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OGS session focused on success from ground up

The first of two intensive educational sessions has been finalized for the second annual Organic Grower Summit in Monterey, CA. Scaling Up Healthy Soil Practices will dive deep into the benefits and usage of bio fertilizers and soil amendments, current research as well as the issues and opportunities to enhance organic farm operations.kaKatherine DiMatteo

Every farmer knows that healthy, fertile soils are key to their success. Healthy, fertile soils can sequester carbon, helping to balance carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. This two-and-a-half-hour-long workshop will explore how California is setting the stage nationally and internationally with its programs that provide grants to farmers for water conservations, healthy soil practices, manure management that reduce methane emissions, and farmland conservation.

Additionally, organic industry experts will discuss the benefits of using biofertilizers and other soil amendments to complement good soil management practices.

Featured panelists for the session include Renata Brillinger, executive director of the California Climate & Agriculture Network; Jered Lawson, co-founder and co-director of Pie Ranch; Emma Torbert, co-owner of Cloverleaf Farm; Tim Stemwedel, founder and president of California Organic Fertilizer; Aaron Waltz, director of field trials and nutrition at Concentric; Gerald Davis, agronomist at Cal Organic Farms/Grimmway; and moderator Katherine DiMatteo, executive director of the Sustainable Food Trade Association.

“The role that soil building practices play in carbon sequestration is one of the hottest topics in the organic industry,” said DiMatteo. “This intensive brings together soil experts, farmers, and policy advocates to show you the how, the why, and the benefits of soil carbon management. For attendees it’s a tremendous opportunity to dig deep and take away best practices,” she said.

OGS will be held Dec. 12-13, at the Monterey Conference Center. Exhibitor registration is now open. General registration to attend the event is slated to open in July, with more details to be released in the coming weeks.

Over 50 companies have already committed to exhibiting at OGS. Exhibitors include soil amendment, bio-pesticide, seed, packaging, food safety, ag technology, and equipment manufacturers who will be connecting with organic field production staff, supply chain managers, pest management advisors, and food safety experts.

“With sufficient resources and incentives, California farmers and ranchers can play a unique and powerful role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and storing carbon in soil and plants," said Brillinger. "This session will provide an overview of the ways California is leading the world in unleashing the climate potential of organic and sustainable production."