Innovative farmers who operate profitable farms and provide their communities with environmental benefits will host a conservation tour in the Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia on Aug. 3.
The Conservation Technology Information Center’s Conservation In Action Tour will visit farms in the area around Williamsburg.
Presenters will discuss the role of agriculture in addressing Chesapeake Bay water quality concerns and will demonstrate equipment and technology that help farmers use nutrients efficiently.
Tour participants include farmers, policy makers, agricultural advisors, conservation professionals and other business people.
Presenters will discuss the appropriate role, system and support for Bay Region ecosystem services provided by agriculture through government programs and new market-based approaches. Participants will learn how producers protect soil and water quality. They will also hear about possible generation and sale of these environmental services, which are often measured with carbon or water quality credits.
“Our last two conservation tours received rave reviews,” says Tim Healey, CTIC chairman. “All who took part appreciated the chance to see conservation agriculture up close," Healey says. "The Conservation In Action Tour provides a forum to discuss today’s issues with producers who deal with them directly.”
Highlights of the August CTIC Tour include:?
• A Mainland Farm, an example of a typical farmstead from the early 1600s, which is battling development pressure;
• Renwood Farms to learn about the Hula family, who prove profitability and conservation go hand in hand; ?
• The Archer Ruffin farm, to learn about carbon markets and profitable conservation and to discuss conservation with a panel of farmers; ?
• Lunch at the Shirley Plantation, the oldest family-owned business in North America, which will feature presentations about the Chesapeake Bay watershed; ?
• The Carter farm, to learn about successfully no-tilling cotton in cool soil temperatures; ?
• The farm of New Kent "never-tiller" Paul Davis, to discuss how agriculture will play a significant role in removing water pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and what the Clean Water Act and the Total Maximum Daily Load rules could mean to agriculture and the region, and?
• A Nutrient Use Efficiency Expo featuring tools to use nutrients more efficiently, effectively and profitably.
The Aug. 3 tour will end with a steak dinner on the banks of the Pamunkey River, a major tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.
“Innovative farmers making conservation work, important discussions with public and private partners about Chesapeake Bay concerns and introductions to the technology and tools that help producers protect water quality – our tour has it all," says Karen Scanlon, CTIC’s executive director. "Join us in August to be a part of it,”
The registration cost covers transportation, meals and refreshments, and a social event on Aug. 2, the evening before the Tour. Members of CTIC pay $75 and non-members pay $100. Agricultural producers and members of the media pay $25.
Tour sponsors include Syngenta, John Deere, Mosaic, Agrotain, Case IH, Monsanto and Agri Drain. They recognize the need to conserve natural resources while feeding the world and making a living from the land.