Forty five break out sessions, two general sessions, numerous speakers and nearly 600 attendees over two days defined the numerical portion of the 23rd annual No Till On The Plains Winter Conference in Wichita Kansas. The constant dull roar of chatter in the hallways and trade show defined the networking and general friendships being built at the conference.
Talking with attendees of the conference showed that all were excited to be there and learning. Many mentioned the way the conference made them think outside of the box, like Russell Hedrick’s presentation that included using sugar solutions as insecticides. Other mentioned how open everyone was about their operations. They could discuss idea’s about management strategies. Learn what worked for some and not others.
New this year to the Winter Conference was a theme relating back to not only soil health, but human health as well. Day one general session keynote speakers, David Montgomery & Anne Bikle, spoke on the hidden half of nature – exploring the root gut connection. UNL Extension Engineer Paul Jasa may have summarized the additional theme best, “This year we not only looked at soil health, but we looked at human health and gut biome. The human body is similar to that of a plant as the intestines act as roots taking needed nutrients from microscopic life in the gut.”
The event was capped off with a banquet that honored Green Cover Seed for their decade of support to the No Till On The Plains organization. Banquet keynote speakers Ryan & Jennifer Speer, made the crowd think about community service. The Speer’s are starting into their second year of $100 & 1 Acre. The project looks to utilize the fruits grown in a harry vegetable cover crop at local food banks, pantries and homeless shelters. The first year’s 1 acre plot produced nearly one thousand pounds of vegetables valued by the Speer’s at $1,500 in just 60 days. Green Cover Seed donated a one pound bag of the seed mix to every banquet attendee to try and encourage others to invest $100 and 1 acre to help their local communities.
While the No Till On The Plains board members consider the 23rd annual Winter Conference a success. They are already planning for the 24th annual.
Clay Patton has the recap of the conference.