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Local Cover Crop Forum to Explore Opportunities to Build Soil Health

Pendleton, Oregon (1/30/2014) – 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 9:30-12:00, on February 18th at the Umatilla County Extension Conference Room in Umatilla Hall at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon.

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 in Pendleton 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 Ron Alvarado 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 Oregon—and to assess opportunities for, or barriers to, the broader adoption of soil health management systems,” Alvarado said.

Local forum participants will also have the opportunity to provide ideas and recommendations to the leaders, researchers, innovators and policy makers attending the national conference.

To participate in the local forum, contact the Umatilla County Soil and Water Conservation District office in Pendleton at (541) 276-8131 by Wednesday, February 12, 2014 to ensure adequate seating and to get additional details about the event.

Click here to download the flier for the forum.