CTIC Conservation in Action Tour Explores Southeast Minnesota Partnerships

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CTIC Conservation in Action Tour Explores Southeast Minnesota Partnerships 

The Conservation Technology Information Center’s (CTIC) eighth annual Conservation in Action Tour—a close-up exploration of conservation farming practices and one of the conservation agriculture world’s top idea-sharing opportunities—will focus on innovative practices and partnerships in southeastern Minnesota on August 11 and 12.

“Southeastern Minnesota farmers have long found themselves in the spotlight in discussions about nutrient management and soil erosion, especially with the Mississippi River running right past the region,” notes Karen A. Scanlon, executive director of the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC). “As a result, the agriculture community has engaged in creative, productive partnerships to tackle tough questions and has adopted innovative and highly effective conservation practices.

“Especially when it comes to agriculture’s voluntary protection of water quality,” she adds, “southeastern Minnesota provides us with a peek into the future of American farming.” Scanlon says tour participants will visit a wide range of farms—from corn/soybean operations to vegetable farms and dairies—for hands-on exploration of a wide range of conservation tactics, including:

  • Saturated and vegetative buffers
  • Innovative drainage water management techniques
  • Strip-till systems
  • Advanced fertilizer management tools
  • Great collaboration between farmers and ag retailers
  • Rotational grazing
  • Dairy manure management systems
  • Managing for pollinator health, and more.

To see the tour agenda, visit www.ctic.org/CIATours/.

“There’s great diversity in the farming practices, crops and landscapes in southeast Minnesota, and a wide range of innovative conservation technologies and systems in use there, which will make this a rich experience,” Scanlon points out.

“The diversity of the participants themselves is a vital part of what makes Conservation in Action tours so powerful,” she adds. “You’re sitting on the bus and sharing meals with farmers, crop consultants, government policymakers, agribusiness leaders, ag retailers, members of conservation groups and others—and everyone is talking about conservation agriculture. The access to people and ideas is truly unique.”

Previous tours, particularly in the Midwest, have sold out, Scanlon notes, so reserving a spot early is important. Under early-bird pricing, which lasts through June 30, registration costs range from $25 for farmers, students and media to $100 for non-member companies and organizations.  After the early-bird period, registration fees will rise for remaining spots on the tour.

Generous support from sponsors helps keep costs low for participants, Scanlon points out, and local experts have teamed up to organize insightful presenters and relevant tour stops. The Mosaic Company is the tour leader sponsor, and partners in organizing the tour include the Goodhue, Rice and Dakota Soil and Water Conservation Districts; Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts; Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources; Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center; Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The opening social, sponsored by John Deere, will be held in Minneapolis the evening of the 11th, and the group will head southeast early the morning of the 12th for a very full day of farm visits, talks and discussions. CTIC is applying for CEU accreditation for Certified Crop Advisors attending the tour.

For information on CTIC’s Conservation in Action Tour or to register for the event, visit www.ctic.org/CIATours, or contact Crystal Hatfield at hatfield@ctic.org or (765) 494-9555.

CTIC Conservation in Action Tour Explores Southeast Minnesota Partnerships