MINNEAPOLIS — The Sustainable Farming Association (SFA), Minnesota Soil Health Coalition, Forever Green Initiative, and Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program are partnering to host a Soil Health Tent at Farmfest, held August 2 to 4 in Redwood County.
Farmfest is a long-standing annual showcase of agriculture with the goal of growing family farms. Hundreds of exhibitors bring the latest in farm machinery, equipment, products, and services. Visitors can explore displays and enjoy demonstrations of these and more. Educational seminars, political and policy forums, live music, and activities hosted by youth agriculture groups such as FFA and 4-H also add excitement to the three-day event.
“SFA is pleased to join with other soil health advocates and educators at one of our nation’s largest agricultural trade shows”, said Lucinda Winter, SFA’s executive director. “Our goal is to raise awareness of the relationship between soil health and human health, demonstrate how easy it is to determine the health of your soil, and to show off some of the up and coming perennial crops being developed at the University of Minnesota that have the potential to improve soil health, sequester carbon and diversify farm income.”
The Soil Health tent will host a rainfall simulator and slake test demonstrations. A roller crimper and no-till drill will be on display. Demonstration crop plots include the burgeoning perennial grain Kernza®, cereal rye that has been rolled/crimped, cover crops, small grains, wide row corn, and Rhyzogreen®.
Soil health experts, farm mentors, and other staff from all four organizations will be on hand to answer questions about implementation, equipment modification, availability of seed, market development and more.
In addition, tent visitors can enjoy the shade, Kernza® snacks, children’s activities, and a chance to enter drawings for free registration to upcoming SFA and MN Soil Health Coalition conferences.
“Water and soil are natural resources that we cannot take for granted. We all want to leave it in the best condition possible for the next generation. The food we eat depends on healthy soil,” said Mark Gutierrez, Executive Director of the Minnesota Soil Health Coalition. “Through education and exposure to these topics, farmers can begin to collaborate and creatively plan for improving water and soil quality.”
Location for Farmfest is 28366 County Highway 13 Morgan, MN 56266. Tickets are $8 online and $10 at the gate. Kids 17 and younger are admitted for free. Learn more and purchase tickets at www.ideaggroup.com/farmfest.
— Sustainable Farming Association