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'Soil Health, Profits & Resiliency' workshop in Morris Sept. 21

MORRIS, Minn. -- Farmers, certified crop advisers, natural resource professionals and others involved in production agriculture can learn how to build soil health for greater profits and long term resiliency on Friday, Sept. 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at special workshops offered in Morris and six other locations around Minnesota.

The registration deadline is Sept. 18. The fee is $45 and includes lunch and handout materials. To register, go to or contact Julia Ahlers Ness at 320-269-2105 or

The main site for "Restoring the Soil Resource: Insuring for Resiliency and Profits" is the University of Minnesota's West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris. State-of-the-art video conferencing technology will connect panelists, speakers and participants who attend the workshop at six other Minnesota locations:

- Rochester: Winona State University Rochester Campus

- Saint Paul: University of Minnesota

- Lamberton: U of M Southwest Research and Outreach Center

- Staples: Central Lakes College

- Crookston: University of Minnesota-Crookston

- Cloquet: Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College

Topics to be covered include cover crops, tools and techniques for building soil health, and managing soil biota for economic and environmental sustainability. There will also be hands-on soil health assessment demonstrations at each of the seven sites, as well as a panel discussion involving Minnesota farmers sharing their practical experiences improving and maintaining soil health.

Presenters include: Jay Fuhrer, a district conservationist in North Dakota who is leading a team of farmers, ranchers and soil technicians dedicated to implementing a holistic approach to soil health; Kristine Nichols, a soil microbiologist with the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory; and Kenneth Miller, a North Dakota farmer and rancher with over 25 years of experience practicing Holistic Management and using cover crops and livestock to build soil health. In addition, Don Baloun, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist for Minnesota, will give the opening address.

The organizers of this event are applying for continuing education credits for certified crop advisers who attend.