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Soil Health 101 (4 weeks)

This is a series of four courses that occur on Tuesday, April 20th, April 27th, May 4th, and May 11th. The courses are taught virtually Ag Conservation Innovations and Ag Stewardship Manager for American Farmland Trust, Ashley Brucker.

Course 1 – Sand, Silt, and Clay…Oh My! (Intro to Soils)

At the end of this session, participants will understand:

  • Soil types and qualities
  • Identification of soil types
  • Chemical, biological and physical make-up of soils
  • Soil-specific vocabulary

Course 2 – Get Your Hands Dirty (Soil Health and Function)

At the end of this session, participants will understand:

  • Definition of soil health and functions of healthy soil
  • Identifying features of healthy soils compared to unhealthy soils
  • How to test for soil aggregation, compaction and infiltration

Course 3 – Don’t Garden Naked (Intro to Cover Crops)

At the end of this session, participants will understand:

  • Definition of cover crops
  • Functions of cover crops
  • How to identify a need and select an appropriate cover crop

Course 4 – What’s Water got to do with This? (Soil and Water Quality)

At the end of this session, participants will understand:

  • The role soil plays in water quality
  • Nutrient loss reduction by halting erosion
  • Big picture relationship of soil, water, nutrients, and yields

 

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Instructor: Ashley Brucker Ashley Brucker is the Ag Conservation Innovations Ag Stewardship Manager for American Farmland Trust in Columbus, OH. She spent her early years on a grain and livestock farm in Northwest Indiana before attending Purdue University for Anthropology. Ashley made her career in hospitality management and spent the next decade traveling the country managing hotels and resorts before returning to the farm and agriculture. Since then she has been dedicated to building and maintaining relationships with farmers and non-operating farmland owners, as well as state and federal agencies, agricultural service providers, conservation leaders, and others to develop and implement strategies to facilitate the adoption of conservation practices on farmland. Ashley focuses on innovative projects and outreach, as well as, educating others on how to conduct training events of their own.