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News Release

Contact:

Paige E. Buck, State Public Affairs Specialist

(217) 353-6606


Five IL Cover Crop Forums To Explore Soil Health

Champaign, IL— (January 28, 2014) — Farmers, ranchers, researchers, agricultural business operators and conservationists are invited to participate in forums about cover crops and soil health from 8:45 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, February 18, at five different locations in Illinois.

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is conducting five events simultaneously along with more than 200 other forums throughout the country. They will be 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 forums will feature live-streaming video of the national conference’s opening session featuring presentations by Howard G. Buffett, NRCS Chief Jason Weller, and a panel of successful Midwest farmers who use cover crops and improve soil health.

“By taking advantage of communications technology, local participants will be able to view discussions about the soil-health movement nationally,” says Illinois State Conservationist Ivan Dozier. “Then local farmers and partners can discuss the benefits of healthier soil and how we can make these ideas work here in Illinois.”

Dozier says special guests and a soil-health expert will be at each of the five Illinois forums and NRCS will lead the local discussion and answer questions. He says forum participants will also have the opportunity to provide ideas and recommendations that NRCS will forward to national researchers and policy makers.

The five Illinois forum locations are:

  1. Illinois Farm Bureau Auditorium, DeKalb County — 1350 West Prairie Drive, Sycamore, IL 60178.
  2. Illinois Department of Agriculture Auditorium, Sangamon County — 801 Sangamon Blvd, Springfield, IL 62704.
  3. Illinois Farm Credit Services Regional Office, Champaign County — 1100 Farm Credit Drive Mahomet, IL 61853.
  4. Farm Credit Building, Jefferson County — 410 Potomac Blvd. Mt. Vernon, IL 62864 (near the new Holiday Inn).
  5. Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, Jackson County — Southern IL Research Park, 1740 Innovation Drive Carbondale, IL 62903.

Because seating is limited, reservations are required. To participate, contact Kristi Einck at (217) 353-6600, or Kristi.einck@il.usda.gov.


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