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Get paid to research watering systems

 
Donald Kenning
Posts: 78
Location: Tri-Cities, Washington
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fungi hugelkultur trees
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Hi all

I was looking through Grants.gov and saw a grant for research named
USDA-NIFA-AFRI-005822
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: Water for Agriculture Challenge Area
Department of Agriculture

The announcement can be found here.

This a grant set of about $10 million but no individual grant can be given greater than $500,000. And a wide variety of entities can apply, including individuals (people like you and me). See Figure 1.

These moneys are for people (or universities, non-profits, etc) who want to study the health effects on humans/animals/plants using "non-traditional" water for the crops. It is coming from the people doing food safety, you know, part of that "feeding the world" myth people believe in. The non traditional water sources are recycled, brackish and desalinated water use in dry areas. I found a supporting document that kinda shows the scope of the work (Figure 2)

When I saw this announcement, the first person I thought of was Brad Lancaster who lives in a desert (Arizona). He wrote the Rainwater Harvesting books. I think he might get a few bucks to study the "grey water" coming out of his washing machine. Or a number of other people on this forum that farm that might be able to help with this study.

Some of these grants are a direct result of the report "A New Biology for the 21st Century: Ensuring the United States Leads the Coming Biology Revolution." 2009 by the National Research counsel. I read a little bit of it. I think it might be helpful, however, I could tell big ag has gotten their hand in this report perpetuating some of the "other myths" most of us do not believe in.

So, come on people! No one has a perspective on this topic as advanced as the people in this forum. Who knows, we may even author some real "science-based" reports that everyone keeps crying about.

The supporting document can be found here.
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list of applicant types
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Scope of work, more or less
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
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One of the surprises of water conservation is, here in Maine we actually get 5 inches more rain in the last 20 years then previously, but the problem with averages is that they are never simple. In down to earth terms we get a 100 year flood about every five years! All joking aside, what we are experiencing here is deep fluctuations in rain and snow fall, so it would probably surprise people but a lot of big and small agriculture here, irrigates!

The grant is unique and piques my interest.

I have to have a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan in place for my sheep due to their manure, but of an even bigger concern is of the silage bunker. They claim the resulting liquid coming off the pile as it compresses and pickles, is said to be worse than manure!! Yet when old silage is some of the best compost we have, and when a sheep or cow dies (or many of them at one time) within two months time all but the skull and femur bones is broken down. That is pretty amazing due to the sheer amount of heat waste-silage produces. It really would be great to channel that waste into something beneficial for the farm. It is actually a fairly big amount. Corn silage alone which is subjected here to frost-dry-down per our cow nutritionist puts the silage at 66% dry matter. In other words 1/3 of it is water. It is around 13,000 tons of water if I did the math right.

Yeah it would be interesting to put that to use.
 
Donald Kenning
Posts: 78
Location: Tri-Cities, Washington
14
fungi hugelkultur trees
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Ya know ... I might just go for a grant to do the last bulleted item on that list of things on the "scope of work" figure above.

"How will they communicate the message to agriculture and nonagriculture about conversation and water use", That is pretty loose. That might be a recording of "a bunch of hippies smoking dope in the basement talking about how the world should be". But I jest.

How do you "communicate" with people? Really? I could write a 1 page thing about youtube, TV advertizing, starting a web site, an iphone app, a video game and the most effective thing of all. Get the biggest farmer in a region to bend to your will through intimidation, the rest of the farmers will follow. For the non-agriculture, I would dress the message up in something pretty. Something, millions would give their eye teeth to be part of, and be pretty themselves.

See the 6 things that are the goal of "A New Biology for the 21st Century: Ensuring the United States Leads the Coming Biology Revolution." in Figure 1.
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6 things, according to the report.
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