GREENSBORO, N.C. — Iconic American denim brand Wrangler® is hosting a conference at its Greensboro headquarters April 1, 2017, for approximately 100 North Carolina high school and college students, as well as members of the public.
Organized in partnership with the NC chapter of the National FFA Organization (FFA) and the US Department of Agriculture’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Next Generation Land Stewardship Through Soil Health conference aims to demonstrate the environmental and economic benefits of emerging soil-health practices in agriculture.
Wrangler has been a corporate sponsor of FFA for more than 50 years, but this is the first time the organizations have come together to raise awareness about a single agricultural topic. “One of the pillars of the Wrangler sustainability program is taking care of the land,” said Roian Atwood, director of sustainability for Wrangler. “As a major purchaser of cotton and a trusted brand in farming communities, that means supporting sustainable agriculture practices, most of which—quite literally—are rooted in soil health.”
In recent years, researchers and NRCS have promoted farming and grazing practices to improve soil health. Soil science has found that systems such as no-till, cover cropping, crop rotations and rotational grazing increase the soil’s organic matter and improve beneficial microbial activity. As a result, farmers can sequester more carbon, increase water infiltration, and improve wildlife and pollinator habitats—all while harvesting better profits and often better yields.
“Healthy soil is so much more than just a medium for growing plants. It’s a living ecosystem that, when nurtured properly, can yield significant on- and off-farm benefits,” explains NRCS public affairs officer Ron Nichols, who will deliver a presentation called, “Why the World Cares,” during the conference. “The next generation of farmers can make these practices mainstream, so we’re excited to get them involved now.”
In addition to the science of soil health for cropland and pasture, participants of this free conference will learn about career paths, and how advanced agricultural practices can help address climate change and regional food security, enable the production of more sustainable apparel and consumer goods and revitalize local economies.
“The attendees of this conference are in for something really special,” said Josh Bledsoe, chief operating officer for National FFA Organization. “We’re going to have agricultural and industry experts joining with a major consumer brand to say, ‘This is why farming matters. We have the opportunity to improve the health of the planet, and we need you.’”
Presenters include the winner of the 2016 North Carolina Young Farmer of the Year Award, an NC State doctoral student in agronomy, an environmental and agricultural researcher from Cotton Inc., NRCS staff members, and the Wrangler brand’s sustainability director.
Next Generation Land Stewardship Through Soil Health Conference
April 1, 2017, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wrangler Headquarters, 400 N Elm St. Greensboro, NC
Free event. Lunch will be provided.
Online Registration required:
Wrangler® apparel is available nationwide in mass market retailers, specialty stores, including work apparel chains, farm & fleet, and western stores, as well as through online and catalog retailers. To find a retailer or for more information on the Wrangler family of products, visit Wrangler.com or call 888.784.8571.
About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 649,355 student members as part of 7,859 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is supported by 225,891 alumni members in 1,934 local FFA Alumni chapters throughout the U.S. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org and on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) draws on a long history of helping people help the land. For 80 years, NRCS and its predecessor agencies have worked in close partnerships with farmers and ranchers, local and state governments, and other federal agencies to maintain healthy and productive working landscapes.
— USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
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