Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Local Cover Crop Forum to Explore Opportunities to Build Soil Health

Farmers, ranchers, researchers, agricultural business operators and conservationists are invited to participate in a forum on cover crops and soil health, hosted by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service at 8:45 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, February 18, at six different locations in Ohio. 

This local session is one of more than 225 forums taking place throughout the country in concert with the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health in Omaha, Nebraska, sponsored by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
In addition to providing a venue to discuss local cover crop and soil health opportunities, benefits and barriers, the local forums in Findlay, Owensville, Celina, Newark, Cambridge, and Lancaster, Ohio will feature live-streaming video of the national conference.  The national conference opening session will feature presentations by Howard G. Buffett of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, NRCS Chief Jason Weller, Ray Gaesser, Farmer and President of the American Soybean Association, and a panel of four leading cover crop and soil health farmers including Ohio farmer David Brandt.
NRCS State Conservationist Terry Cosby said the local-level forums will provide NRCS and its conservation partners and stakeholders a platform to more fully organize and enable state and local soil health efforts at the grassroots level.
“The local forums will provide an excellent opportunity for participants to discuss how to build soil health, improve yields, curb erosion, manage pests and build resilience in farming systems here in Ohio—and to assess opportunities for, or barriers to, the broader adoption of soil health management systems,” Cosby said. 
Cosby said the local forum participants will also have the opportunity to provide ideas and recommendations to the leaders, researchers, innovators and policy makers attending the national conference.
To participate in an Ohio forum, contact Steve Baker, NRCS State Soil Scientist, at steven.baker@oh.usda.govby February 10, 2014, to ensure adequate seating and to get additional details about the event.

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