From Dirt to Table: Embracing Soil Health

On March 12, the Sustainable Farming Association (SFA) hosts the annual Midwest Soil Health Summit at Gustavus Adolphus College. Leading the program is soil scientist and MacArthur Fellow Dr. David Montgomery, author of “Growing a Revolution,” which makes the case for agriculture that is profitable, productive, cools the planet, and restores life to the land.

Additional summit speakers include Kristin Brennan (NRCS Assistant State Soil Scientist); Jodi DeJong-Hughes (Minnesota Extension Educator); Dr. Ann Marie Journey (Soil Health Coordinator – ACES); Thom Petersen (Commissioner, Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture); Kent Solberg (SFA Livestock & Grazing Specialist); Carissa Spencer (NRCS State Agronomist); and a farmer panel featuring Jerry Ackermann, Grant Breitkreutz and Bruce Tiffany.

Click here for a full schedule and registration information.

Please note, the Summit is nearly sold out & no on-site walk-up admission will be available.

The Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports the development and enhancement of sustainable farming systems through innovation, demonstration, education, and farmer-to-farmer networking. SFA is an inclusive farmer networking organization that works for anyone seeking innovative methods to protect Minnesota’s food-producing resources. From urban farmers to rural grain producers, SFA promotes soil health and sustainable techniques that boost farmer profitability and local food availability.

Learn more about the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota.

What is soil health?

According to SFA, there are five Principles of Soil Health:

  • Keep the soil covered
  • Minimize soil disturbance
  • Increase crop diversity
  • Keep living roots in the soil
  • Integration of livestock

Some of these practices are a change for farmers who have traditionally tilled fields between crops. However, with consumers pushing for more sustainable practices, farmers are beginning to see the importance of shifting to more environmentally-sound methods. Using cover crops can control erosion, attract pollinating insects, break up heavy soils, and reduce weeds, maintaining the integrity of the soil for years to come.

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