Iowa Learning Farms Webinar: Designing Decision Support Systems to Facilitate Farmland Diversification

October 19, 2022, 2:06 pm | Alena Whitaker

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar Oct. 26 at noon CDT will feature Matt Nowatzke, digital agroecosystems researcher, Iowa State University.

Nowatzke’s research combines digital agriculture, data science and human-centered design with respect to agroecosystems. His work includes approaches to system design that incorporate input from users and stakeholders to facilitate better decision making and outcomes in diversification.

Nowatzke Affinity Diagram.Iowa Learning Farms is an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach conservation and water quality education program.

In the webinar, “Designing Decision Support Systems to Facilitate Farmland Diversification: Opportunities and Barriers,” Nowatzke will discuss the potential value of farmland diversification in improving the farm economy while also providing ecosystem services. He will describe decision support systems and the importance of gathering inputs from stakeholders and identifying end-user needs. Drawing on learnings from interviews with farmers, Nowatzke will cover ways in which decision support systems could better facilitate farmland diversification decision making.

“Approaching decision making with the input of end users is a critical part to streamlining successful on-farm diversification planning,” said Nowatzke. “Building from the perspective of end-user needs and goals will enable the development of decision tools that will facilitate on-farm conservation practices. As decision support systems are implemented for diversification planning, ongoing collaboration and interaction between developers and end users will be crucial to evaluate outcomes and develop likely additional interventions.”

Participants in Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinars are encouraged to ask questions of the presenters. People from all backgrounds and areas of interest are encouraged to join.

Webinar access instructions

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before noon CDT Oct. 26:

The webinar also will be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time. Archived webinars are available at

A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit has been applied for. Those who participate in the live webinar are eligible. Information about how to apply to receive the CEU will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

Upcoming webinars in the series

  • Nov. 2: Adam Schnieders, Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
  • Nov. 9: John McMaine, South Dakota State University.
  • Nov. 16: Sarah Noggle, The Ohio State University.
  • Nov. 23: Jacqueline Comito, Iowa Learning Farms.
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