Regenerative agriculture

College of Agricultural Sciences

Soil and Crop Sciences



(Baca, Kit Carson, Logan, Prowers, Washington, Weld)

Primary Topic:

Food and Agriculture

Other Topics:

Natural Resources and Sustainability

Lead Mentor:  

Meagan Schipanski

Associate Professor

Internship Overview:

This internship will support the NRCS-funded Farmers Advancing Regenerative Systems (FARMS) project and related field experiments focused on the sustainability of cropping systems of the High Plains region. The FARMS project includes 30 collaborating producers interested in adopting regenerative agricultural practices across eastern Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. In addition, the intern will have an opportunity to participate in extension and outreach activities related to agronomy/cropping systems management on eastern Colorado farms. Funding for the intern’s travel for field sampling and participation in extension events will be provided, including occasional overnight hotel stays in June. The ideal candidate will be based in Fort Collins to support sample processing in July and August.

Goals, Scope and Objectives:

The internship Goal is to conduct on-farm soil health sampling, lab analyses, and generate a written summary for producers. Scope: The intern will assist with field sampling on participating Colorado farms in June. Some trips may require overnight stays. The intern will then help with soil processing and lead one of the lab-based soil health analyses primarily in July. The intern will also help with outreach and communications support and field work as needed working in partnership with the extension mentor and other members of the research lab. The Objective is to effectively complete the final soil health assessment of participating farms and communicate the results through multiple outlets.

With which stakeholder group(s) will the intern work?

The project this intern will support is led by the Colorado Conservation Tillage Association, a producer-led organization. The participants in the FARMS project are producers who are keenly interested in the soil health outcomes of their management systems. One request they made after the baseline sampling in 2020 was a more rapid turnaround of results from the field sampling to better inform next year’s management. Thus, the intern will help speed up our processing time and will also then be able to engage with stakeholders as we share the results.

What student learning outcomes do you anticipate and what are the opportunities for professional development?

The student intern will gain a deep understanding of varied production systems across the High Plains. The intern will gain experience with field soil sampling methods, lab-based soil health assessments, and written and oral communication skills. The intern will have the opportunity to attend regional field days. By working in partnership with the extension mentor, the intern will also gain a broader understanding of how extension works through helping with other communications and field work as needed throughout the summer. The student will gain experience in informal education and how to select the best form of communication for an audience.
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