Penn Yan farmer to discuss Soil Renaissance Initiative Jan. 13

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Klaas Martens

The Jan. 13 New York Certified Organic (NYCO) meeting at the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva will feature three presentations on how to maximize soil fertility.

The free meeting starts at 10 a.m. in the Jordan Hall auditorium.

Noted New York organic producer Klaas Martens of Penn Yan, will present information on the Soil Renaissance Initiative, a grassroots movement that is drawing attention nationwide, including from high-ranking U.S. Department of Agriculture officials.

The Foundation, Oak Brook, Ill., and Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, Okla., started the initiative in 2013. Twenty-five soil health leaders working in production agriculture, industry, academia, research, and government identified economics, measurement, research, and education as key areas for advancing soil health as the decision-making cornerstone for land use management and sustainable natural resource systems, and for meeting the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by the year 2050.

Jean Bonhotal, director of the Cornell Waste Management Institute, will discuss how to gain soil vitality with compost. Carol MacNeil, of the Cornell Vegetable Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension, will discuss Cornell’s Soil Health Assessment practices.

The meeting includes a potluck lunch, a discussion circle for questions and answers, and brainstorming. NYCO received support funding from the New York Farm Viability Institute and the N.Y. Ag and Markets Crop Insurance Team. Organic grain and dairy farmers have met at NYCO meetings since 1994 to increase their practical knowledge and expertise.

Registration is not required; participants bring a dish to pass for the potluck lunch. For details, call Fay Benson with Cornell Cooperative Extension at 607-753-5213,