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News Release

Local Cover Crop Forum to Explore Opportunities to Build Soil Health

PHOENIX (Feb. 7, 2014) – Farmers, ranchers, researchers, agricultural business operators and conservationists are invited to participate in a forum on cover crops and soil health, hosted by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, at three locations across Arizona.

This local session is one of more than 225 forums taking place throughout the country 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 forum will feature live-streaming video of the national conference opening session featuring presentations by Howard G. Buffett of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, NRCS Chief Jason Weller, Ray Gaesser, Iowa Farmer and President of the American Soybean Association, and a panel of four leading cover crop and soil health farmers.

NRCS State Conservationist Keisha Tatem said the local-level forums will provide NRCS and its conservation partners and stakeholders a platform to more fully organize and enable state and local soil health efforts at the grassroots level.

“The local forums will provide an excellent opportunity for participants to discuss how to build soil health, improve yields, curb erosion, manage pests and build resilience in farming systems here in Arizona—and to assess opportunities for, or barriers to, the broader adoption of soil health management systems,” she said.

To participate in the local forum, visit or call 602-280-8849 to RSVP for the Flagstaff, Maricopa or Tucson "brown-bag" event.