But there’s just something special about learning in person. Luckily, farmers, growers and ranchers seeking in-person education this year have several great opportunities to do so!
Attending any of these Acres U.S.A. events will put you in touch with quite a few experts, but here (in no particular order) are five to start to get you excited about your in-person opportunities this year:
1 – Rick Clark
Rick Clark is a fifth generation farmer from Williamsport, Indiana. Rick’s goal on his farm is to build soil health and achieve balance with nature.
Rick has developed and is constantly improving a systematic approach to regenerative farming, and his farm is 100% non-GMO, 100% no-till, and 100% cover crop. Rick is transitioning all acres of the farm to organic, and is most proud of developing a system of organic farming that utilizes no tillage and suppresses weeds with cover crops. Listen to his podcast interview with Acres U.S.A. here.
Where You Can Meet Him: Rick Clark is delivering the keynote address at the Healthy Soil Summit in Sacramento, CA on Aug. 2-3.
2 – John Kempf
John Kempf is a familiar face at the annual Eco-Ag Conference & Trade Show – and the 2022 event will be no different!
John Kempf is a leading crop health consultant and designer of innovative soil and plant management systems. John is the founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture, a crop nutrition consulting company, and a managing partner at Zeno Capital Partners — an investment fund working in the areas of agriculture, food production, medicine and clean energy. John grew up on a fruit and vegetable farm in northeastern Ohio, is a member of the Amish community, and lives in Middlefield, Ohio.
Where You Can Meet Him: The 2022 Eco-Ag Conference & Trade Show in Covington, KY on Dec. 5-8. John will be co-leading an Eco-Ag U workshop session with Rick Clark!
3 – Dr. Judith Fitzpatrick
The high volume of attendance at Dr. Judith Fitzpatrick’s 2021 Eco-Ag Conference session speaks to the high quality of education this speaker has to offer.
Dr. Judith Fitzpatrick is a microbiologist and a recognized leader in the development of on-site diagnostic tests. Her goal is to help show how biology in the soil can be measured and managed to improve farming systems around the world. Before creating the research and tools driving microBIOMETER, a soil biology testing technology company, she was the founder and CEO of Serex where she developed more than 15 medical diagnostic tests with unique reagents and methods of testing.
Where You Can Meet Her: Dr. Fitzpatrick will be leading a session on Soil Microbiology at the 2022 Healthy Soil Summit event in Sacramento, California, on Aug. 2-3.
4 – Dr. Don Huber
Dr. Don Huber, professor emeritus, Purdue University, has filled classrooms for years at Eco-Ag Conferences.
Hundreds of attendees have benefited from his 55 years of researching the epidemiology and control of soil-borne plant pathogens with emphasis on microbial ecology, cultural and biological controls, nutrient-disease interactions, pesticide-disease interactions, physiology of host-parasite relationships; impact of GMOs and pesticides on soil, crop, animal and human health; and techniques for rapid microbial identification. He is author or co-author of more than 300 journal articles and three books.
Where You Can Meet Him: Dr. Don Huber will be leading an Eco-Ag U Workshop on Plant Disease and Mineral Nutrition at the 2022 Eco-Ag Conference & Trade Show this Dec. 5-8 in Covington, KY.
5 and 6 – Gary Zimmer and Leilani Zimmer Durand
Get a two-for-one with the father-daughter duo of Gary Zimmer and Leilani Zimmer Durand. Both are experienced farmers with a lot of high quality education to offer.
Raised on a Wisconsin dairy farm, Gary Zimmer is a world-renowned farmer, author, speaker, and biological farming consultant with over 35 years’ experience in agriculture. He has helped thousands of farmers to improve their operations, starting with the soil and building to a profitable, successful farming operation. Gary is the founder of Midwestern BioAg, and runs Otter Creek Organic Farm together with his family.
Leilani Zimmer Durand grew up on her family’s farm in southwestern Wisconsin. Zimmer Durand is a farm consultant, ecologist and agronomic educator with 15 years’ experience in biological and organic farming. She has written and spoken widely on soil health and fertility. Leilani is the former VP of Research and Development at Midwestern BioAg where she developed and tested carbon-based fertilizers.
Where You Can Meet Them: Gary and Leilani will lead the 2022 On-Farm Intensive event this Aug. 22-23 at their Otter Creek Organic Farm in Lone Rock, Wisconsin. Follow them through their own fields and learn on-the-farm this summer.