Healthy Soil Summit Agenda

Approved CEUs: 
Nutrient Management 4, Soil & Water Management: 3.5, Integrated Pest Management: 0.5, Crop Management: 2

August 21:

6:45-7:15 a.m. | Tour registration, check-in.

7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Optional add-on farm walk and tour (SOLD OUT)

12:30-1:30 p.m. | Registration, coffee available

1:30-1:45 p.m. | Welcome

1:45-2:45 p.m. | Managing Soil for Mineral Health
Bill Brush, B&B Ag Consulting

Soil fertility expert Bill Brush addressed strategies for building better soil by looking at nutrients the soil requires to be fertile. Balancing the minerals in your soil can address many of the challenges to that farmers often face. Don’t miss this opening presentation, which will serve as the foundation for a deeper dive into soil biology and health throughout the remainder of the program.

2:45-3:45 p.m. | Improving Water, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus Efficiency
John Kempf, Advancing Eco Agriculture

In this workshop AEA’s John Kempf  described soil nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, how to manage these interactions, prevent nutrient leaching, and enable the greatest plant response with the most efficient use of inputs. It is possible to supply all of a crop’s nitrogen and phosphorus requirements through biologically available nutrients while contributing no fertilizer runoff, and by better managing nitrogen. Water use efficiency can also increase dramatically. Attend this workshop to learn the principles and techniques for best water, nitrogen, and phosphorus management.


4:30-5:15 p.m. | Exploring Soil's Microbiome
Adrian Ferrero, Biome Makers

Combining the latest technology as DNA Sequencing and intelligent computing allows us to monitor soil health by using microbiome as a bioindicator of soil life. This session dove into what we know about soil microbial life, explore what measuring these communities can tell us about our soil, and how this information can help us better manage for productivity.

5:15-6:30 p.m. | KEYNOTE: Driving Productivity and Resilience with Good Soil Health
Gary Zimmer, Midwestern BioAg

In this non-stop, jam-packed keynote presentation, soil health veteran Gary Zimmer walked us down a comprehensive journey into farm productivity. From what we know about soil tests and minerals to the rules for getting the most out of your soil life, he shared his decades of experience. He explored the role of plant food and diversity and also the role of tillage to maximize healthy mineralized soil. Attendees walked away from this dynamic session with diverse tools to drive productivity and resilience in their farming system.

6:30-7:45 p.m. | EVENING RECEPTION

August 22:

8-10 a.m. | Managing Water, Weeds and Disease with a Biotic Mindset

Brendon Rockey, Rockey Farms

Drought. It brought a biotic mindset to Rockey Farms, revealing options once dismissed for growing healthy, steady yielding potatoes. Today, the 500-irrigated acre specialty seed potato and quinoa operation has no place for toxic chemicals and synthetic inputs in its living, profitable and resilient farm system. Cover crops, livestock grazing and precise mechanical weeding improve the farm’s carbon cycle, which results in maximized water efficiency and infiltration rates in addition to decreasing and manageable weed populations. Companion Crops and Flowering Strips build upon these fundamentals, creating habitat that competes with weed populations and provides resources for beneficial insects to thrive, providing a successful Integrated Pest Management tool when controlling vector viruses.


10:45-11:45 a.m. | Regenerative Agriculture on a California Ranch: Live Podcast Interview
John Kempf, Advancing Eco Agriculture

Vernon Peterson, Peterson Family Farm and Abundant Harvest Organics

John Kempf recorded a live version of the Regenerative Agriculture Podcast featuring Vernon Peterson of Peterson Family Farm and Abundant Harvest Organics. John and his guest discussed effective approaches to pest and disease challenges as well as soil health in the context of California’s issues with weather and water. Attendees  learned how growers are navigating California’s regulatory and labor challenges, and the economic success of regenerative farming practices.

11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. | How to Identify and Correct the Cause of the #1 Limiting Factor in Global Agricultural Production
Glen Rabenberg, Soil Works 

Weeds, disease, and poor water penetration are symptoms of compacted unhealthy soil. Agricultural has become accustomed to reacting to these symptoms with chemicals, micro-nutrients, and tillage. Correcting the cause of soil compaction restarts the soil ecosystem allowing oxygen and water to penetrate the soil profile eliminating the dependency on reacting to symptoms. In his presentation, Glen Rabenberg showed attendees how to identify soil compaction, what causes compaction, and  a five-step approach to restore soil health and correct the cause.

1-2 p.m. -- LUNCH

2-3 p.m. | Bio-Based Solutions for Pest Management and Plant Health
Pamela Marrone, Marrone Bio Innovations

As growers seek to increase pest resistance, regulations on environmental and worker safety become more stringent, and consumers demand safer, more sustainable food, biologicals (biopesticides and biostimulants) are enjoying an increasingly prominent role in crop protection programs. The evolution of biologicals as a more trusted and reliable tool in a grower’s toolbox, however, would not have been possible without advances in science, technology and manufacturing processes that have made biologicals more effective. The majority of growers may have heard the terms “biopesticides” or “biologicals,” but may be unclear on their modes of action and when and how to use them successfully in integrated pest management and crop production programs. This talk outlined the foundational concepts of the biologicals category, discussed how and when to use them and illustrated some of the exciting new developments.

3-4 p.m. |  PANEL: Ask the Experts

In the closing session, we brought the Summit's lessons all together with the help of our expert speakers and opened it up for questions. Attendees had a unique opportunity to capitalize on the tremendous expertise and experience of these agricultural leaders.



Vendors were experienced practitioners and extension of the high-level content provided at the summit.

AEA*  |  Agro-Research Int'l  |  Agroplasma  |  Ambrosia Technologies  |  Andaman-Ag*  |  BayShore Sales*  |  Brandt  |  Great Western Sales and Distribution*  |  Grower's Secret  |  Midwest Bio-Systems  |  Ocean's Organic  |  Organic AG Products  |  Pacific Gro*  |  Recology Organics*  |  Soil Works*  |  Tainio  |  TPS Lab

* Healthy Soil Summit Sponsor

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