***NEW – NACD and Datu Research recently released four case studies detailing the economic benefits of using cover crops and/or no-till on corn and soybean operations. Click here to learn more about this research and the farmers who made it possible and click here to watch a recent webinar about the case studies.***
NACD created the Soil Health Champions Network in 2015 to promote soil health education and outreach among American farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners. Today, the Network is comprised of more than 170 landowners and operators who are implementing conservation practices on their land and championing the benefits of soil health within their communities. Soil Health Champions have working relationships with their local conservation districts and USDA service centers, and are often community leaders and early adopters of conservation practices. Do you know a Soil Health Champion?
Soil Health Champions have two responsibilities to the Network:
- Conduct soil health outreach in their communities. Forms of outreach include holding farm tours, hosting field demonstrations, speaking at conferences and meetings, giving media interviews, presenting at seminars or workshops, and manning educational booths at community events.
- Report on their outreach activities to NACD. NACD collects and utilizes Soil Health Champion research, stories, and testimonials on NACD’s website and in national publications. NACD also rounds up information on Soil Health Champion events and outreach and shares it through social media, on its website, and in a quarterly bulletin. By engaging in this network, NACD is able to amplify the voices of conservation-minded producers on a national platform.
In return, soil champs receive:
- Membership in an exclusive Network where they can exchange best management practices, tell success stories, and learn how to make improvements in their own operations. NACD believes this network will play a key role in driving a countrywide movement to improve America’s soils.
- A quarterly, soil health bulletin with Network news and relevant conservation research and outreach opportunities.
- National recognition for their work to advance soil health in the first eResource of every month and in every edition of The Resource. The association also features soil champs on our website (click on the map below to meet our current Soil Health Champions) and showcases their achievements at NACD meetings and events.
Soil Health Champion Network Webinars
Presented by Thelma Heidel-Baker, Ph.D, the Conservation Biocontrol Specialist for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and Mace Vaughan, Pollinator Conservation Program Co-Director for the Xerces Society; a Partner Biologist and Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the USDA NRCS West National Technology Support Center in Portland, Oregon.
This webinar gives an overview of how practices that benefit soil health (e.g. cover cropping, field borders and other permanent plantings, reduced tillage, etc.) also benefit the insect/invertebrates that provide pest management services.
On-farm case studies conducted by NACD and Datu Research have found corn and soybean farmers who use cover crops and/or no-till can improve their bottom lines by over $100 per acre. You can read about the economic and soil health benefits of using these conservation practices by clicking here, or click here to read more of the report overview. To request a copy of the parent report, contact Director of Communications Whitney Forman-Cook. NACD hosted a webinar in September with Datu Research’s CEO Marcy Lowe and case study participant Michael Willis reviewing the research conclusions; you can access a recording of the webinar at the title link above.
Through RSET, NRCS has integrated the best attributes of many of its resource evaluation tools into one modern way of planning. RSET gives producers a holistic look at their agricultural operation’s current management and conservation activities by comparing an operation’s attributes and activities to stewardship benchmarks for five natural resource concerns: soil management, water quality, water quantity, air quality, and wildlife habitat. Then, RSET provides the results of the evaluation in an easy-to-read bar graph that shows how a producer’s management decisions affect the natural resources under his or her care. Click here to access a special edition of the Soil Health Champions Network bulletin on RSET.
Soil Health Champion Network Bulletins
|June 2015||September 2015||December 2015||March 2016||June 2016|
|September 2016||December 2016||April 2017||June 2017||RSET Special Edition|
In support of the Network, NACD holds educational conference calls, provides technical and promotional resources, and offers scholarships to Champions to attend topical meetings. NACD also manages an exclusive Facebook group in which members can share pictures, videos, articles, and updates on their extraordinary work to improve America’s soils.
Soil Health Champions
Soil Health Champions Overlay
Palau Soil Champs Map
Guam Soil Champs Map
American Samoa Soil Champs Map
Puerto Rico Soil Champs Map
Northern Mariana Islands Soil Champs Map
Federated States of Micronesia Soil Champs Map
Virgin Islands Soil Champs
Would you or someone you know like to be a part of our Soil Health Champions Network? Contact NACD North Central Region Representative, Beth Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317)-946-4463. We also invite our members and partners to print and disseminate our Soil Health Champions Network one-pager.