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2020 Delmarva Soil Summit

Feb. 26-27, 2020
More than 200 agronomists came together to soak up the latest research and innovations to improve small- and large-scale farming operations at the Delmarva Soil Summit on Wednesday, Feb. 26 and Thursday, Feb. 27 at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown, Del. The crowd was filled with farmers, local government agency representatives, researchers, nonprofits, educational institutions and students from local colleges and universities.

The event featured guest speakers from across the country ranging from soil scholars to farmers who presented the latest in cover crop economics, soil health initiatives, carbon storage, no-till trends, challenges, successes and lessons learned through break out sessions and farmer lead discussion panels.

Vernon “Chip” Baker, of Millsboro, Del., a retired farmer and National Association of Conservation District (NACD) Soil Health Champion said the Delmarva Soil Summit was, “a great learning experience and there were so many takeaways; however, one of the things I got out of the summit is the reason why you should diversify cover crops. It reiterated what we have been taught the last few years, it’s not as important what is above the ground but what is below the ground. To increase microbial activity in the soil, you should use diverse species of cover crops to feed all the microbes.”

For more information visit www.delmarvasoilsummit.com.

View the 2020 Delmarva Soil Summit videos.

01 02 26 IMG 7441 Absher Darcey

Debbie Absher, director of agricultural programs at Sussex Conservation District, and Steven E. Darcey, district manager at Prince George’s Soil Conservation District eagerly await the start of the Delmarva Soil Summit on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in Georgetown, Del.

02 02 26 IMG 7455 Taylor Nelson

Kacey L. Taylor, state conservationist for the USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service, Delaware, and Jen Nelson, executive director of the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts, catch up between breakout sessions during Day One of the Delmarva Soil Summit on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in Georgetown, Del.

03 02 26 IMG 7525 Hillsman Taylor Bounds

Dr. Terron L. Hillsman, left, state conservationist for the USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Maryland, Kacey L. Taylor, state conservationist for the USDA-NRCS, Delaware and Kenny Bounds, deputy secretary for the Delaware Department of Agriculture, enjoy a laugh during Day One of the Delmarva Soil Summit on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in Georgetown, Del.

04 02 26 IMG 7543 Weil

Ray R. Weil, professor of environmental science and technology at the University of Maryland, College Park, presents the latest cover crop research to an attentive audience on Day One of the Delmarva Soil Summit on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in Georgetown, Del.

05 02 26 IMG 7752 Reception

Nina Lee Malone, left, nutrient management advisor at the University of Maryland Extension in Somerset County, Susan Garey, extension agent at the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, and Joseph Haymaker, lab assistant at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore enjoy the reception at the conclusion of Day One of the Delmarva Soil Summit on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in Georgetown, Del.

06 02 26 IMG 7770 Planning Committee

Planning committee members, Niamh Shortt, left, field school director at Future Harvest, Jen Nelson, executive director of the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts, Debbie Absher, director of agricultural programs at Sussex Conservation District, and Jason Challandes, regional educator for Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, gather to reflect at the conclusion of Day One of the Delmarva Soil Summit on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in Georgetown, Del.

07 02 27 JLXW6165 Baxter Soil

James “Jay” Baxter of Georgetown, Del., owner of Baxter Farms, Inc. and NACD Soil Health Champion, showing off his soil on Day Two of the Delmarva Soil Summit on Thursday, Feb. 27 in Georgetown, Del.

08 02 27 IMG 7829 Berns

Keith Berns, NACD Soil Health Champion, Nebraska farmer and co-owner of Green Cover Seed, presented "Carbonomics" to a full house on Day Two of the Delmarva Soil Summit on Thursday, Feb. 27 in Georgetown, Del.

09 02 27 IMG 7899 Plenary QA

Jen Nelson, left, executive director of the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts, moderates the discussion while Dr. Rob Myers, regional director of extension programs for North Central Region SARE, Dr. Kristine “Kris” Nichols, founder of KRIS Systems, and Keith Berns, NACD Soil Health Champion, Nebraska farmer and co-owner of Green Cover Seed answer questions following their presentations on Day Two of the Delmarva Soil Summit on Thursday, Feb. 27 in Georgetown, Del.

10 02 27 IMG 7956 Large Panel

Jenifer Nelson, left, executive director of the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts, moderates the large-scale farmer panel discussion while Vernon “Chip” Baker of Millsboro, Del., James “Jay” Baxter, of Georgetown, Del., both NACD Soil Health Champions, Matt Fry of Chestertown, Md. and Trey Hill of Rock Hall, Md. answer questions regarding soil health, challenges, successes and lessons learned on Day Two of the Delmarva Soil Summit on Thursday, Feb. 27 in Georgetown, Del.

12 02 27 IMG 8098 Small Panel

Answering questions on small scale farming practices, challenges and lessons learned are Thelonius Cook, owner of Mighty Thundercloud Edible Forest in Birdsnest, Va., Hattie Allen, owner of Hattie’s Garden in Lewes, Del., Zach Dittmar, owner of Dittmar Family Farms in Felton, Del., and Tom Paduano, owner of Flying Plow Farm in Rising Sun, Md., on Day Two of the Delmarva Soil Summit on Thursday, Feb. 27 in Georgetown, Del.

13 02 27 IMG 8029 Nichols Baxter

Dr. Kristine “Kris” Nichols, founder of KRIS Systems, examines the soil James “Jay” Baxter, NACD Soil Health Champion from Georgetown, Del. brought to Day Two of the Delmarva Soil Summit on Thursday, Feb. 27 in Georgetown, Del.