SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois’ annual Conservation Cropping Seminars will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Jan. 20, Jan. 28 and Feb. 4. In the past, the seminars have been three full-day events at different locations throughout the state, but due to the pandemic, this year’s seminar will be held virtually. The online program will continue to feature leaders in the soil and water industry.
Speakers include Ray Archuleta, Certified Professional Soil Scientist with the Soil Science Society of America; Dr. Joel Gruver, associate professor of Soil Science and Sustainable Ag at Western Illinois University; Dr. Nic Jelinski, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Soil, Water and Climate; and Dr. Stacy Zuber, Illinois NRCS soil health specialist. The program also will feature Illinois S.T.A.R. program coordinators and testimonials from farmer participants.
“This will be the eighth year Conservation Cropping Seminars have brought folks together to discuss what is working and what has failed when trying to transform farms to a more sustainable operation,” said IDOA Acting Director Jerry Costello II. “While it won’t be the in-person event that so many have come to look forward to these virtual events will be just as valuable.”
The 2021 virtual event is free. Online registration is required at the Champaign County SWCD website at www.ccswcd.com. Certified Crop Advisor CCU’s will be applied for these three seminars.
“It’s more important than ever that Illinois farmers ensure their production techniques are sustainable—for our natural resources like soil and water and for their bottom line and the costs of doing business. Conservation can be the solution we all seek,” said USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Ivan Dozier. “This year’s seminars will be different, but they’ll offer good ideas and solid research.”
The Conservation Cropping Seminars, held for the last seven years, are organized and made possible with the involvement and support of Illinois Department of Agriculture, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, American Farmland Trust, the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, University of Illinois Extension, and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts.