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Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Policy Research

Improving NRCS’s Efforts to Sell Conservation

In a meeting between CBEAR and USDA employees from different agencies*, people had conflicting opinions about what approach would work best in a new outreach program on soil health.

Increasing Voluntary Support for NACD

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is funded by voluntary contributions from its member Conservation Districts. These contributions are used to provide districts with representation at the national level. Despite these collective benefits, not every district contributes the suggested annual contribution amount, and many do not contribute at all.

CBEAR Prize for Agri-Environmental Innovation

CBEAR offers an annual prize for agri-environmental innovation to recognize leaders who incorporate and celebrate the use of behavioral insights in program designs to improve agri-environmental programs.

FPAC Training

CBEAR created a training course that synthesizes the latest scientific knowledge about human behavior for the USDA Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) staff. The course contains three modules: Why Farmers Adopt Conservation Practices Applying Behavioral Insights to Sell Conservation Evidence Based Conservation Communication- How to Learn if your Conservation Communication is working These modules explore…
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Application to Current Policy

Results from Ag Values Project studies have shown that by changing the default starting price of a cost-share program, the government’s share could be reduced. Given the billions of dollars spent every year on agri-environmental cost-share programs by USDA and its partners, saving even a small portion would reduce government costs by millions of dollars.

Landowners name their voluntary cost-share

Ag Values Project: Agricultural Values, Innovation & Stewardship Enhancement Project CBEAR created the Ag Values Project project as a place to testbed behavioral insights in the agricultural context. By creating a “name-your-own cost-share” auction, we have been able to improve environmental outcomes, like water quality and invasive species control. Ag Values Project has demonstrated that…
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CBEAR Projects

Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research receives USDA grants The Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research (CBEAR), a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) national Center of Excellence that is housed in the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, has recently received multiple new grants to support innovative behavioral economics research at…
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Despite Resolutions, People Buy More Food After New Year

Despite New Year’s resolutions to eat better and lose weight, people buy the greatest amount of food after the holidays, says a study led by a University of Vermont researcher. The study, published by PLOS ONE, finds consumer spending on food increases by 15 percent over the holiday season (Thanksgiving to New Year), with most…
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Characteristics of a good year-end fundraising letter

Another December day; another solicitation letter. The end of the calendar year is approaching, and that means that fundraising letters compete with catalogues and holiday cards for space in the mailbox. Some fundraising letters are compelling. They make one want to immediately write a check, volunteer for community service or pledge some exceptional amount. And…
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CANR cuts ribbon – Center for Experimental and Applied Economics opens at Townsend Hall

When Dean Mark Rieger arrived on the University of Delaware campus in 2012, one of his first priorities at the helm of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources was to establish a state-of-the-art research center for applied economics. Roughly two years later, UD President Patrick Harker, Charles G. Riordan, deputy provost for research and scholarship,…
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