trade and Consumer Protection, Madison, WI 53701, (4) Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI 53711, (5) Institute for Grasslands and Environmental Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon, United Kingdom

Partnerships are key to understanding and solving complex issues facing agriculture. Yet, policy makers, agricultural research and extension, agribusiness and producers often have different interests and mandates, and therefore different approaches to the development and implementation of technologies that enhance farm profitability and environmental performance. All stakeholders need a common understanding of the real and perceived risks of alternative policies and technologies, and their compatibility with existing production practices. To respond to this need, the “Partnership in Understanding and Abating Ammonia Emissions from Wisconsin Dairy Farms” was created in March 2004 among research, extension, policy and producer groups. The “logic model” was used to provide an organizational framework that focused discussion and understanding, to identify the inputs, activities and outputs of each partner, and to create an action plan and a process for achieving agreed upon desired outcomes. Two logic models were created. The overall partnership logic model showed the role of each stakeholder and how they interrelate and contribute to the achievement of the ultimate goal, reduction in ammonia emissions. This overall logic model helped facilitate discussion, understanding and direction among the partners. It has been considered a roadmap that highlights and communicates the end destination and routes for getting there. The component research logic model was developed as a research planning exercise. It depicts in more detail the activities and outcomes for the research component, which feeds into the overall partnership (overall partnership logic model). The research logic model included activities such as field trials to evaluate tradeoffs between ammonia emissions and nitrate leaching when manure is land-applied. In summary, the logic model framework helped the partnership focus initial activities and initiated a process of planning future work. It helped us understand the nature of our partnership and the value of working collaboratively. It helped us focus on and articulate an ultimate end goal, and identify the contributions of each partner in achieving that desired end result. It has given us a one-page pictorial representation that shows the intended flow of action from investments (inputs) to activities and outputs to short, medium and long-term outcomes.

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