Building Soil Health in Maryland Through Agricultural Service Provider Education II
The University of Maryland state program is continuing to meet demand and interest among service providers that are participating in the state program’s soil health education project by providing education from 2017 to 2020 about soil health-related practices including cover cropping, reduce/no-tillage and soil health testing. Project activities include workshops, field days and a trip to the Rodale Institute. The workshops and field days are featuring separate sessions for educators where participants learn how to use effective adult learning techniques, including storytelling, in their soil health education. A subset of service providers are using a new soil health self-assessment tool with farmers, obtain farm data for a soil organic matter field survey, and receive support for their own field demonstrations for farmers.
Recently Completed Project
Building Soil Health in Maryland Through Agricultural Service Provider Education I
This three year initiative, begun in 2014, helped Maryland ag service providers increase their knowledge about the biological, chemical and physical components of soil health, soil health testing, and the effects of cover crops, reduced tillage and different rotations on soil health, nutrients and pests. Through webinars, workshops, field days and support to attend a Northeast SARE regional cover crops for soil health training event, this project equipped service providers with the tools they need to more effectively educate and advise farmers about cover crops and other soil health improvement practices.