Virtual Showcase Highlights the Importance of Soil Health and Regenerative Agriculture for U.S. Cotton Farmers

Apr 14, 2021 9:00 AM ET
Press Release

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., April 14 2021 /3BL Media/ – The Soil Health Institute (SHI), the non-profit charged with safeguarding and enhancing the vitality and productivity of soils, recently concluded the Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton Farmer Showcase, a series of eight online discussions with U.S. cotton farmers and soil health experts highlighting the challenges and positive impact soil health management systems can have on agricultural productivity and farm profitability.

More than 950 participants, including cotton farmers, crop consultants and other interested parties, attended the virtual showcases. The entire series is now available to view on-demand and can be accessed at https://soilhealthinstitute.org/soil-health-training/farmer-showcase/.

Presenting from seven different regions, the speakers at each event summarized how producers are making essential soil health practices like no-till and cover crops work under local soil and climate conditions.

Of all the participants surveyed, more than 99 percent were either “extremely satisfied” or “satisfied” after attending the webinars. Here’s what some of the attendees had to say:

“Including the farmers in this session was awesome. It is so great to hear from their perspective.” – Participant from Texas showcase

"I was particularly interested in what they said about landlords. I am looking for renters that are more open minded about these subjects.” – Participant from Arkansas showcase

“These meetings are very useful to scientists doing work in soil management. Keep up the excellent work and the engaging use of the Zoom platform!” – Participant from California showcase

The eighth and final episode culminated in a panel of regenerative agriculture leaders sharing their insights on why soil health is important to the future of U.S. cotton. The panel featured Greg Bohrer, Director, Natural Capital, Walmart Foundation; Dr. Jesse Daystar, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at Cotton Incorporated; Dr. Gary Adams, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Cotton Council; and Dr. Wayne Honeycutt, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Soil Health Institute.

“Cotton Incorporated is dedicated to conducting research and promoting activities to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton,” said Dr. Daystar. “We’re fortunate to have so many partners in the industry working on this critical sustainability issue and empowering farmers to adopt soil health systems.”

"[Adoption has] got to be tied as well to the practices and the bottom line," said Dr. Adams. "At the end of the day, farmers are going to be good stewards of the land, but they have to be able to do it in a way that makes them viable economically as well."

This event is part of the Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton project, which provides farmer-focused education and training delivered by Soil Health Institute scientists, partnering with local soil health technical specialists and farmer mentors who have implemented successful soil health management systems. The project aims to increase the adoption of soil health management systems among cotton producers while documenting environmental and economic benefits of that adoption.

Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton is supported through the generosity of the Wrangler® brand, the VF Corporation Foundation and the Walmart Foundation. For more information about the project, visit https://soilhealthinstitute.org/soil-health-training/.

The Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton Farmer Showcase Series

EPISODE 1 | Spotlight on Mississippi

Soil Health Challenges in the Delta: What Works and What Doesn’t
View episode 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gC1NoCPczQA

EPISODE 2 | Spotlight on Texas

Soil Health in Texas: Lessons from Long-term Study Sites
View episode 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Udb24KN5chY

EPISODE 3 | Spotlight on Arkansas

Soil Health in Arkansas: Is it Profitable?
View episode 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHJKaO5r2Jg

EPISODE 4 | Spotlight on California

Improving Soil Health in a Dry Climate
View episode 4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-_XYnytlkQ

EPISODE 5 | Spotlight on Georgia

Soil Health in a Cotton and Peanut Rotation
View episode 5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQqt0jyoL9A

EPISODE 6 | Spotlight on North Carolina/Virginia

Soil Health: View from the Cotton Gin
View episode 6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32S-7b5ShvU

EPISODE 7 | Spotlight on the Carolinas

Lessons from 8 Years of Regenerative Agriculture
View episode 7
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzD-RaAZ8Pw

EPISODE 8 | Spotlight on Regenerative Ag Leaders

Why Soil Health is Important to the Future of U.S. Cotton
View episode 8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSXxJFSbnrI

###

About the Soil Health Institute

The Soil Health Institute is a global non-profit with a mission to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement. We bring together leaders in soil health science and the industry to help farmers, ranchers, and landowners adopt soil health systems that build drought resilience, stabilize yield, and benefit their bottom line. The Institute’s team of scientists, holding doctorates in various soil science and related disciplines, has developed highly effective soil health targets and standardized measurements to quantify progress at achieving regenerative and sustainable agricultural systems, and leads the cutting-edge fields of carbon sequestration and decoding the soil microbiome. Healthy soils are the foundation for rejuvenating our land. Together, we can create a secure future for all, mitigate the effects of climate change, and help agriculture and organizations meet production and environmental goals at scale. Visit soilhealthinstitute.org to learn more and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

About Wrangler®

Wrangler® apparel is available nationwide in mass market retailers, specialty stores, including work apparel chains, farm & fleet, and western stores, as well as through online and catalog retailers. To find a retailer or for more information on the Wrangler family of products, visit Wrangler.com or call 888.784.8571.

About VF Corporation

VF Corporation outfits consumers around the world with its diverse portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands, including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Wrangler® and Lee®. Founded in 1899, VF is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with socially and environmentally responsible operations spanning numerous geographies, product categories and distribution channels. VF is committed to delivering innovative products to consumers and creating long-term value for its customers and shareholders. For more information, visit www.vfc.com.

About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By focusing where the business has unique strengths, Walmart.org works to tackle key social and environmental issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 26 countries, employs more than 2.2 million associates and does business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, advance equity, address hunger, build inclusive economic opportunity for people in supply chains, protect and restore nature, reduce waste and emissions, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit www.walmart.org or connect on Twitter @Walmartorg.

FOR INFORMATION:

David Lamm +1-336-613-8322
dlamm@soilhealthinstitute.org