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News Release

Kansas Forums to Examine the Promise and Opportunity of Cover Crops, Soil Health

District Conservationist inspecting clover as part of rotation and cover crop.

Salina, Kansas, January 22, 2014—You are invited to attend a free, live broadcast of the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health and discuss how to build soil health, improve yields, curb erosion, manage pests, and build resilience in your farming system. 

The Cover Crops and Soil Health Forums will be held on February 18 at over 200 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and extension offices nationwide, and are being organized in conjunction with the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health in Omaha, Nebraska.  The national conference is sponsored by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), and USDA/NRCS.  In Kansas, there will be six locations that will host forums where producers will have the opportunity to learn from one another while exploring local and national perspectives on cover crops.      

Facilitated discussions on local issues pertaining to cover crops will follow a live-streamed broadcast of opening sessions from the national conference, including a dialogue with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (invited) and Howard G. Buffett, plus a panel discussion with expert farmers.  Because the national conference attendance is limited, the local forums represent a way to include farmers, educators, and researchers across the country in the emerging conversation about the use and benefits of cover crops.

Attendees of the local forums will also have the opportunity to contribute ideas and comments on cover crops and soil health to the leadership group at the national conference.  These comments will be collected by staff at the local sites as part of the local discussion process.

"This will be a great opportunity for producers interested in cover crops and soil health to meet up with like-minded individuals from their local area to discuss both local and national issues related to cover crops," said Eric B. Banks, State Conservationist, NRCS. 

For more information about the Cover Crops and Soil Health Forums and a list of forum locations, visit www.SARE.org/covercropconference.

Please RSVP to ensure adequate seating and to get specific details about the forum as programs will vary by location.  Live streaming from the national conference will begin at forum locations at 8:45 a.m. Central Standard Time (CST).

Locations in Kansas:  8:45 a.m. CST, Tuesday, February 18, 2014

USDA-NRCS
3020 W. 18th Avenue, Suite B
Emporia, Kansas 66801
Contact: John Conway
620-343-7276
john.conway@ks.usda.gov
K-State Research and Extension Center
4500 E. Mary Street
Garden City, Kansas 67846
Contact: Amanda Shaw
620-275-0211
amanda.shaw@ks.usda.gov
USDA-NRCS
3012 Broadway
Hays, KS 67601
Contact: Robert Schiffner
785-625-2588
robert.schiffner@ks.usda.gov
Hutchinson Community College
Shears Technology Center
Justice Theater
1300 North Plum
Hutchinson, KS 67501
Contact: Howard Miller
620-727-6546
howard.miller@ks.nacdnet.net
USDA-NRCS
3705 Miller Parkway, Suite B
Manhattan, KS 66503
Contact: Kris Ethridge
785-776-7582
kris.ethridge@ks.usda.gov
NRCS Conference Center
747 Duvall
Salina, KS 67401
Contact: Janelle Heiser
785-823-4577
janelle.heiser@ks.usda.gov

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service: www.nrcs.usda.gov

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE): www.sare.org

USDA and its partnering organizations are equal opportunity providers and employers.