Soil health, cover crops, no-till, regenerative agriculture, composting, livestock integration, and nutrient cycling. These are just  a few of the terms floating around  agriculture nowadays. With operating costs increasing, markets becoming more volatile along with droughts, floods and all kinds of crazy weather, farmers and ranchers are looking for ways to ease these burdens on their operations. How can the principles of soil health help?

Over the last five years local conservation districts along with the Utah Soil Health Partnership have hosted soil health workshops annually across the state. These workshops brought national experts and local farmers and ranchers to present on how they are implementing soil health principles in their operations. These events have provided excellent opportunities to learn and network with others on how soil health principles and practices can help reduce input costs, increase forage production, and build up resiliency in the soil. This year the event is being taken to the next level to provide more resources, learning and networking opportunities not only for Utah but for the whole region.

Registration is now open for the Soil Health in the West Conference and Beginners Workshop to be held at the Dixie Center in St. George UT on Feb 15th-17th. This regional event is again being hosted by the Utah Soil Health Partnership ( and made possible with a grant from USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service.

The event includes an optional Beginner Workshop on Feb 15th for those just starting to get into soil health, this workshop will include a field day and hands on demonstrations to learn about the principles of soil health, how to evaluate the health of your soil and how to get started into soil health practices like no-till and cover crops. This field day will include presentations from farmers from across the state who have implemented these practices; also experts from Utah Department of Agriculture and Food and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service twill be there to help answer questions and provide technical assistance to attendees.

The Conference will include two days of learning opportunities with presentations from national experts as well as farmers and ranchers from around the region. Workshop will include 16 unique breakout sessions, a vendor fair and networking social, and lunches will be provided with registration. Presentations will cover a broad range of soil health topics and include farmers and ranchers from around the region as they share their personal journeys down the soil health road. Producer presentations will include dairy operations, dryland farms, irrigated row crop systems, cow calf operations and small scale and specialty crops, and more.

Speakers and presenters will include:

  • Jimmy Emmons - Crop and Rangeland, Dewey County, Oklahoma
  • Dr. Jill Clapperton - Rhizoterra, Inc.
  • Braden McMurdie - Irrigated Cropland, cover crops and livestock, Tremonton, Utah
  • Jared Sorensen - Rangeland and Soil health - Ruby Valley, Nevada
  • William DeMille - Compost and Vegetable Production, Nevada
  • Joe Cann - Dairy production, cover crops and livestock, Lewiston, Utah
  • Cameron Williams - Cropland, cover corps, and no till, Soda Springs, Idaho
  • Kyler Johnson - Composting and soil amendments, Sun Ray Dairy Corrine, Utah
  • Dr. Jim Ippolito - Colorado State University Climate Center
  • Jake Hadfield - Inter-seeding cover crops in corn, USU Extension
  • AJ Richards & Evan DeMarco  - regenerative livestock market opportunities - Complete Health and Wellness LLC.

To learn more or register please visit