CTIC Conservation in Action Tour Explores Southeast Minnesota Partnerships

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CTIC Conservation in Action Tour Explores Southeast
Minnesota Partnerships 

The Conservation Technology Information Center’s (CTIC) eighth annual
Conservation in Action Tour—a close-up exploration of conservation farming
practices and one of the conservation agriculture world’s top idea-sharing
opportunities—will focus on innovative practices and partnerships in
southeastern Minnesota on August 11 and 12.

Minnesota farmers have long found themselves in the spotlight in discussions
about nutrient management and soil erosion, especially with the Mississippi
River running right past the region,” notes Karen A. Scanlon, executive
director of the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC). “As a
result, the agriculture community has engaged in creative, productive
partnerships to tackle tough questions and has adopted innovative and highly
effective conservation practices.

“Especially when it comes to agriculture’s voluntary protection of water
quality,” she adds, “southeastern Minnesota provides us with a peek into the
future of American farming.”
Scanlon says tour participants will visit a wide range of farms—from
corn/soybean operations to vegetable farms and dairies—for hands-on exploration
of a wide range of conservation tactics, including:

  • Saturated and vegetative
  • Innovative drainage water
    management techniques
  • Strip-till systems
  • Advanced fertilizer
    management tools
  • Great collaboration between
    farmers and ag retailers
  • Rotational grazing
  • Dairy manure management systems
  • Managing for pollinator health,
    and more.

To see the tour agenda, visit www.ctic.org/CIATours/.

“There’s great diversity in the farming
practices, crops and landscapes in southeast Minnesota, and a wide range of
innovative conservation technologies and systems in use there, which will make
this a rich experience,” Scanlon points out.

“The diversity of the participants themselves is a vital part of what makes
Conservation in Action tours so powerful,” she adds. “You’re sitting on the bus
and sharing meals with farmers, crop consultants, government policymakers,
agribusiness leaders, ag retailers, members of conservation groups and
others—and everyone is talking about conservation agriculture. The access to
people and ideas is truly unique.”

Previous tours, particularly in the Midwest, have sold out, Scanlon notes, so
reserving a spot early is important. Under early-bird pricing, which lasts
through June 30, registration costs range from $25 for farmers, students and
media to $100 for non-member companies and organizations.  After the
early-bird period, registration fees will rise for remaining spots on the tour.

Generous support from sponsors helps keep costs low for participants, Scanlon
points out, and local experts have teamed up to organize insightful presenters
and relevant tour stops. The Mosaic Company is the tour leader sponsor, and
partners in organizing the tour include the Goodhue, Rice and Dakota Soil and
Water Conservation Districts; Minnesota Association of Soil and Water
Conservation Districts; Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources; Minnesota
Department of Agriculture; Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center;
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation

The opening social, sponsored by John Deere,
will be held in Minneapolis the evening of the 11th, and the group will head
southeast early the morning of the 12th for a very full day of farm visits,
talks and discussions. CTIC is applying for CEU accreditation for Certified
Crop Advisors attending the tour.

For information on CTIC’s Conservation in Action Tour or to register for the
event, visit www.ctic.org/CIATours,
or contact Crystal Hatfield at [email protected] or
(765) 494-9555.

CTIC Conservation in Action Tour Explores Southeast Minnesota Partnerships