'Building Profits & Soil Health' Workshop Jan. 22 in Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — How farmers, ranchers and other landowners can build profits and soil health will be the focus of a workshop on Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the First Congregational United Church of Christ (221 7th Ave. W.) in Alexandria. Leading this Land Stewardship Project (LSP) workshop will be Joshua Dukart, a rancher, educator and conservationist who works with farmers and land managers to address on-farm financial decision-making in the context of soil health. The cost, which includes a light supper, is $10 for adults, $25 for a family. For more information and to reserve a spot, contact LSP’s Robin Moore at 320-269-2105 or rmoore@landstewardshipproject.org.

Faced with challenging financial pressure and growing weather extremes, how do we go about building soil and improving yields and profits? What are the financial considerations and decisions we need to make to move our farms forward? Whether farming conventional or organic, raising grain or livestock, this workshop is a chance to focus a financial lens on soil building methods like cover crops, managed rotational grazing, reduced tillage and no-till. Dukart, who leads workshops throughout the Great Plains, the Midwest and overseas, works with farm families and land managers to develop cover cropping, cash cropping and grazing plans that enhance soil, plant and livestock health.

Dukart and his wife, Tara, own and manage Seek First Ranch (www.seekfirstranch.com) in Hazen, N. Dak. In 2017, Dukart was given the Soil and Water Conservation Society’s Excellence in Conservation Award and in 2015 Cattle Business Weekly presented him with a Top 10 National Industry Leaders Award.

Along with the main presentation and a group discussion, there will be a panel involving Dukart, along with crop and livestock farmers Jessica Blair of Starbuck, Minn., and Terry Barchenger of Brooten, Minn. The panelists will discuss their experiences with soil building methods like cover cropping, reduced tillage and managed rotational grazing.