Inaugural Iowa Soil Health Conference Leads Discussion on Building Healthy Soils

AMES, Iowa – The inaugural Iowa soil health conference, “Strategies for Building Healthy Soils,” will be Feb. 2-3, 2016 at the Scheman Building in Ames, Iowa. The goal of this conference is to increase awareness and understanding of soil health as a pivotal measure to sustainable agriculture and environmental quality in Iowa.

“Healthy soils create healthy landscapes, which support healthy communities,” said Mahdi Al-Kaisi, professor of soil science at Iowa State University and chair of the conference organizing committee. “Understanding soil health is essential for enhancing food security, providing resiliency to climate variability, protecting environmental quality, and preventing soil degradation for soil security.”

The two day conference will consist of 17 invited speakers from around the country who will provide research-based information for building healthy soils. Sessions will cover basic concepts of soil health, including: management practices, strategies for building healthy soils, soil health and climate change, the value of soil health to other environmental services, and the relationship between soil health, sustainability and productivity. The conference has also been approved for a total of 17 soil and water Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) credits.  

Among the presenters will be Wayne Honeycutt, deputy chief for science and technology at USDA-NRCS, and Jerry Hatfield, laboratory director of the USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Agriculture and Environment in Ames, Iowa. For a full list of speakers, go to

Farmers, agricultural consultants, agronomists, extension professionals, students, soil scientists, policy makers and the general public interested in learning more about soil health should plan to attend the conference.

Visit the conference website at to register. Early registration fee on or before Jan. 16 is $150 per person. After Jan.16, the fee is $180. Posters by students and agronomists addressing soil health are encouraged for submission at the conference with no additional cost. For questions about registration, contact registration services at 515-294-6222 or email
The conference is a collaborative effort between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service.

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