A Focus on Soil Health

Ninth annual Agroforestry Symposium set for Jan. 25

The ninth annual Agroforestry Symposium, sponsored by the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry, will focus on soil health in diverse cropping systems. The event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25, on the MU campus. The symposium will take place in the Bond Life Sciences Center. It is free and open to the public.

Topics include discussions on soil health management, soil health practices and soil ecosystems. There will be two panel discussions – one which will include farmer perspectives on enhancing soil health. The other will take a look at programs and agency coordination for soil health in Missouri.Topics include discussions on soil health management, soil health practices and soil ecosystems. There will be two panel discussions – one which will include farmer perspectives on enhancing soil health. The other will take a look at programs and agency coordination for soil health in Missouri.

Wayne Honeycutt, President and CEO of the Soil Health Institute, will serve as the keynote speaker.

“Soil health really is one of those rare win-win situations for the farmer and the environment,” Honeycutt said. “By focusing on soil health, we not only increase the productivity of farmers, but soil health also enhances so many environmental and health benefits like water quality, reduced greenhouse gases and pollinator habitat.”

Sara Parker Pauley, director of the Missouri Department of Conservation, will also give a presentation. Other speakers at the symposium includes those from the United States Department of Agriculture, the MU Center for Agroforestry, the National Corn Growers Association and the University of California, Davis.

“There will never be an end to our need to enhance the health of our soils, because we use them to grow our food,” Honeycutt said. “We recognize the work of so many partners involved in promoting soil health and really must emphasize partnerships. We realize we can’t do it alone and really rely on those partnerships of farmer groups, soil and water conservation districts, land-grant universities, state agencies, and many others to help make this happen.”

Topics include discussions on soil health management, soil health practices and soil ecosystems. There will be two panel discussions – one which will include farmer perspectives on enhancing soil health. The other will take a look at programs and agency coordination for soil health in Missouri.

Advanced registration is currently open and can be completed online. To see the full program, livestream details and past Agroforestry Symposiums, visit the MU Center for Agroforestry website.

A full list of speakers, topics and times are listed below:

8 a.m. — Coffee and registration

8:30 a.m. — Introduction (Michael Gold, interim director, Center for Agroforestry); Welcome and introduction of keynote speaker (Christopher Daubert, vice chancellor and dean, CAFNR)

8:45 a.m. — Priorities for advancing soil health management systems (Wayne Honeycutt, president and CEO, Soil Health Institute)

9:30 a.m. — Soil health and promoting multi-functional agriculture systems: Insights from California (Amelie Gaudin, associate professor, University of California Davis)

10 a.m. — Soil ecosystems services of agroforestry (Ranjith Udawatta, research professor, Center for Agroforestry)

10:30 a.m. — Coffee break

11 a.m. — Panel discussion: Famer perspectives on enhancing soil health

12 p.m. — Lunch

1 p.m. — Advances in soil health indicators: Developing affordable and interpretable tests for farmers (Kristen Veum, soil science, USDA-ARS)

1:30 p.m. — Soil health and conservation in Missouri (Sara Parker Pauley, director, Missouri Department of Conservation)

2 p.m. — National and regional trends in adoption of soil health practices (Rob Myers, director, USDA – North Central SARE)

2:30 p.m. — Panel discussion: Programs and agency coordination for soil health in Missouri (Gregory Ormsby Mori, outreach coordinator, Center for Agroforestry)

3:45 p.m. — Reception, poster session and demonstrations in McQuinn Atrium (until 5:45 p.m.)

4:30 p.m. — Reception presentation (Nick Goeser, director, Soil Health Partnership/NCGA)

5:45 p.m. — Adjourn