SFA’s Midwest Soil Health Summit is THE place for both advanced and basic soil health training.
Registration is now open for “the best conference I’ve ever attended,” aka the 2018 SFA Midwest Soil Health Summit, set for Feb. 14-15 at Bigwood Event Center in Fergus Falls.
This year’s theme is “The Stories & Science of Soil Health.”
- Dr. Kris Nichols, chief scientist, Rodale Institute
- Dr. Allen Williams, grazing and soil health expert
- Kent Solberg, SFA Livestock & Grazing Specialist
- Justin Morris, NRCS soil health specialist
- Don Reicosky, retired USDA soil scientist
- Ann Marie Journey, NRCS researcher
- David Bartok, Quorum Labs
- Cody Nelson, Prairie Creek Seed
- Doug Landblom, NDSU researcher
Also returning are the popular discussion tables, loads of built-in networking time, and more.
Cost: $100 for SFA members; $150 for nonmembers.
Sponsor/Exhibitor Registration is NOW OPEN for 2018
If desired, pay your sponsor/exhibitor fees online here.
Online payers must still fill out application form and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org for approval.
A limited number of scholarships are available for ag professionals, agency employees, and crop consultants to attend the 2018 MSHS. Scholarship recipients will receive admission to the two-day event, one night’s hotel, and all meals during the event (approx. $400 value). Mileage will not be reimbursed.
Scholarship recipients agree to host/conduct at least one soil health-related educational event, consistent to agency/organizational mission, in 2018; SFA will help recipients through the event-hosting process through our Soil Health Network. They also may attend a special morning session on Feb. 14, “Soil Health Basics,” and must attend a Feb. 14 lunch that discusses SFA’s Soil Health Network event support.
Scholarships are limited; applicants who have not attended the MSHS before may receive preference.
About Our Speakers
Dr. Kristine Nichols, chief scientist at the Rodale Institute, examines the impacts of management such as crop rotation, tillage practices, organic production, cover crops, and livestock grazing on soil aggregation, water relationships, and glomalin. She received a Bachelor of Science in Plant Biology and in Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota, a Masters in Environmental Microbiology from West Virginia University, and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Maryland. Dr. Nichols has worked as a soil microbiologist with the USDA for over 14 years, the first three in Beltsville, Md., and then at Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory (NGPRL) in Mandan, N.D. for the next 11 years.
Dr. Allen Williams is a champion of the grass-fed beef industry as well as a leader in cutting edge grazing methodology. Dr. Williams is a sixth-generation family farmer and holds BS, MS degrees in Agriculture from Clemson University and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State. He spent 15 years in academia in research, teaching, and extension, and has written more than 300 peer-reviewed and popular press articles. In 2000, he left academia and founded LMC, LLC. Since that time, he has worked with more than 3,500 farmers and ranchers in the US, Canada, Mexico, and South America. Dr. Williams currently serves as Chairman of the Association of Family Farms, Co-Chair of the Grassfed Exchange, Co-Project Leader of the Pasture Project, Facilitator in the USDA BFRDP EET program, and lead investigator in soil microbial research as a replacement for chemical fertilizers. This will be his fourth MSHS appearance; he has also helped lead many SFA grazing and soil health field days over the past few years, including our popular summer “Dirt Rich” series.
Kent Solberg, SFA Livestock & Grazing Specialist, and his wife, Linda, have a diversified pasture-based livestock farm near Verndale, Minn., where they raise dairy, pork, eggs and beef. Solberg, who is an expert on livestock fencing, cover crop selection, wintering livestock, and an array of other innovative profit-focused soil health topics, serves as Livestock and Grazing Specialist and Minnesota Dairy Initiative Coordinator through the Sustainable Farming Association. He is also an instructor for SFA’s Deep Roots Farmer Development program and co-founded the Midwest Soil Health Summit in 2014. Kent was recently featured in an instructional video series discussing fencing, livestock watering, and more produced by frequent SFA collaborator The Pasture Project.
Doug Landblom is the NDSU Dickinson Research Extension Center’s Beef Cattle Specialist, whose primary research focus is in beef cattle systems. Landblom has always sought practical methods to reduce input cost without sacrificing animal performance. Having personal experience with cattle finishing in custom yards, he saw a need to study retained ownership in a vertically integrated business plan that integrated beef cattle production into a diverse crop rotation. Farmers and ranchers didn’t want to buy into such thinking; people said, “selling calves off the cow for an awesome price was good and backgrounding cattle all winter was not to their liking.” Besides, grain prices were skyrocketing and backgrounding/finishing budgets didn’t make sense. When a new wave of research opened up to study cover crops, soil health, and beef cattle production, his research focus changed. His goal over the last six years has been to identify the complementing holistic potential to improve soil quality through an alternative integrated grazing-based production system that generates income from cash crops (spring wheat and sunflowers) and beef income from yearling steers grazing annual forages in a diverse cropping system.
Lodging is available at the Country Inn and Suites connected to Bigwood Event Center. The hotel features a restaurant and bar as well as a Minnesota-shaped pool. To make a reservation, call 218.739.2211.
Midwest Soil Health Summit Archive
- 2017 – Dr. Allen Williams, Grant Breitkreutz, Kent Solberg, Ryan Stockwell, & More
- 2016 – Dr. Allen Williams, Jay Fuhrer, Scott Wells, Grant Breitkreutz, and more
- 2015 – Gabe Brown, Dr. Allen Williams, Jerry Doan, Wendy Taheri, and more
- 2014 – Gabe Brown, Richard Bieber, Jay Fuhrer, Ryan Stockwell, and more