Webinar Schedule and Participant Guide
In 2024, this course will be offered live for 6-weeks on Wednesdays from 6:30 – 8:00 PM (Eastern) from January 17 – February 21. While we encourage live attendance, so you have the opportunity to engage with presenters and ask questions, all webinars are recorded and posted in the online classroom to watch anytime. You will also retain access to all materials indefinitely and can return to participate in the live webinars in future offerings of the course if you wish. Join us!
Week 1: Foundation Principles: Introduction to Basic Soil Science and Soil Health
In the first week, we get to know the other participants in class and learn about basic soil properties so you understand how it functions on your farm. We'll also discuss how to identify the soils on your property.
Week 2: Understanding the Ecosystem Processes
This week we’ll learn about the four ecosystem processes: water cycle, mineral cycle, biological communities, and energy flow and how they relate to soil health. Ways to identify how these processes are functioning and strategies on how to improve these will be discussed. This will set the foundation for understanding why the four principles of soil health are so important.
Week 3: First and Second Principles of Soil Health: Maximize Soil Cover and Continuous Living Roots
Using our understanding of how the ecosystem processes work, we'll discuss the first two principles of soil health: maximize soil cover and continuous living roots. We'll learn why bare soil is public enemy number one and how to eliminate it with cover crops and mulch.
Week 4: Third Principle of Soil Health: Minimize Disturbance
Minimizing disturbance is an incredibly important part of good soil health. We'll discuss ways to park the plow and minimize disturbance. Topics include how tillage affects soil health and how to reduce tillage.
Week 5: Fourth Principle of Soil Health: Maximize Biodiversity
In nature, biodiverse systems are the most healthy and stable. We'll discuss ways to improve biodiversity from plants and animals to soil organisms. The benefits of livestock on the land will also be discovered.
Week 6: Wrap up and Review, Questions, and Monitoring
In our final session, we put it all together into a soil health plan and learn about ways to monitor your progress.
Zoom Participants' Guide
(for future use, when this course is offered live)