Skip to main content

Monday Morning Team Meetings

Every Monday morning the whole team meets for debriefing, scheduling and presenting work. I really love the meetings for how collaborative they are; everyone shares what they want to accomplish for the week, we update each other on how our projects are going, discuss if any field work needs extra hands, and every week someone gives a presentation about their project. The meeting usually lasts about two hours, the first of which is for debriefing and scheduling and the second, for the presentation.

The purpose of the presentations is to give everyone an understanding of the history behind a project, its purpose, and methods. Quirine’s team consists of about twelve people (post docs, grad students, interns, extension associate, lab manager, and research specialists) and so far we have had nine project presentations. The discussions and questions are very interesting and often provide helpful feedback for the project. I learn a lot just from seeing how and where research, industry, extension and production intersect.

Today, a post doc presented about the whole farm nutrient management planning project and the New York phosphorus runoff index project- both of which were born within Quirine’s Nutrient Management SPEAR program may years ago. Whole farm nutrient management planning corresponds inputs (animals, crops produced, feed purchased, etc.) and outputs (products sold such as milk, animals, and crops) to nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels. The difference between the inputs and outputs may predict how efficient a farm’s nutrient use is and influence management strategies to prevent nutrient loss. The New York phosphorus runoff index project started about fifteen years ago when Quirine and a large number of collaborators created a scoring system for how susceptible a field is to phosphorus loss. The NRCS (under the USDA) mandated that fields needed to be assessed according to land grant university nutrient recommendations for phosphorus levels before fertilizer or manure application. The original scoring system did not account for different management practices which slow nutrient loss and so Cornell’s SPEAR program received funding to re-draft the scoring system.

The entire interaction; starting with the NRCS creating a mandate with the purpose of ‘minimizing non-point source pollution of surface and groundwater resources’ and ‘protecting air quality’ to Cornell’s Spear program creating the scoring system, then farmers and consultants using it and providing feedback about user experience with the scoring system- its huge groups of people responding to each other and working together. It’s a slow process which can feel grid-locked sometimes but its been an awesome experience being surrounded by it and seeing how it all comes together.

This is almost everyone on the team. We don’t have ice cream during team meetings, but we probably should…

This is almost everyone on the team. We don’t have ice cream during team meetings, but we probably should…

Skip to toolbar