10th Annual Soil Health Symposium Featured Speakers Paul Muller & Dru Rivers - Full Belly Farm, Guinda, CA

Paul Muller and Dru Rivers have farmed organically with their 4 children in the Capay Valley for the past 32 years. They are joined on the farm by partners Judith Redmond, Andrew Brait, Amon Muller, Jenna Clemens Muller and some 60 full time employees.

Over this time, Full Belly has worked to evolve a farm system that would serve as a healthy alternative to the current farm models. As partners in Fully Belly Farm, a 450-acre diversified organic farm, they have helped create a farm forcused on local/regional marketing; diverse cropping patterns; ecological health and diversity; soil building; carbon sequestration through cover crop management; innovative market strategies; growing new farmers through internships and new farm enterprises; and fostering vibrancy and beauty.

Each year, the farm produces a myriad of different crops including fruits, flowers, nuts, and vegetables, and has intergrated chickens, cattle and a flock of 250 sheep into the farm system.

They have helped to organize and moderate the Agriculture Roundtable series in the Capsy Valley to develop a regional agricultural strategic plan, and have participated in the work of California Ag Vision, Cal Can, Ecological Farming Association and the Yolo Land Trust.

The farm is visited by thousands of visitors each year to tour a working organic farm.

Paul, Dru and Partners share a love for creating beautiful, productive, and healthy farms-and for the ongoing evolution of farmers and farm design towards ecolgically stable, biologically vibrant and economically viable enterprises. Their farm is home to 30 years of raucous celebration of rural living at their annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival.
Contact Paul & Dru: Dru@fullbellyfarm.com
Visit their website: www.fullbellyfarm.com

Marlon Winger, Agronomist, USDA-NRCS

Marlon earned a BS and MS degrees at Utah State University in Plant Science. He grew up on a family owned dairy farm in Dayton, Idaho, where he found is passion for life (Agriculture). Marlon worked as a County Agricultural Agent for Utah State University Extension service for 9 years in Price, Utah. H has been working for the USDA - Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) for about 12 years, as Area Agronomist in Northern Utah and State Agronomist in Idaho, Marlon currently works as the Regional Soil Health Specialist for MT, WY, and Idaho. Marlon and his family lives on a ranchette in Casper, WY where the family raises, pasture, sheep, hogs, a few calves and a large garden.

Improving soil health on your farm is a process or journey and the more we emulate nature, we can start to decrease inputs. Managing for soil health is one of the easiest and most effective ways for farmers to increase crop productivity and profitability while improving the environment.  Results are often realized immediately, and last well into the future. Using these five basic principles is the key to improving the health of your soil. 1. Keep the soil covered as much as possible. 2. Disturb the soil as little as possible. 3. Keep plants growing throughout the year to feed the soil microbes. 4. Diversify as much as possible using crop rotation and cover crops. 5. Integrate livestock into the cropping system.
Contact: marlon.winger@wy.usda.gov

         "How Producers in Idaho are Implementing the 5 Principles of Soil Health!

Dr. Saad Hafez, University of Idaho, Parma Research and Extension Center

Dr. Saad Hafez is a Professor of Nematology at the University of Idaho, stationed at the Parma Research and Extension Center. For the last 36 years, Dr. Hafez has served Treasure Valley farmers by researching crop-damaged nematodes and nematode control methods. Dr. Hafez received his B.Sc. in Plant protection and M.Sc. in Agricultural Zoology-Nematology from Cairo University, and his Ph.D in Entomology-Nematology from the University of California Davis.
Contact: Shafez@uidaho.edu

Green Manure, Bio-fumigation and Trap Crops for Nematode Management
Saad L. Hafez
Green manure crops of oilseed radish (Rhaphanus sativus) and white mustard (Sinapis alba) provide several benefits to any crop production system. One of the main reported benefits of these green manure crops is reduced populations of nematode, weed and disease pests. Pesticide inputs to potatoes and sugarbeet crops can often be reduced because of the lower pest pressure when these crops follow oilseed radish or white mustard. Compared to standard rotations, higher quality sugarbeet and potato crops are generally grown on soils where oilseed radish or white mustard residues have been incorporated.  The residues from these green manure crops add humus that improves soil tilth, water holding capacity, and nutrient availability.  Fall-planted green manure crops can reduce soil erosion and tie up residual nitrogen from the previous crop that might otherwise be leached below the root zone during the winter. Nutrients taken up by the green manure crop are released into the soil after incorporation of the residue, where they become available for uptake by the following crop.

“Cyst Nematode is present in the Idaho soils; it is a parasite on sugarbeets and can really cause problems,” says Dennis Searle, Senior Agriculturalist for amalgamated. “Dr. Saad Hafez has been trying for years to teach the growers that we need to be planting oil radish and mustard varieties that do not increase cyst populations. Some do. So the practice is good but the choice is less random than one thinks. One needs to make sure the variety used has been screened by Dr. Hafez and will not increase cyst or other nematode populations.”

Brad McIntyre, McIntyre Farms, Caldwell, Idaho

I am a 4th generation farmer from Caldwell, Idaho. I grew up on the family farm down in the Riverside community. My wife Jill and I have six children. I am involved with the family farm and I work alongside my father Loren and brother Ben. We have been practicing no-till for the past nine years. We have been using cover crops and nutrient dense crops to aid soil health for the past seven years. For three years the family has been working hard establishing their new business (McIntyre Pastures) selling pastured beef, pork and eggs. I serve on the Marsing School district board and am heavily involved in my local church. I also serve as a supervisor for the Owyhee Soil Conservation District.
Contact: Farmerbrad71@gmail.com

                     "Expanding your Operation with a Soil Health Focus"

Steven Hines, University of Idaho Extension, Jerome, Idaho

Steven has been with University of Idaho Extension for 19 years and works primarily in the areas of cover crops, cereals, and corn production. Steven grew up on a row crop and cattle farm in Kuna, Idaho and received his B.S. and M.S. Ag Ed degrees from the University of Idaho.


This presentation will discuss a Western SARE funded project looking at the feasibility, benefits, and economics of adding summer grazing of cover crops into a crop limited barley/alfalfa rotation. A 320 acre pivot was no-till planted with a cool season cover crop mix in the spring. The field was fenced and cattle were managed to intensively graze approximately three-acre paddocks each day. The original plan was to sweeten up the forage with a warm season cover crop blend planted mid-summer. During the trial several successes and failures were experienced. Year-end analysis revealed the practice can be viable if several parameters are given careful consideration and the forage is properly managed.
Contact: shines@uidaho.edu
Pat Purdy
Pat Purdy

Pat Purdy, Picabo Livestock Company, Picabo, Idaho

 I was raised in the small farming community of Picabo, Idaho near the world-famous trout stream, Silver Creek. Picabo was founded by my great-grandparents, the Kilpatrick's. The land around Picabo that the Kilpatricks homesteaded in 1883 remains in the family's hands to this day. I graduated from the University of Idaho in 1986 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and started my career working for Honeywell's Defense Avionics Division in Albuquerque. In 1993 I returned to Idaho to work with the family's businesses in various capacities including wholesale supply and pump system manufacturing. In 2008 I joined my father, Nick, in operating the family farming and ranching operation, Picabo Livestock Company where we run a 700 head cow/calf operation and farm approximately 4500 irrigated acres in south-central Idaho. I began experimenting with no-till farming in 2014 and in 2018 planted 100% if our crops with no-till technology. I am married to Debra Wilson Purdy and have two children, Nichole and Christian. Pat recently served a six year term on the Idaho Barley Commissions and currently serves on the U of I College of Agricultural and Sciences Dean's Advisory Board.
Contact: Pat@purdyent.com