Shavano Conservation District has announced the dates of the 10th Annual Soil Health Conference. The event is set for next week, Feb. 20, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Feb. 21, 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., at the Delta Center for Performing Arts, located at 822 Grand Ave. in Delta. Conference tickets are $45 if purchased today; $60 thereafter, and can be purchased at www.westerncoloradosoilhealth.org.

This conference is the area’s premier educational and networking event designed to educate producers, orchardists, ranchers, government officials, and the broad community about ways to increase organic matter and increase the health of our soils by using cover crop, no-till/minimum-till, green manure, grazing, composting, entomology and other sustainable practices for food and fiber production.

Internationally recognized soil microbiologist and keynote speaker, Dr. Kris Nichols will highlight the 2020 conference.

Nichols is a leader in the movement to regenerate soils for healthy soil, crops, food, people and a planet. She is the founder and principal scientist of KRIS Systems Education & Consultation; a sub-contractor with Soil Health Consulting, Inc., and a soil microbiologist with more than 25 years of research experience studying arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi.

The conference will also feature Bill and Kelli Parker from Parker Pastures in Gunnison. The Parkers promote ecological regeneration through the production of high-quality grass-fed meats. In addition to raising beef and lamb, the Parkers provide coaching and consulting services, including a planned grazing coaching series and onsite grazing consulting.

New to the Western Colorado Soil Health Conference this year will be a listening session hosted by The Colorado Collaborative for Healthy Soils. The listening session will be during an evening reception Feb. 20 at 5:30 p.m. The session is open to farmers and ranchers for discussing the practices you use, practices you don’t use, barriers to soil health, and your recommendation for programs.

Shavano Conservation District is the fiscal and administrative agent for the Soil Health Conference. Understanding that soil is a treasure, SCD in conjunction with Natural Resource Conservation Service and individuals active in the agricultural community have come together to present the 10th Annual Western Colorado Soil Health Conference. For more information please visit www.westerncoloradosoilhealth.org or call SCD at 970-964-3582.

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