Attendees will learn how to improve their land management and agricultural operations by increasing biological wealth through ecological principles. Farm and ranch tours will be on April 23 followed by an educational workshop on April 24.
Registration includes admission to all field tours; transportation from host hotel, which is the Courtyard by Marriott Victoria, 8002 B, Bavarri St.; cultural tour; meals; conference session; and notebook. Registration closes April 5. There will be no registration at the door. Three continuing education units (CEUs) can be earned.
The Texas Soil Health Short Course tours will provide conservation demonstrations and hands-on field activities that will help participants begin implementing soil health the minute they return to their operation. Combined with the educational workshop, attendees will develop a greater understanding of dynamic soil properties including water infiltration, water-holding capacity, nutrient cycling and organic matter content. Producers will share their practical approaches to implementing a soil health management system on their farms and ranches and how it can be applicable to attendees’ lands. A speaker panel will provide participants the opportunity to question both researchers and practitioners about the principles and practices they are sharing with the participants.
"We are very excited to bring this opportunity to farmers and ranchers in Texas," said Nathan Haile, conservation agronomist with USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas. "Texas has been very instrumental in promoting soil health nationwide with short course partners and presenters paving the way for more producers to better manage their natural resources. The topic of soil health is now found in every major farm magazine, at farm shows, and this is a great opportunity for attendees to better understand soil health and learn why it is important to their future."
The short course will feature leading researchers and innovative Texas producers sharing the latest on soil health. Speakers include Richard Teague and Jamie Foster with Texas AgriLife, Steven Lukefahr with Texas A&M University Kingsville, Deborah Clark of the Birdwell-Clark Ranch, coastal bend farmers Chad Hahn with Hahn Farm, Howard Book of Book Farms, and livestock producer Vance Mitchell of Mitchell Cattle Company.
"Soils are the foundation of life and the factory of biological workers that help us provide necessities for our society," Haile said. "They serve many roles for water capture and filtration, carbon storage and cycling, pollution breakdown, and much, much more."
"Understanding how to manage the soil to improve that factory’s efficiency is critical for farmers and rancher, not only for their own economic benefit, but the benefit of the nation."
The workshop is being held in partnership with the USDA-NRCS, Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and Texas Wildlife Association. The Goliad and Victoria Soil and Water Conservation Districts are hosting the event.
Persons with disabilities who require special accommodations and/or alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) associated with this meeting should contact, Melissa Blair at 361-248-3851 at least two weeks prior to the meeting with his/her specific request.
Former Environment/Investigations Reporter
Jessica Priest worked for the Victoria Advocate from August 2012-September 2019, first as the courts reporter and then as the environment/investigations reporter. Read her work now at www.jessicapriest.me.