NDSU centers to broadcast Cover Crop Conference on Feb. 18

Farm Forum

North Dakota State University’s Carrington and Dickinson Research Extension Centers and the Northern Crops Institute on the NDSU campus are sites for the live broadcast of the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health at 9 a.m. CST on Feb. 18.

Attending the nationwide broadcast of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)-sponsored conference in Omaha, Neb., is free of charge. The broadcast is open to anyone who is interested in hearing about and discussing the prospects for cover crops and soil health improvements on American farms and ranches.

Other North Dakota sites for the broadcast are the North Dakota Farmers Union in Jamestown and Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory in Mandan.

This program will feature a live-streamed video broadcast of the opening sessions of the conference. Facilitated discussions on local issues related to cover crops, such as how to build soil health, improve yields, curb erosion, manage pests and build resilience in farming systems, will follow the broadcast.

Conference speakers include Howard Buffett of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, a private family foundation working to improve the standard of living and quality of life for the world’s most impoverished and marginalized populations, and Ray Gaesser, president of the American Soybean Association. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also has been invited to speak. In addition, the broadcast will include a panel of producer conservationists, including Gabe Brown of North Dakota.

“This will be a great opportunity for farmers interested in cover crops and soil health to meet up with like-minded individuals from their local area to discuss both local and national issues related to cover crops,” says Rob Myers, conference chairman and regional director of Extension programs for the North Central Region SARE. “We hope that farmers will come prepared with questions and ideas that they can feed back to USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) about programs and assistance needed for cover crops and soil health.”

For more information about the conference, visit

Contact the location you plan to attend to register, which will allow the site to provide adequate accommodations, and confirm the location and other program details. The following are the contacts for each North Dakota site:

• Carrington Research Extension Center – Karl Hoppe, NDSU Extension Service area livestock specialist and North Dakota SARE co-coordinator, (701) 652-2951

• Dickinson Research Extension Center – Jon Stika, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soil scientist, (701) 225-5113

• Northern Crops Institute – Amy Cole, Cass County Soil Conservation District, (701) 282-2157, ext. 3

• Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory – Susan Samson-Liebig, North Dakota chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, (701) 530-2018

• North Dakota Farms Union – Hal Weiser, NRCS soil health specialist, (701) 252-1460