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By definition, “field days” are those events in which you spend the majority of your time “in the field.” Generally, that means being out-of-doors, on-location showing people something you want them to see or do. Field days are great opportunities to educate stakeholders about a best management practice (BMP) in person. Having a BMP expert available to answer questions strengthens the lesson. It can also be beneficial if the land or business owner is available to give their personal testimony about how the BMP has benefited them. When holding a field day, try to tailor activities to the needs and situations of the participants and make sure the format invites questions and conversation. Although the term “field day” is closely associated with agricultural conservation practice demonstration, it might also mean taking a group to perform water quality monitoring, holding an activity day at a local park or fairgrounds, or conducting a watershed tour.
As with all events, you will need to define the purpose of the field day. Is it to showcase a best management practice that you would like others to adopt? Is it to gain the support of your local officials? Clearly communicate the purpose of the day to your intended audience so that they will participate.
The University of Minnesota Extension service has created a Best Practices for Field Days program to help environmental professionals plan for a field day. A thorough search of the website will lead you to six practices that should be incorporated into field days, tips on event preparation, and evaluation tools for your day.