Dave Brandt in Fairfield County. Photo by Randall Reeder, OSU Extension.

Soil health webinar

On March 9, 2021, Indigo Ag will be hosting the Ohio Winter Ag Webinar from 1 to 5 p.m. Indigo Ag is bringing together industry leaders in the state of Ohio that all share a core value: soil health that leads to farmer profitability. The event will feature a strong lineup of presenters that have put the health of our valuable soil in Ohio at the core of all management decisions. When soil health is a farmer’s focal point, the positive results are endless. 

Indigo has brought in two farmers and six industry professionals for a top-notch webinar. Topics include cover crop resources and management, conservation funding opportunities, local watershed initiatives, and other soil health expertise from regional farmers and representatives. The event is FREE and packed full of valuable information. Continuing Education credits will be offered through the Certified Crop Advisor organization. For further questions, please reach out to Elizabeth Haney at ehaney@indigoag.com or Logan Welker at lwelker@indigoag.com

Presenters are: 

• JD Drennan is the Sales Director for the East region at Indigo. JD will introduce Indigo offerings and highlight the benefits farmers have working with Indigo on their acres. 

• Jim Hoorman farms in Hancock County, Ohio and is the owner of Hoorman Soil health Services. He has been working in agriculture and farming since he was 13 years old. Jim previously worked for Farmer’s National Company, The Ohio State University, and USDA-NRCS as a National Soil Health Specialist. Jim contributed to many efforts including recommending changes to NRCS practice standards and studied pest control issues with USDA-NRCS. Starting in October 2019, Jim had enough of federal government and now Jim, Marlene, and their son Jon start a new chapter starting their own business! 

• Ann and Jay Brandt are from Walnut Creek Seeds in Carroll, Ohio. Their mission is to promote soil health and improved land management practices through the use of cover crops. While a large body of work exists focusing on cover crops in conjunction with commodity grain crops; these practices and principles can be used by everyone concerned with healthy soils, whether a rancher, crop farmer, or backyard gardener. Theirs is a family affair built around Dave Brandt’s 35+ years of work in no-till and cover crop conservation farming and our desire to see these practices flourish. They serve ranchers, farmers, larger-scale vegetable growers and backyard gardeners with both single species seed and diverse mixes. 

• David Brandt is truly a pioneer in regenerative agriculture and soil health. He farms 1150 acres all no-till, in Fairfield County, Central Ohio. He began no-till farming in 1971 and has been using cover crops since 1978. David has participated in yield plots for corn, soybeans, and wheat into various covers. This information has been used by seed growers as well as county agents and universities to encourage other farmers to adapt no-till practices in their farming operations. He has also been planting various blends of cover crops to find out what benefits they provide to improve soil health. Brandt has received awards for conservation practices: Ohio EPA Non-Point Pollution Winner, Ohio Conservation Farmer, Ohio Conservation Educator Award from Ohio No-Till Council. Ohio State University South Center Supporter of the Year, Ohio Agriculture Man of the Year, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award, Ohio NRCS Soil Conservationist Partnership and State Volunteer Awards. 

• Rafiq Islam is Research Scientist and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at OSU. Rafiq is interested in sustainable agriculture, soil quality, conservation stillage and cover crops. Rafiq has over 140 publications ranging from topics on soil health to agroecosystem services, climate-smart agriculture, and carbon sequestration. 

• Frank Gibbs is an Honors Graduate of the Ohio State University with a Major in Agronomy and Soils. He formed Wetland and Soil Consulting Services, LLC (WSCS) after retiring during 2012 from working 36 years for USDA in Ohio and teaching for The National Training Center across the Country. Frank has an extensive background in Hydric Soils, Wetlands, Water Tables in the Soil, Soil Compaction, Soil Health, Cover Crops, Manure Disposal, Preferential Flow, Septic Systems and Drainage Problems. He has conducted numerous soil training sessions for farmers, environmentalists, crop advisors, sanitarians, contractors, soil scientists and agency personnel. One of his best-known presentations is the “Smoking Tile” Demonstration as found on “U-Tube” which he has conducted at numerous Agronomic Field Days from Minnesota to New York. Brown is a first-generation farmer from Highland County, Ohio. Nathan was named the 2018 Ohio No-Till Councils Outstanding No-Till Farmer and is active in the Farm Bureau and many other organizations. Nathan believes that farmers need to grow a “herd of organisms below the soil surface” to help regenerate the soil. When Nathan started growing cover crops, it was primarily to reduce erosion. He now believes that we need to “make sure that the soil has the ability to function the way nature intended” in order to make it profitable for him and future generations. 

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