'From Entomology to Economics' Soil Health Workshop March 6 in Goodhue

GOODHUE, Minn. — A workshop entitled, “From Entomology to Economics: Building Soil Health with Jonathan Lundgren," will be offered by the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) on Friday, March 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Lion’s Community Center (105 Broadway St.) in Goodhue. It will feature presentations by Dr. Lundgren and a panel featuring southeastern Minnesota farmers. The cost is $15 per person ($10 for an additional farm partner, and $30 per family), which includes a noon meal featuring a local foods lunch catered by Bridget’s. To register by March 3, contact LSP’s Alex Romano at 507-523-3366 or aromano@landstewardshipproject.org.

This workshop will also be offered at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Caledonia, Minn., on March 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will include a local farm panel featuring farmers Jordan and Rachelle Meyer, Aaron Gillespie, and Connor McCormick.

A challenging and provocative presenter, Lundgren is an agroecologist, entomologist and beekeeper. He received his PhD in entomology from the University of Illinois in 2004 and was a top scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service for 11 years. Lundgren’s research and education programs focus on assessing the ecological risk of pest management strategies and developing long-term solutions for regenerative food systems. Together with his family and laboratory team, he began Blue Dasher Farm in 2016 in South Dakota. The farm raises livestock, crops and bees.

Lundgren will present on his team’s efforts to:

  • Research ecologically-based pest and farm management solutions that reduce disturbance and increase biodiversity.
  • Educate farmers, the public and future scientists on regenerative farming practices.
  • Address the financial feasibility of regenerative agricultural practices on a working farm.

“Dr. Lundgren’s talk reinforced for me the importance of thinking of my farm as an ecosystem, and in so doing, providing a home for beneficial insects, both predators and pollinators,” said North Dakota farmer Gabe Brown.

The Goodhue farm panel includes Kaleb Anderson, Josie Trople, John Jaeger and Mike Zabel. Anderson raises beef, pasture, hay, no-till row crops and multi-species covers. His soil-building practices include strip-grazing late summer and fall forage and doing Kernza (intermediate wheatgrass) trials. Trople raises perennials including hazelnuts, elderberry, garlic, asparagus and forage, and will be adding pastured poultry and sheep in 2020. She is the co-farm manager of the Main Street Project’s farm in Northfield, Minn. Jaeger raises beef, corn, soybeans, small grain, hay and cover crops. His soil-building practices include testing 60-inch corn rows in 2019 and fall grazing of cover crops. Zabel raises a diverse mix of crops for seed and forage, including small grains, alfalfa, corn, soybeans, industrial hemp and sweet corn. Most of his farm has been in no-till since 2012, and he owns and manages Zabel Seeds in Plainview, Minn.