Conference will spotlight soil building technology

Nourishing the soil is an idea as ancient as agriculture itself.

But emerging technologies and innovative practices have recently begun to shine a light on the importance of healthy soils for the future of sustainable agriculture. And those promising new approaches are dawning at a time when there is a growing commitment among producers, food companies, and policy makers to improve the resilience of healthy food systems at their very root.

The National Center for Appropriate Technology recently opened public registration for the inaugural Soil Health Innovations Conference, March 30 to 31 in Bozeman, Montana. The forum will bring together leading experts and innovative farmers from around the U.S. to share the latest in soil science, best practices in soil management, and the emerging technologies that will drive the future of sustainable and regenerative agriculture.

“The Soil Health Innovations Conference occupies the cutting edge of soil health across the country—on-farm practices, soil biology, carbon markets, and public policy,” said Steve Thompson, NCAT executive director.

NCAT is sponsoring the conference in cooperation with USDA Rural Development, Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, and Montana State University.

The goal of the conference, Thompson said, is to provide an opportunity for producers and educators to examine current practices as well as the concepts, techniques, and practical applications that may be available in the future.

“This is an exciting time in sustainable agriculture,” Thompson said. “Farmers, food companies, and policy makers recognize the many benefits of improving the health of soil for food quality, climate resilience, and profitability. There’s a growing buzz about the opportunity to draw down atmospheric carbon by returning it to the soil as organic matter. We invite producers, industry professionals, researchers, students and, frankly, anyone who eats food to participate in the conversation.”

The conference will be March 30 to 31 at the campus of Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.