LEWISTON, Minn. — Eleven skilled southeastern Minnesota farmers devoted to soil health have been named as farmer-to-farmer consultants for 2020 by the Land Stewardship Project. With a growing number of Midwestern crop and livestock farmers interested in maximizing soil health, there is an important need for farmers to be able to connect with other farmers in the region that have direct experience with practices like no-till, cover cropping and rotational grazing. A list of the consultants is available at www.landstewardshipproject.org/lspsoilbuilders/soilhealthconsultants.
Each of the farmer-consultants is utilizing various innovative practices to increase soil organic matter and microbiology, improve water infiltration, stop erosion, store carbon in the soil, reduce input expenses, and increase profits and yields, and they’re willing to share their experience with others, according to the Land Stewardship Project’s Liana Nichols, coordinator of the farmer consulting program.
“Learning directly from a farmer who has experience can save a lot of time and money, help your decision-making process, and clarify your next steps in making the on-farm changes you want to make,” she said.
Consultations can take place via telephone or in person, at a café or on-farm. The fee for consulting is $40 per hour (no charge for an initial 20-minute phone call) with a one-to-two hour visit recommended.
“Our farmer-consultants are all actively farming and their time is valuable,” said Nichols. “We want to compensate them and respect the time they are taking out of their own operations to help others.”
To request a farmer-to-farmer consultation, contact Nichols at the Land Stewardship Project’s Lewiston office at 507-523-3366 or firstname.lastname@example.org. In that initial contact, callers will be asked to let LSP know what they are hoping to learn from one of the consulting farmers and to provide some background on their farming operation. Farmers will then be matched with a consulting farmer who can give them the information and experience they’re looking for.