Cover crops and other conservation systems

Cover crops and other conservation systems will be points of discussion during the upcoming Big Soil Health Event scheduled for Dec. 11-13 (Photo: Iowa Soybean Association).

Big Soil Health Event and trade show

November 30, 2023 | Kriss Nelson

Hear from farmers, scientists and industry professionals who have made a career focusing on soil health at the Big Soil Health Event scheduled for Dec. 11-13 at Bien Venu Events Center in Cedar Falls.

The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is sponsoring the event that will feature a systems approach to soil and human health, including diverse speakers ranging from farmers, soil health advocates, scientists and healthcare professionals.

ISA Conservation Agronomist, Evan Brehm has been assisting with planning the event. Brehm will meet with farmers during the event’s trade show along with ISA Research Agronomist Alex Schaffer and Julia Brenizer, producer services program coordinator.

With a planned 450 people in attendance, Brehm says the conference is farmer-focused but will also benefit ag professionals within the industry.

“There will be like-minded people focused on soil health, water quality and the environment while also maintaining and enhancing yields and profitability,” says Brehm.

The event’s agenda is designed to encourage and highlight the adoption of soil health practices and the benefits of land, water quality and human health.

On Tuesday, Dec. 12, ISA farmer-member Loran Steinlage, owner and operator of FLOLO Farms in West Union in Fayette County, will be announced as the 2023 Leopold Conservation Award winner.

The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award to farmers, ranchers and forestland owners in 24 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.

Farm to Brew Challenge

Healthy soils mean great beer. The Big Soil Health Event is also the time for the second annual Farm to Brew challenge.

The challenge will feature six Iowa breweries competing for top billing using regeneratively verified barely from South Dakota farms.

“The challenge is focused on bringing the ag and craft beef industries together,” says Brehm.

As a conservation agronomist, Brehm says he is impressed with the presentations available to farmers and the networking opportunities.

“It’s farmers talking to farmers,” he says. “Those involved in these soil health practices, how to manage them, sharing successes and challenges that come along with regenerative agriculture.”