Spring is Coming! Reflections on Growing the AgClimate Network

By: Brooke Saari

“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow” ~ Proverb from Guinea

Spring in the Pacific Northwest. Top Left: Skagit Valley Tulips, courtesy of Brooke Saari; Top Right: Apple Tree in bloom, courtesy Washington State University; Bottom Left: Cherry Orchard in The Dalles, courtesy of Oregon State University and Jan Sonnenmair Photography, Flickr CC 2.0; Bottom Right: Spring Daffodils, courtesy Brent M., Flickr CC 2.0.

Winter is in its final stages and spring is knocking on our door. As a Florida native living in Washington, I for one am ready for some sunshine, flowers and warmth! While I dream of that glorious spring, I’d like to reflect on what an impressive year of growth the Agriculture Climate Network experienced in 2016, and what we are shooting for over the next year.

In the past year we published over 50 articles discussing a wide range of agriculture- and climate-related topics, posing questions, and reporting on projects reaching completion (such as the Big Wood project). Writers on our team provided thought-provoking analyses (see the five-part climate model series), scientific perspectives on current issues (such as fire and drought, changes in cold hardiness and shifts in agroecological classes) and highlights of researchers’ work (such as the tools and management methods relating to a new stripper header tool & growing condition analogues). We even recruited a new member for our editorial team after her great article on extending climate science.

As we continue to expand AgClimate.net, we have been working on improvements to the site. In addition to behind-the-scenes technical changes, the largest change has been our switch from email notices about new articles to a newsletter system. Now you will not only be able to follow our blog on the website and social media, but also receive a newsletter every two or three months with direct links to recent articles, important information and upcoming events. By the close of 2016 our newsletter readership had grown to 80, and now, as of early 2017, we have over 200 subscribers. If you haven’t already signed up to receive AgClimate newsletters make sure to sign up on our home page. And check out our newsletter archive to catch up on any you have missed.

Our goal for 2017 is to keep growing the Agriculture Climate Network, with more subscribers, readers, and more in-depth discussions. We will continue to share analyses, resources, and solutions through our blog articles, and expand the link to available climate change related resources.

The more we interact and connect to discuss your needs and your specific questions about regional agriculture and climate issues, the better we can tailor our efforts to meet your needs. Drop us a quick line in the comment box on the posts and we will respond. Take time to click on the ‘ask a question’ tab on the website and we will find the right person to answer your question. Comment and connect with us on Facebook or Twitter @AgClimateNet. We have a group of wonderful scientists and educators as well as a growing list of readers that make up our network. We’ll work to connect you with researchers and educators who have relevant expertise to address the topics you are interested in. These discussions and connections are key for the Agriculture Climate Network to continue to provide a platform for information and dialogue on agriculture and climate.

With your help, we can focus on providing the knowledge and tools that are most relevant and useful to the diverse professionals interested in climate change and agriculture in the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help producers, policy-makers, consultants, researchers and others explore the complexity of climate change impacts for the wide range of agricultural systems in our region, navigate questions about what can be done to mitigate those impacts and adapt to them, and share resources, innovations and solutions that are being developed.

As the days get longer and we look toward the growing season we would like to thank you for your continued support and to welcome all of our newcomers. Let’s make 2017 a great year, and keep the dialogue building.

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