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SD Soil Health Coalition Soil Health Conference & Annual Meeting
January 22 @ 8:00 am - January 23 @ 5:00 pm
The South Dakota Soil Health Coalition is extremely pleased to announce the three speakers who will be showcased at the 2019 Annual Meeting and Conference, January 22-23, on the campus of South Dakota State University (SDSU). Keith Berns of Green Cover Seed will speak both the evening of the 22nd as well during the main event the next day. Additional speakers include Allen Williams, Livestock Management and Agricultural Consultant, and Dwayne Beck, Research Manager at Dakota Lakes Research Farm. All three of these speakers are extremely well known for their many contributions to the soil health movement both in South Dakota and surrounding regions.
Keith Berns hails from Bladen, NE and has been utilizing no-till on the ground he and his brother farm since the late 1980’s, has integrated cover crops onto the operation since 2008, earned a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Education from The University of Nebraska, taught Agriculture and Computer courses for 10 years, and co-founded Green Cover Seed in 2009 “to share the benefits of cover crops and no-till farming with the community.” Over the years his company has grown to supply producers with a wide variety of cover crop seed options, educational resources, as well as to develop their “SmartMix Calculator” which enables the user to create their own custom cover crop mixes weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each variety included. Keith was honored by the White House when he was named a “2016 Champion of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture” and is listed as one of the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) “Soil Health Champions”.
Allen Williams is a sixth-generation farmer whose family has been farming in South Carolina since 1840. Allen has experience raising cattle, hogs, chickens, and sheep, as well as the management of both row crops and orchards. He holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Animal Science with a minor in Poultry Science from Clemson University, earned a PHD in Animal Genetics and Physiology from Louisiana State University, spent 15 years teaching and performing research, and currently operates his own Livestock Management and Consulting business. His business’s concentrations include: pastured protein, soil health, adaptive management and regenerative agriculture and he has worked with ranchers and row crop producers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South America. As a partner in “Soil Health Consultants, LLC” along with other prominent experts such as Ray Archuleta, David Brandt and Gabe Brown many of Allen’s future projects are related to the expansion of educational events and services provided by the Consultants.
Dwayne Beck, Research Manager at Dakota Lakes Research Farm in Pierre, SD and Professor in the Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science Department at SDSU is well known for the extensive list of research he has performed there from 1990 through present day. He holds a bachelor’s in chemistry from Northern State University and a PHD in Agronomy (Soil Fertility) from South Dakota State University. He also held the position of Research Manager at SDSU’s James Valley Research Center from 1983-1990 before assuming his current position. Dwayne’s research centers around “the development of programs that have allowed producers to adopt true continuous no-till techniques with diverse rotations in a large portion of central South Dakota and throughout the grassland ecosystems of North America.”