The Discovery Farms® model was originated by the University of Wisconsin as a way to better understand the impact of on-farm practices on water quality through applied, field-level research, outreach, and understanding efforts. It is a producer lead and results oriented program.
A Discovery Farm is an operating farm cooperatively participating in an on-farm systems research/evaluation/demonstration project. The goal of the Discovery Farm programs is to:
- Increase understanding of agricultural impacts on water quality, and other natural resources, and work toward reducing adverse impacts though a collaborative approach;
- Integrate outreach and research programs with environmental management and regulatory efforts;
- Provide research-based information on agricultural production and natural resource management to public policymakers;
- Promote the economic viability of agriculture across diverse livestock and cropping systems.