For the past two years Illinois Stewardship Alliance has served on the Illinois Conservation Cropping Systems Partnership Team, which plays host to three annual Regional Conservation Cropping Seminars. The partners are focused on ways to improve soil health, share resources and technical expertise, and help more farmers make wise choices for Illinois. This year’s Conservation Cropping Seminars were well attended at all three regional locations. With about 500 farmers and agriculturalists and some 70 students, the attendees came from 63 different counties in Illinois. In fact, after just two years, these Conservation Cropping Seminars have reached farmers in 90 out of 102 counties in Illinois. This year’s seminars were held at the Sycamore Farm Bureau Center, Lakeland College in Mattoon, and Western Illinois University in Macomb. The speakers ranged from cutting edge university researchers from Purdue, Illinois State University, Western Illinois University, University of Illinois, and the University of Missouri, as well as local and mid-western conservation minded farmers working on innovations in reduced tillage, nutrient management, and cover crop management.
The 2016 Conservation Cropping Seminars will be held three consecutive days in January: Champaign on the 26th, Edwardsville on the 27th, Milan on the 28th. We will be hosting some of the most recognized national speakers in the field of Conservation Cropping at next year’s event. So go ahead and mark the dates down on your calendar for the seminar closest to you.