ITHACA, N.Y. — New York Soil Health announced the opening of applications for its 2020-2021 Advanced Soil Health Training for New York State Agricultural Service Providers. Twenty applicants will be selected for this training.
“The soil health specialist training provides a unique opportunity for in-depth learning about soil health while connecting with ag professionals from across NYS,” said Joseph Amsili, extension associate with New York Soil Health.
New York Soil Health will lead the 2020-21 program by hosting two, two-day workshops. The workshops are in-person and focus on practical knowledge of the whole soil health system: physical, biological, and chemical characteristics of soil and the relationship to farm management.
The training program covers a wide range of soil health and sustainable soil management topics. Soil health experts from Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, NRCS, American Farmland Trust, farmers, other universities, and industry specialists will deliver the training. Through standard lectures, interactive discussions, field days, demonstrations, hands-on activities, and panel sessions, participants will improve their knowledge of soil health to serve their clients better.
“The training has made me more aware of the benefits of no-till and cover crops,” said a 2018-2020 graduate of the Practical Soil Health Specialist training program, which was a NE-SARE funded project of the American Farmland Trust. “In return, I am more open and comfortable talking to producers about trying more cover crops and no-till practices.”
Beyond the training, graduates of the program become part of a state-wide community supported through New York Soil Health, American Farmland Trust, Cornell Cooperative Extension, NRCS, Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Graduates are asked to conduct their own in-person events, provide mentorship, and they can connect with past cohorts to combine skills and resources to accelerate the adoption of soil health practices, and maximize impact.
Interested participants are encouraged to apply by June 27, 2020. The cost for successful applicants is a $100 participation fee. Travel expenses, with some limitations, are included; see website for details (training.newyorksoilhealth.org).
The 2020-2021 Practical Soil Health Specialist Training for New York Agricultural Service Providers is a project of New York Soil Health in close partnership with American Farmland Trust, Cornell, Cornell Soil Health Laboratory, Natural Resources Conservation Service, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell Small Farms Program, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, agri-businesses, and farmers.
For more information and to apply, visit training.newyorksoilhealth.org
–Kitty Gifford, New York Soil Health