Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cover Crops and Soil Health Forum to Take Place February 18


You are invited to attend a free, live broadcast of the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health and discuss how to build soil health, improve yields, curb erosion, manage pests and build resilience in your farming system. On Feb. 18, locations in every state across the country will host Cover Crops and Soil Health Forums where farmers will have the opportunity to learn from one another while exploring local and national perspectives on cover crops.

Facilitated discussions on local issues pertaining to cover crops will follow a live-streamed broadcast of opening sessions from the national conference in Omaha, Nebraska, including a dialogue with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (invited) and Howard G. Buffett, plus a panel discussion with expert farmers, including Dave Brandt from Carroll, Ohio. Because the national conference attendance is limited, the local forums represent a way to include farmers, educators and researchers across the country in the emerging conversation about the use and benefits of cover crops.

"This will be a great opportunity for farmers interested in cover crops and soil health to meet up with like-minded individuals from their local area to discuss both local and national issues related to cover crops," said Dr. Rob Myers, conference chairman and Regional Director of Extension Programs, North Central Region SARE. "We hope that farmers will come prepared with questions and ideas that they can feed back to USDA about programs and assistance needed for cover crops and soil health." These comments will be collected by staff at the local sites as part of the local discussion process.

The Cover Crops and Soil Health Forums will be held on Feb. 18 starting at 9:00 am to noon EST at the following Ohio locations:

Wayne County Administrative Building, 428 West Liberty St., Wooster, OH, 44691. Call: OSU Extension Rory Lewandowski at 330-264-8722.

To RSVP for the following NRCS offices contact NRCS Soil Scientist Steve Baker at 614-255-2483 or e-mail at steven.baker@oh.usda.gov

NRCS office at 7868 CR 140, Findlay, OH 45840

NRCS office at 1000 Locust St., Owensville, OH 45160

NRCS office at 220 West Livingston St., Celina, OH 45822

NRCS office at 771 East Main St., Suite 100, Newark, OH 43055

NRCS office at 9711 East Pike Rd., Cambridge, OH 43725

NRCS office at 831 College Ave., Suite B., Lancaster, OH 43130

Please RSVP to ensure adequate seating and to get specific details about the forum as programs will vary by location.

Both the national conference and the local forums are jointly funded by SARE and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, with planning support from NRCS, the Midwest Cover Crops Council and the Soil and Water Conservation Society. The Omaha conference is invitation only; the local forums are free and open to the public.

For more information about the Cover Crops and Soil Health Forums and a list of forum locations, visit www.SARE.org/covercropconference.

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