These students and crops are for change

Some Ohio State students are spending their summer helping fight hunger. Working at the 4-acre Ohio State Student Farm, located at CFAES’ Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory in Columbus, the students are growing more than 30 kinds of fruits and vegetables, are learning about and practicing urban farming, and are donating some of what they grow to local food security efforts.

Read more in a new CFAES Story called “Crops for change.”

Big plans set for Waterman

CFAES has big plans for its Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory in Columbus. Dean Cathann A. Kress says those plans include becoming “a university hub for leading science and public engagement related to our food system, agriculture, and natural resources; as well as a center where many of our partners can join us to advance knowledge and industry, communicate about science, and prepare future leaders.” Read all about it.

Expert to speak on controlled environment ag

More and more farms could be under a roof. Meiny Prins, CEO and co-owner of the Dutch company Priva, presents “Do You Know the Green Belt? Sustainable Urban Agriculture in a Challenging World” from 10–11 a.m. Tuesday, May 21, on Ohio State’s campus in Columbus. The event is billed as an industry summit on controlled environment agriculture, a technology-driven way to produce food in greenhouses, buildings, grow rooms, and the like. Admission to the event is free, but attendees are asked to register in advance. There’s also a way to watch online. Find full details.

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Regenerative agriculture a ‘win-win-win’

An op-ed in the May 13 edition of the Los Angeles Times quotes CFAES scientist Rattan Lal on the benefits of regenerative agriculture—practices such as using compost, minimizing tillage, and growing cover crops. Regenerative agriculture is a “win-win-win option” that can make the soil healthier, increase food production, and help fight climate change, he is quoted as saying. But it is “not widely understood” yet by policymakers, the public, and many farmers.

Lal, a recent recipient of the prestigious Japan Prize, is Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Read the op-ed.

40-plus ways to explore sustainable ag

The schedule is out for the 2019 Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series, which runs from June to early December, features 40-plus events at organic and ecological farms and businesses—mostly in Ohio but also in Michigan and Indiana—and counts CFAES’ Sustainable Agriculture Team among its presenters. Learn more.

Grain that grows ‘like grass on the prairie’

A recent NPR story by Dan Charles featured the perennial grain called Kernza. Headlined “Can This Breakfast Cereal Save the Planet?” the story looked at Kernza’s benefits to the soil, which include preventing erosion and sequestering carbon; the scientists at the Salina, Kansas-based Land Institute who developed and are continuing to work with Kernza; and efforts by General Mills, the maker of Wheaties and Cheerios, to turn the new grain into cereal.

Kernza-wise, CFAES scientist Steve Culman and his colleagues are studying the grain as well, including as part of a multistate study. Read more on their work here and here.

Got a small farm? Get new ideas

Get ideas for the coming growing season at CFAES’ Small Farm Conference and Trade Show.

Set for March 29-30 at CFAES’ South Centers in Piketon and with a theme of “Opening Doors for Success,” the event will offer ideas for how your farm can work even better for you.

About 30 sessions in nine tracks will cover a variety of topics, from pawpaws to aquaculture, hydroponics to growing mushrooms, soil health to marketing to a produce cooler you can build yourself—“a cool bot system for the farm.” The first day offers a workshop on hops and a training session on meeting requirements of the Food Safety and Modernization Act.

See the agenda and list of sessions. Find out more about the sessions.

Registration costs vary. Find complete details and register online.

He works for the soil, farmers, the planet

Here’s another reason to celebrate Ohio Agriculture Week, March 10-16:

CFAES’ Rattan Lal, esteemed soil scientist in the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), recently achieved an unusual triple crown, winning the prestigious World Soil Prize, World Agriculture Prize, and Japan Prize in the span of about four months.

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