American Farmland Trust invites agricultural influencers working in corn, soy, wheat, cotton, and dairy systems to apply for the opportunity to attend AFT’s Advanced Soil Health Training. This one-year training course is made up of four two-day in-person, in-region training sessions in the Midwest, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, New York, and New England.

Influencers are soil-health successful farmers and other agricultural professionals who are ready to become Soil Health Advisors to farmers looking to implement climate-smart practices on their farms. The goal of the training is to scale up the adoption of climate-smart practices by establishing trained leaders in farming communities who can provide trusted technical guidance and facilitate peer-to-peer learning and networking whereby information gets shared broadly over time and support mechanisms facilitate a successful adoption.

Such influencers will be selected with a specific focus on identifying and engaging underserved producers. They will include soil health successful farmers, retailers, consultants, trainers and community leaders, non-profit staff, and other agricultural services providers.

“American Farmland Trust’s Advanced Soil Health Training program is designed for farmers and farm advisors who share an interest in improving soil health,” said Dr. Bianca Moebius-Clune, AFT Climate and Soil Health Director. “We are excited to bring the best in agricultural education through our expert trainers and to give participants the necessary tools and cohort to grow their own learning, share knowledge, and inspire and guide change within their networks.”

The training will be balanced between classroom and field education to educate participants on real-world applications of soil health concepts at visits to farms in their region. Leading agricultural training professionals Barry Fisher, Brandon Smith and Dennis Chessman will facilitate the trainings.

Participants can expect to strengthen their skills in 4 core areas:

  1. The science of soil health.
  2. Soil health practices in the field including cover crop management, no-till/strip-till/mulch-till and others.
  3. How to troubleshoot and adapt management to a variety of regionally relevant conditions.
  4. How to effectively communicate about practice adoption and grow a supportive and engaged network.

Regional trainings will be held in the Midwest, Southeast, New England, New York state, and the Mid-Atlantic beginning in the summer of 2024 and continuing through the summer of 2025 and 2026. The crops eligible for this training are wheat, corn, milk, cotton, and soy.

AFT’s Advance Soil Health Training web page provides further details and the application for potential participants.

AFT is offering this Advanced Soil Health Training under the Scaling Mechanisms for Agriculture’s Regenerative Transformation (SMART) grant, a part of the USDA’s Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities program.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under agreement NR233A750004G016. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

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