Twentieth Anniversary Special Events: SOILbration

Thank you to our sponsors and to the nearly 300 attendees who made the SOILbration an incredible success!
On Friday, October 17, 2014, CEFS partnered with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the NC Agricultural Foundation, Inc. to host a day of soil-related educational activities at its 2,000-acre Goldsboro research farm.

SOILbration: Healthy Soils, Healthy Farms, Healthy Foodsl featured speakers including Ray Archuleta and Steve Woodruff of NRCS, Fred Kirschenmann of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, and CEFS researchers.

The SOILbration also featured activities including a rainfall simulator, cover crop and other demonstrations, field tours, exhibitors, a poster session and lunch.

Site Visits

Participants will have the chance to visit several different sites highlighting CEFS’ on-farm research:

Farming Systems Research Unit

Tomas Moreno (NCSU) – Overview of the Farming Systems Research Unit
Alexandra Knight (NCSU) – Overview of Greenhouse Gas Project
Shuijin Hu (NCSU) – Greenhouse Gas Data Collection/ Findings
Natalie Ross (NCSU) – Continuous Greenhouse Gas Sampling Regimen

Small Farm Unit

Noah Ranells (NC A&T) and Marisa Benzle (NCSU) – Improving Soil Quality with Cover Crops
Joel Gruver (Western Illinois University) – Revealing Roots
David Lindbo (NCSU) – The Texture of Soil (hands-on)

Agroforestry Site

Michelle Schroeder-Moreno (NCSU) – Integrated Strategies for Soil Health in Strawberries
Joshua Idassi (NC A&T) – Timber Improvement in Agroforestry Systems
Miguel Castillo (NCSU) – Native Warm-season Grasses for Marginal Cropland
Alan Franzluebbers (USDA-ARS/ NCSU) – Soil Quality and Carbon Sequestration in Conservation Agricultural Systems

Organic Research Unit/ Cover Crop Demonstration

Andy Meier (NCDA) – Overview of the Organic Research Unit
Zachary Jones (NCSU) – Selective Breeding in Field Corn
Kelli Dale (Rural Advancement Foundation International) – Breeding for Organic Production Systems
Michael Wagger (NCSU) – Benefits and Challenges of Roll-Down, No-Till System
Danielle Treadwell (University of Florida) – Exploring Conservation Tillage Strategies For Vegetable Systems in The South
Cary Rivard (Kansas State University) – No-Till System and Minimum Tillage for Pumpkins

Pasture-Based Dairy Unit

Steve Washburn (NCSU) – Nutrient Cycling in a Pasture-based System
Sharon Freeman (NCSU) – Soil Microbial Activity: Is Your Soil Starving?
Wes Watson (NCSU) and Steve Denning (NCSU) – Importance of Dung Beetles in a Pasture-based System

The 20th Anniversary Special Events’ fundraising efforts operate under the auspices of the NC Agricultural Foundation, Inc. and proceeds will support research, extension and outreach activities associated with local foods and sustainable agriculture.