What's Up at the USDA Office?

Soil Health Workshop: Soil Health for Your Farm’s Wealth
If you’re interested in learning more about improving your farm’s bottom line, attend a soil health workshop Wednesday, February 21 at Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC). The all-day workshop (8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.) highlights include:
• How to keep rainwater from leaving your farm.
• The importance of soil biology and beneficial insects.
• How to profit from soil health data.

Sponsored by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation, and NICC, the workshop is free and offers a free lunch and credits for certified crop advisers. For more details and registration information, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/events/soil-health-for-your-farms-wealth. Keynote speakers include the following:
- Jimmy Emmons leads Trust in Food’s partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Connected Ag Project, America’s Conservation Ag Movement, and Trust in Beef; coalition-driven conservation programs developed to accelerate the adoption of conservation agriculture at scale. Jimmy and his wife, Ginger, own and operate Emmons Farm in Leedey, OK, where they farm 2,000 acres and have 5,000 acres of rangeland where they run 300 head of cows and calves in an integrated row-crop and livestock operation that optimizes water resources, reduces erosion and improves organic material in the soils. He is a public speaker, educator, mentor and advocate for conservation management practices to improve producers’ resiliency to weather, operational efficiency and profitability.

- Mike Bredeson, PhD grew up in south central Minnesota on a corn, soy, hay and cattle operation. Mike went to South Dakota State University for his undergraduate and doctoral work. At South Dakota, Mike began to develop his interests in soils, insects and cover crops in the lab of Dr. Jonathan Lundgren. They have been working together ever since. Mike’s research has involved interseeding cover crops, insect pest management, pesticide toxicity and all things regenerative ag. Mike’s main interest is in educating the public about the fundamental ecological principles that dictate processes such as nutrient cycling, pest and predator populations, decomposition and more. This fundamental knowledge is what makes us adaptive and well-equipped land managers.

- Mitch Hora is a seventh generation Washington, IA farmer and the Founder/CEO of Continuum Ag, a soil health software company. Continuum Ag launched its TopSoil tool in 2020 and has amassed a footprint across 43 states and 20 countries, helping farmers document farm practices, make sound regen ag decisions and monetize their Carbon Intensity. Farmer data has never been more important and Continuum’s approach is to put farmers in the driver’s seat. For his efforts, Mitchell has been named to the Forbes Under 30 list, AgGrad 30 Under 30 list and is a Soil Health Champion with the National Association of Conservation Districts.