With innovative farmers seeking more no-till ideas, there’s nothing more informative and educational than the annual National No-Tillage Conference.
Take the St. Clair County Soil and Water Conservation District in Belleville, Ill., for example. This group was formed just weeks before the 1999 National No-Tillage Conference and used the conference as a means to get people excited about no-till.
And you know something? It worked.
“I had been talking to people for 2 years to get a club organized where members could talk to each other and get more interest in no-tilling or conservation tillage, anything to save our soils,” says Gene Willman, chairperson of the St. Clair County Conservation District. “It just happened that the District got a grant for tours, meetings, anything to promote conservation or no-tillage. Right before the National No-Tillage Conference, we got some of the members signed up and we paid their way to get them more interested in no-tilling. The conference did a great job for us.”
Willman’s club started with 10 members, each of which attended the conference. Since then, the group has grown to 30 farmers, and it looks like that number is going to expand.
“We’re growing,” he says. “The best thing about the National No-Tillage Conference was going and just talking to other farmers about no-till, seeing what they’re doing, what’s worked, what hasn’t; those things are valuable. This information is so important. It’s really exciting.”
Willman’s club charges a low one-time fee of $5 to…