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Empire Farm Days’ Virtual Soil Health Center

Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:00am to 12:00pm

Virtual Event

We’re bringing the Soil Health Center to you!

The New York State Interagency Soil Health Working Group, New York Soil Health, and Empire Farm Days are bringing the Soil Health Center online, July 29-31, 2020.

Usually, this event occurs in person at Rodman Lott and Son Farms in Seneca Falls, N.Y, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak Empire Farm Days was cancelled.

Each day will feature a keynote speaker with soil health expertise:

  • John Wallace, assistant professor of weed science at Pennsylvania State University, conducts cutting-edge sustainable cropping systems research aimed at developing cover cropping strategies to manage weeds in full- and reduced- tillage systems. He specializes in finding cover crops and other solutions to managing herbicide-resistant weeds.


  • Jennifer Moore-Kucera, leads the Farmers Combat Climate Change program at American Farmland Trust. The program focuses on regenerative agricultural practices, farmland protection and clean, renewable energy. Moore-Kucera has been a leader in soil health research and outreach in previous positions in academia and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


  • Jean-Paul Stewart-Courtens, Roxbury Agriculture Institute, conducts on-farm research and practices reduced tillage and cover cropping on organic vegetable farms.

The Empire Farm Days’ Soil Health Center also brings together innovative New York farmers who have broad experience with the successes and challenges of managing agricultural lands to improve soil health. Two farmer panels will foster conversations to help participants understand soil health practices in dairy systems and in organic vegetable and grain cropping systems.

Dairy systems panelists:

  • Forrest Watson, Mulligan Farm, Avon;
  • Ryan Akin ’01, Hemdale Farms & Greenhouses, Clifton Springs; and
  • Jason Burroughs, Aurora Ridge Dairy, Aurora;

Organic vegetable and grain crop panelists:

  • Aaron Munzer, Plowbreak Farm, Burdett;
  • Josh Jurs, Kreher Family Farms, Clarence;
  • Rick Pedersen, Pedersen Farms, Seneca Castle; and
  • Jean-Paul Stewart-Courtens, Philia Farm, Johnstown.

There will also be a special presentation on optimizing no-till planter performance for improved yields and soil health. And at a live cover-crop walk, Rod Porter of King’s AgriSeeds will discuss various cover crop species, their benefits and drawbacks, and tips for success.

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Event Type

Conference/Workshop, Panel Discussion, Networking


Soil and Crop Sciences, Horticulture






Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Joseph Amsili

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