Feb 28th-March 2nd in Corvallis, OR
Feb 28th, in Corvallis, after our Annual OSSS Members Business Meeting (planned for 5:00pm) we will kick off the soil health discussion with a Keynote Public Address from Dr. David Montgomery. Dave is an internationally recognized geologist and communicator whom you may recognize as the author of books such as Growing a Revolution and Dirt: The Erosion of Civilization. After the talk there will be time for a book signing and mix and mingle for all who attend this free public talk.
On March 1st we will meet indoors to dig into soil health topics considering how biology impacts every aspect of a soil function. We will build our tool box of strategies to help producers adopt conservation ag practices by discussing; cover crop blends for specific management goals and climate challenges, strategies to reduce disturbance, and data regarding long-term economic assessments for producers who are managing for soil health. I expect one of the strengths that our society can bring to the soil health conversation will be regarding the range of characteristics of a soil series and how soil health practitioners can (and should not) use soil mapping data to draw inference. We are looking for debate, discussion, and information from multiple perspectives.
The evening of March 1st we are planning an inclusive poster session (during happy hour). Students across the NW who study soil science will be invited to compete in a poster session with $300 in available prize money (not all topics will be on soil health). We also really want to get as many project leaders involved as possible. If you are working on a soil health project we would love it if you could share your data/process. Even if you are just starting or in the middle, please come present, we want to use this as an opportunity to share knowledge. The posters will be up for at least 2 hours and each presenter will be at their poster for 1 hour so that they can also see what else is going on.
On March 2nd we will head out to the field to continue the conversation with local producers who are managing for soil health and making it work in the Willamette Valley. A complete soil health assessment will be done for each of our sites, and we will be able to discuss the relevance of such parameters while assessing the managed and surrounding native soil. There will also be field demonstration tools to practice making a strong impact with producers. We plan to wrap up the formal meeting by 2:00pm on Fri with social time to follow.