Take Your Ecological Agriculture Education to the Next Level!
2023 Eco-Ag U Workshops
Dec. 4-5, 2023 • 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Dig in deeper to ecological agriculture and take your goals to the next level with an all-day Eco-Ag U intensive workshop. We pick some of the finest speakers and educators in the world and offer our attendees a chance to learn from them in small classroom environments. If you are just getting started, or a veteran farmer looking for new strategies for success, selecting Eco-Ag U workshops will get you the right fundamentals to take home with you.
Each Eco-Ag U workshop is chock full of opportunities to learn from expert instructors, ask questions, and connect with others through dedicated networking times. All workshops take place on December 4 or 5 from 8:30 am – 4 pm and will include two refreshment breaks and an opening reception on Monday evening, December 4. Lunchtime will be your opportunity to get outside the venue on your own and visit a local Kentucky establishment.
We’re excited to help you be more successful by expanding your agriculture tool kit. Join us for one (or two!) Eco-Ag U workshops this year!
Workshop 1: Plant Disease & Mineral Nutrition with Don Huber
Workshop 2: Foundations of Biological Systems with John Kempf
Workshop 3: Practical Strategies for No-Till Market Growers with Jesse Frost
Workshop 1: Building Permaculture Operations with Mark Shepard
Workshop 2: TBD
Workshop 3: Building a Regenerative Organic No-Till System with Rick Clark
The Foundations and Practice of Biological Farming Systems
John Kempf & Rick Clark
In this workshop, John and Rick will describe the principles and science of regenerative farming ecosystems that harness much more of the energy coming into the system and produce Olympic athlete-level performance. When a truly regenerative ecosystem is functioning well, the need of external inputs becomes less and less.
In order to develop regenerative agriculture eco-systems in which soil health is quickly regenerated, crop yields and quality constantly improve, pest pressure becomes less of a challenge, and crops are much more resilient to climate extremes, we simply need to implement what is already known. With these farming strategies we can increase soil and crop performance by several levels of magnitude and reduce the need for external inputs.
With a balance of foundational principles and on-the ground practical application and strategies, John and Rick will teach attendees:
- The science of soil-plant synergy;
- How to manage specific aspects of plant development and yield components;
- How to increase fruit or seed size, or how to increase the number of seed or fruit;
- How plants get energy from sources other than photosynthesis;
- How to prioritize cultural management practices and product applications to produce the greatest ecosystem response;
- How to develop disease suppressive soil by managing crop and cover crop rotations;
- How to monitor a crop’s nutritional integrity through the growing season; and
- Why insects and diseases are attracted to crops with specific nutritional profiles, and how to prevent them.
- How to practice regenerative organic no-till at scale
- The role of livestock integration for soil and ecosystem health
- The economics behind adopting new practices that allow you to cut input use
In this course, John and Rick will be describing how to achieve a much higher plateau of soil and plant performance. This workshop will provide an explanation of the science needed to grow 500-bushel corn, and 20-60% yield increases of many fruit and vegetable crops.
Plant Disease and Mineral Nutrition
Dr. Don Huber
World-famous speaker, author and soil scientist Dr. Don Huber will address critical soil management techniques involving mineral nutrition. Go deep with Dr. Huber as he explores both primary minerals, and the secondary minerals that really drive crop health. This session will be perfect for anyone who is looking for specific soil health techniques, is trying to crack the case on common plant diseases, and/or is in need of an advanced education on soil minerals.
Integrating Annual Crops into Perennial Systems
Mark Shepard challenges convention by inviting you to completely change your opinion on two types of annual crops that are long blamed for our depleted soil health: grains and legumes. In this all-day session, he will teach you why they are absolutely essential to create true food systems that are resilient to pest and pestilence. Learn why he still grows these crops despite counting on his perennial crops 100% for his business. Also, learn how Mark helps farmers mitigate other risks in today’s challenging world with his approach to perennial, well-rounded systems.
Life Cycle of Health from Humus to Human
Dr. Nasha Winters & Dr. Yadi Wang, PhD
Quickly becoming an annual favorite speaker, Dr. Nasha Winters will connect the dots between soil health, food health and human health with a fascinating all-day session. Winters, the co-author of The Metabolical Approach to Cancer, has spent decades working with alternative health professionals and conventional doctors to determine proven methods to create the healthiest, disease-resistant environment in our bodies. Anyone looking to improve their health and their diets, or looking to make major changes, will learn what they need to start a better, healthier lifestyle.
In this workshop, Nasha and her guest farmer speakers will address:
- How do we measure soil health and soil nutrients in the ground?
- How can we measure soil nutrients as they flow through plants, animals and into human food and humans?
- How do we increase the nutrient uptake of nutrients by the plants/animal?
- How do we increase the uptake of nutrients from a human potential?
- What can we do to maintain higher levels of nutrition in human food for better health outcomes?
- What types of food nurture cancer?
- How can we better connect farmers and nutrition/health/medical professionals?
Assessing Soil Health for Profitable Regenerative Systems
Dr. Kris Nichols
Regenerative Systems are complex and often defined by management practices and/or principles. Defining these systems and assessing soil health is difficult with very little clarity. In this workshop, we will define Regenerative Agriculture and discuss the six principles for these systems. We will also describe how to use the FIST (Frequency, Intensity, Scale, and Timing) acronym to determine which tools and management practices to implement and how to use on-farm tools and laboratory measurements to assess soil health.