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News Release

Cover Crops Forums to Explore Soil-Health-Building Opportunities

Soil Probe

Contact: Petra Barnes
NRCS State Public Information Officer
Office Number: 720-544-2808
Fax Number: 720-544-2965

Denver, CO - Farmers, ranchers, researchers, agricultural business operators and conservationists are invited to participate in forums about cover crops and soil health beginning at 7:45 a.m. on Tuesday, February 18, at seven different locations in Colorado.

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is partnering with numerous natural resource partners and stakeholders to conduct 200 forums across the country simultaneously.  The sessions 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, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Jason Weller, Ray Gaesser, Iowa farmer and president of the American Soybean Association, and a panel of farmers.

“The importance of healthy soil was exemplified during a recent dust storm in southeastern Colorado,”states Phyllis Ann Philipps, NRCS State Conservationist, Colorado.  “The storm caused road closures and the dust was so thick that driver’s visibility was compromised causing a multi-car pileup.  Effective conservation practices can reduce the amount of soil erosion caused by wind and these forums will help foster that very importance message.  Soil Health can improve the resilience of soil to continued drought.”

In addition to the Soil-health expert leading the live stream, there will be local experts at each of the seven forums in Colorado to lead the local discussion and answer questions.  Attendees will have the opportunity to share and provide ideas about their operations in their efforts to conserve and improve the quality of their soils.  Participant recommendations will also be forwarded to national researchers and policy makers

Because seating is limited, reservations are required. The seven Colorado forum locations and contact information is listed below.  Please be sure and alert the forum moderator of any special accommodations needed at the time the reservation is made.   



Contact - Moderator


Otero Junior College

Michael Casper


Monte Vista COOP

Mike Collins


Grand Junction Field Office

Theresa McGovern

970-242-4511 ext. 126

Alamosa Field Office

Richard Sparks

719-532-6432 ext. 3

Greeley Area Office

Jon Wicke

970-330-0380 ext. 208

Morgan Community College - Founders Room

CW Scott

970-867-8568 ext. 113

Burlington Community Center

Kristi Gay

719-346-7699 ext. 105