REAP: Researching the Effectiveness of Agricultural Programs: Project Archive

Oct 2020 | Archived Projects, Library, Water Quality

This project has ended. Archived project materials are available below.

Approximately $96 million was invested between FY2010-2016 in agricultural incentives and other activities intended to influence on-farm decision-making and improve water quality in four priority watersheds (Maumee, Lower Fox, Saginaw, and Genesee) through Focus Area 3 of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). While many evaluations of agricultural conservation programs focus on environmental outcomes, REAP investigated whether investments result in long-term changes in voluntary on-farm decision-making that improve water quality outcomes. REAP began with the premise that implementing conservation practices yields water quality benefits and sought to better understand if and how investments can be tailored so that the resulting environmental benefits and conservation-oriented culture at the farm-scale will persist if/when incentive programs are no longer available.

From November 2017 to January 2020, through a cooperative agreement with the US EPA and GLRI, the REAP team completed empirical analyses of primary and secondary data sources to investigate physical, social, and economic outcomes of GLRI Focus Area 3 investments. In addition, a review of GLRI-supported models and decision-support tools was carried out. Stand-alone reports were completed for each of these sub-tasks and are included as appendices D-J. Key findings from each of those sub-task reports have been synthesized in the final report to better understand obstacles and opportunities for enhanced engagement with farmers that will lead to sustainable changes in on-farm decision-making and water quality improvements.

For More Information

Nicole Zacharda
Program Manager
Great Lakes Commission
[email protected]