2020 Soil Health Symposium Featured Speaker

Dr. David Johnson

Dr. David Johnson is a molecular biologist conducting research as an Adjunct Professor at the Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems at California State University,
Chico, CA https://www.csuchico.edu/regenerativeagriculture/ and as a researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Agricultural Research at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

Regenerating the Diversity of Life in Soils - Hope for Farming, Ranching, Environment, Nutritional Foods and Climate

Dr. Johnson works with growers, researchers, Arizona State University, Texas A&M, USDA's Natural Resource Service, the Globetrotter Foundation, the Thornburg Foundation and the Sequoia Farm Foundation, exploring paths to improve food security, reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and increase farm and rangeland productivity and profitability through the development of beneficial soil microbial communities.

    Dr. Johnson's research, in soil microbial community structure and function, has opened a window for viewing the interdependence between plants and soil microbes. Optimization of these plant-microbe associations promotes:
  • Restoration of soil fertility,
  • Improved growth of crops, and
  • Increased efficiencies in plant water use, soil microbial carbon-use and soil carbon storage capabilities.
These benefits provide a path to significantly increase farm and ranch productivity and profitability while also promoting the development of soil carbon as a new agricultural commodity. This will provide a robust and practical mechanism to begin reducing atmospheric CO2 within regenerative agricultural systems.

Mary Wolf, Agronomist, USDA-NRCS Idaho Plant Materials Center

"Evaluation of Cool Season Cover Crop Varieties in the Intermountain West"

Mary Wolf is the Agronomist at the USDA-NRCS Idaho Plant Materials Center in Aberdeen, Idaho where she has been since last summer. Previously, she held the same position at the Plant Materials Center in Tucson, Arizona. She spent 8 years working for NRCS as a Soil Conservationist in Canyon and Ada Counties at the Caldwell Service Center. Mary has a M.S. in soils from Washington State University.
Contact: mary.wolf@usda.gov

Lindsay Schramm, Owner, North End Organic Nursery (NEON)

"What Are Your Weeds Saying"

Lindsay Schramm has owned the North End Organic Nursery in Garden City, Idaho for 10 years. She holds a bachelors of science degree in nutrition from Northern Arizona University, which led her to study how nutrition starts with the soil. After graduating, she started an organic farm in northern Arizona, and began to study soil biology under Dr. Elaine Ingham. Understanding the soil food web and the interaction of soil microbes and organic practices ultimately led to her opening up NEON in 2010. Her education continues daily as she helps organic gardeners understand the complexities of gardening without synthethic chemicals in the Intermountain West. Contact: linday@northendnursery.com